The brown and beige colour scheme of Tribes may pay tribute to its earthy name, but the styling here is far more contemporary then ethnic, and cooking by Head Chef Francois Jacusse, strongly French-influenced in style.
A long narrow room is fitted with smart leather seats, wooden flooring, a few cosy banquettes and moody lighting, which sets a clubby theme by night. Staff are cheerful and friendly with service, for the most part, efficient. Diners should find their whole dining experience is pleasingly visual, from the gorgeous salt and pepper sets to the red candle lights and imaginatively presented food.
This Dublin restaurants menus are seasonal, but starters may include deeply flavoured French classics like a homemade charcuterie meat plate with chutney, pickles and toasted sourdough bread, or braised beef ravioli with carrot purée and sauce bourguignonne. Skilfully executed main courses feature tempting combinations such as an-fried cod with bacon colcannon and wholegrain mustard beurre blanc or, an updated classic, roasted rump of lamb with navarin of vegetables, fondant potato and rosemary jus.
The wine list is informative and fairly priced, with afair number of wines available by the glass or carafe, and the room is pleasant to linger in after dinner.
Affordable 'all night early bird menus' are understandingly popular with locals who enjoy the comfortable space and sheer quality and creativity of the cooking.
* Tribes is a partner restaurant to the excellent Downtairs in Clontarf (see entry).