Busy and noisy, the Port House is a little bit of Spain on South William Street.
One of the most popular little Dublin restaurants, from the team who created The Porterhouse (Parliament Street and other branches), it bears all their hallmark attention to detail and It’s hugely atmospheric, particularly when candlelit. Wine bottles on high shelves, warm brick walls, remains of an old fireplace, flagged floors, simple mismatched modern furniture all give the impression of being in a basement bodega.
But, although that's a great start (and The Port House was such as success from the start that they very soon opened up a new floor above the original restaurant), there's more to this little place than atmosphere and they deliver well on the food side too, bringing an authentic taste of Spain to South William Street.
A weekday lunchtime Menu Rapido offering two tapas and a drink features many of the tapas from the main menu, including their own twist on the original Tortilla Espanola, the ever popular Spanish omelette, with spinach, goats cheese and mushrooms. Churros feature on the dessert menu – those hot Spanish doughnuts tossed in cinnamon sugar. And for the real experience, dip these into a hot chocolate.
The main evening menu has about five dozen choices divided into sections – appetisers, salads, meat, cured meat, cheese, potatoes, vegetables, seafood and pintxos (tapas on bread or toast). You’ll find decisions difficult as there are so many tempting items. All the usual Spanish tapas are here as well as some with a Port House twist - croquetas (croquettes), albondigas (meatballs in a rich tomato sauce), chorizo, paella, patatas mojo, (deep-fried cubes of potatoes with the Canarian mojo sauce). More unusual is the ‘McFoie burger’, a mini beef burger topped with foie gras and pepito solomillo (grilled mini sirloin steak served on garlic toast).
Wines, mainly Spanish, are divided by style – whites are crisp and fruity; medium bodied and aromatic; full bodied and fruity. Reds are light and fruity; smooth and medium-bodied; rich, full and fruity; elegant and refined.
It would be very easy to think you’re in Spain when you eat in this popular Dublin restaurant.
Sister restaurants also at: Port House Pintxos, Temple Bar; Port House Ibericos, Dundrum; Port House Strand, Bray, Co Wicklow; and Port House Strand, London WC2.