Temple Garner is one of a small number of Irish chefs who can boast a loyal following. From the celebrated Mermaid Cafe to Town Bar & Grill and Dillinger’s, foodies have fallen in love with his signature style of Italian-American cooking.
This latest venture sees him in the premises formerly occupied by Juice, as chef-proprietor of San Lorenzo’s, a modern restaurant that celebrates Italy’s vast and glorious cuisine. Those looking for lasagne and spaghetti carbonara here will be disappointed, however – what you’re likely to find instead is hearty Tuscan soup, prosciutto, fig and gorgonzola salad and gremolata rolled pork belly with truffled polenta.
The décor is pared back and austere, with curious nautically-inspired wooden benches, bare wood and gloss walls, tiffany lampshades and a painted concrete floor. Given all the hard surfaces, a long, narrow room and high ceiling, the acoustics are predictably bad, making it a very noisy space in which to dine.
Happily the food is the real star, and diners can expect gorgeous dishes expertly crafted with quality ingredients. A starter of chicken liver spaghetti tastes straight out of an Italian kitchen, rich and rustic with sweet and earthy flavours.
Seafood features strongly, with authentic accompaniments, as do slow cooked joints of meat and great Italian-via-New York-style desserts. Think apricot pannetonne bread and butter pudding with mascarpone cream or maybe a feather light dark chocolate, frangelico and Nutella chocolate pot.
A trip upstairs to this Dublin Restaurants unisex toilets reveals a large window overlooking the compact kitchen below. Don’t be surprised if you linger a while to enjoy the calm spectacle of this small team working in unison to produce the superb food.
The front-of-house team are equally impressive too, from the passionate sommelier (whose tasting notes on the exciting wine list are superb!) to the charming and professional waiters who strike the perfect balance of friendliness and attentive service.
Reservations are strongly recommended to be in with a chance at this winning number.