The smart green awning above a few pavement tables sets Seagrass apart from the other neighbouring restaurants on this Portobello strip. It looks smart, stylish and serious about food, and one step indoors confirms these impressions.
Inside the long, narrow room you’re greeted by warm staff, a relaxed vibe and smooth, chilled out tunes. Prompt and friendly service sets the tone for chef-proprietor Séan Drugan’s delicious creations.
Showing real skill in the kitchen his menu is packed with original and creative dishes, many with European influences. It would be nice to see more provenance on menus (although you will find details on the website, but there’s a great variety of ingredients and - priding himself on cooking well-flavoured food at affordable prices - Séan delivers exciting and tasty cooking with real flair and panache.
This Dublin restaurants starters might include a sublime dish of baked Cajun seafood or a robust chicken liver paté with delicious homemade chutney and spiced jam accompaniments. Drugan is clearly competent at many styles of cooking, so classic dishes (perhaps slow cooked lamb with honey turnip and carrot puree, onion gravy and baby potatoes) sit comfortably alongside rustic fare like natural smoked haddock, pea, spinach and parsley risotto.
Side dishes include real fries, like your mum used to make (crispy outside and fluffy in the middle). Notably, vegetarians are well catered for with creative and thoughtful offerings.
Presentation is immaculate and desserts are especially beautiful and well judged. Novel and gorgeous treats may include a zesty and refreshing Citrus brulée (like a pastry-free lemon tart with crisp sugar lid and passion fruit on top), while chocoholics will not be disappointed by Trio of chocolate (three contrasting textures and flavours: sweet, bitter and banana-y. Novel and gorgeous.)
A very short wine list offers a choice of bottles, glasses and half-carafes; while the selection is adequate you may prefer to bring your favourite tipple, as they operate a Bring Your Own policy. Remarkably, there is no corkage charged, allowing you to keep this dining experience affordable while pairing the delightful food with the kind of fabulous beverage it deserves.
Seagrass offers real value, including great lunch and early bird deals.