Sit down for a meal at Restaurant 1014 (named for the Battle of Clontarf), with its Parisian bistro vibe and perfectly pitched menu, and it won’t be long before you start wishing this was your own little local place.
If you’re sitting in one of the prime window seats or at one of the outdoor tables, you can look across to stunning views of Bull Island and Dublin Bay and watch the boats sailing in and out. Inside, the style of the long, narrow main room draws on Art Nouveau, with lots of gold fittings, curved edges and painted flourishes. The mosaic floor and dark wood furniture look smart, although they don’t help the acoustics, so the room is quite noisy when busy.
The restaurant is open from breakfast right through till dinner. Under head chef Duncan McDougall, they offer locally sourced, seasonal food, with fish coming from nearby Howth and all meat, poultry and wild game are Irish. The menu is a mix of classy and comfort, ranging from staples like seafood chowder and a beetroot and goat’s cheese salad to paté de maison or a wild mushroom tartlet as starters.
There’s a small but well thought-out selection of main courses and daily specials. An Irish lamb burger with cumin and paprika yoghurt is perfectly spiced and comes with a pile of golden chunky chips, while a special of pan-roasted salmon with herb mash, roasted Mediterranean veg and salsa verde is satisfying yet light.
Desserts lean heavily towards tried and true classics, but are none the worse for that. You might choose from a rhubarb ginger crumble, warm sticky toffee pudding, chocolate mousse or an excellent espresso and white chocolate crème brulée.
A two-course early bird menu that runs all evening on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, including a complimentary glass of Prosecco, is phenomenal value at only €19.95.
Upstairs, bookshop 1014 is worth a visit too – a charity bookshop above the restaurant open in the evening until 8 pm that will not only happily take your secondhand books, but also offers platters and the early bird menu.
Uniquely, the Caring and Sharing Association (CASA) owns the restaurant and all profits go directly to the charity, which provides support for people with disabilities.