In an unassuming terrace property that you could easily miss - and where the legendary Skerries restaurant of the 1970s, The Windmill, used to be - Caroline Lacey and Paul Doherty’s Windmill Steakhouse is drawing in a new generation – and some of the original regulars too.
The room, located in the interior of the building, behind The Snug bar (which is a separate business), is small and cosy, with a high wood-panelled ceiling and fireside tables that would be coveted on a blustery day. The combination of brick and wood-panelled walls and the brown leather chairs give the room a slightly stately feel.
The menu is surprisingly extensive for a relatively small restaurant, but staff are very friendly and well able to answer any questions.
Starters, soups and salads give way to a range of steak options, including rib eye, sirloin and fillet all the way up to a 16oz T bone, and all served with a selection of accompaniments and peppercorn sauce as well as the option of adding Dublin Bay prawns to make it a surf & turf.
A Jack Daniels pork chop, duck, American-style BBQ ribs and chicken roulade round out the grill menu, where all the beef, pork, lamb and chicken is Irish, sourced from the local butcher.
Seafood lovers are well catered for too, as befits the village’s seaside location, with hake, sea bass, salmon, monkfish, scallops and Dublin Bay prawns all on offer.
The Old Windmill Classics are a throwback to the favourites from the original restaurant, including such retro dishes as prawn cocktail and chicken Maryland, complete with deep-fried banana and pineapple ring.
One of the most popular items on the menu is the Windmill special steak, served on a wooden board with onion rings, mushrooms, hand-cut chips, peas and pepper sauce. And the scampi here shows just how good this dish can be when it’s done right, with a crisp beer batter and fresh, sweet Dublin Bay prawns – you’d be hard pressed to find a better version of this old favourite.
The retro theme carries over to the desserts, with such classics as chocolate fondant, rhubarb and strawberry crumble, fresh fruit salad and Eton mess.
To accompany, there’s a one page list of red wines and a page of whites, with clip art symbols underneath the description of each wine to indicate what types of dishes it would match well with (e.g. shellfish, chicken, seafood, beef), which is helpful.
It may be slightly dearer than comparable restaurants (most dishes range from €15 up to €25 for a T bone steak), but given the wide range of choices and dishes with individual and unexpected twists that elevate them from the ordinary, like salmon served with a seaweed butter or a pork chop marinated in a Jack Daniels sauce and served with a braised red wine black pudding, The Windmill offers value for money and there is something for everyone here.