Just Ask Restaurant of the Month for March - The Washerwoman, Dublin

The “Just Ask!” Restaurant of the Month winner for March is The Washerwoman, Glasnevin, Dublin 9

Elaine MurphyWith a reputation for excellence that includes the deservedly successful Winding Stair and Woollen Mills restaurants on Dublin’s quays, Elaine Murphy (right) brought some of her magic to leafy Glasnevin when she added yet another ‘W’ to her portfolio in 2015. And, at The Washerwoman, she also rejuvenated a landmark building once again, bringing her winning combination of stylish casual dining (in a pared back Scandi style setting) and honest, flavoursome food to an established neighbourhood.

An open kitchen and closely packed tables ensure a buzz downstairs, while upstairs is roomier, with banquettes and a vaulted ceiling. But something that both floors have in common is a lovely old-style map of Ireland that takes pride of place on the wall. But - beautiful as they are - these maps are far from being simply decorative. As diners soon realise when they see the labels pinned all over the country, they are in fact supplier maps, designed to illustrate Elaine's - and her team's - philosophy of using natural, ethically produced and local foods.

The Washerwoman - SteakThe dozens of labels detail an astonishing range of foods and their producers - who are, in many cases, small scale artisanal operations. Just taking the beef as an example, it comes from as many as half a dozen suppliers - typically Pat McLoughlin Beef, Dublin; John Stone beef, Longford; Peter Hannan Black Angus and Hereford beef, Co Fermanagh; Red Limousine Beef from Ferme Nadurtha Lusk, Co Dublin; and Killenure Castle Dexter beef, Co Tipperary.

Then there's Kerry Hill Lamb, from Co Kerry, and another whole range of specialist producers supplying pork and charcuterie products - think free range pork from Pigs on the Green, Co Offaly; chorizo from The Whole Hogg, Co Meath, and Fingal Ferguson in West Cork; the James McGeough Charcuterie range, from Co Galway. And that's before you even think about unusual meats like rabbit (from Lambay island, just off the North Dublin coast), or any of the seafood, dairy produce, vegetables, or special extras, like foraged seaweeds (from Spanish Point, Co Clare).

The Washerwoman - MapThe maps are a food lover's dream and Elaine Murphy is rightly chuffed with them. “The producer maps are a gorgeous design feature,” she says, “But, more importantly, a big, bold statement of our proud and longheld belief in our sourcing from within the island. I love looking at them and seeing that there are more and more labels hanging each time we change a menu.”

Chef Ian Connolly, who came to The Washerwoman from The House in Howth, shares Elaine's philosophy and there’s a natural synergy between their styles. Steak is a priority here, with a choice of six cuts and four sauces on the dinner menu, and, while you will find favourites from both of Elaine’s other restaurants, The Washerwoman has its own mandate, to become ‘a northside institution’ for weekend brunch and Sunday roasts.

In addition to the details supplied by the map, suppliers are also name checked on main menus and a good drinks list includes, as you would expect, some Irish artisan beers, and cider such as Five Lamps Dublin Lager, Blackpitts Porter, and Orpens Cider. There’s also a short but interesting kids’ menu (homemade haddock fish fingers, for example), with colouring sheets and crayons speedily supplied to keep little ones engaged.

As neighbourhood restaurants go the prices aren’t cheap in general - but why would they be, when what you’re paying for is the very best of Irish food engagingly served in stylish and welcoming surroundings? And, of course, anyone looking for especially budget-friendly fare can avail of the ‘Early Bird’, which gives great value.

Handy to the Botanic Gardens and not far from the airport, The Washerwoman is not just great for the locals, but a very useful place for visitors to know about too.

A true northside gem.

The Washerwoman - ChickenSAMPLE DINNER MENU:


Washerwings: Our own chicken wings 3 ways 9 / 15
- Classic buffalo style w/ Young Bucks blue and buttermilk dip, w/ celery & carrot sticks
- Washerwoman BBQ style w/ celery & carrot sticks
- Chipotle ketchup style w/ celery and carrot sticks

Ballinwillin wild boar chilli-cheese fries and guacamole 12

Ballinwillin wild boar chilli nachos with guacamole, tomato salsa, melted Cheddar and sour cream 15

Burger: Served with homemade chips - Pat McLoughlin's dry-aged Irish beef burger w/ lettuce, tomato, cheese, bacon, onion and homemade pickle 15

Connolly’s Caesar Salad: Romaine lettuce, Ortiz anchovies, crispy bacon, pine nuts, croutons, 18 month-aged Parmesan and classic dressing 9 / 14
- Add grilled chicken 2

Prawn tacos with mojo salsa and shredded salad 18


Today’s soup with our own treacle bread 5.5

Thornhill Duck terrine, earl Grey-soaked prunes, Connemara ham, chutney and toast 12

The Winding Stair Irish seafood chowder with Fingal Ferguson’s chorizo and treacle bread 8

Twice-baked Young Buck Blue cheese soufflé with caramelised pecans, poached quince, baby spinach and hazelnut oil 11

The Winding Stair Smoked Fish Plate: Stephen Kavanagh’s smoked oyster patê and smoked scallops, Terry Butterly’s salmon, beetroot gravadlax, pickled herring, Dorans' smoked mackerel, good to share 16

Platter of pumpkin hummous, smoky aubergine dip, beetroot pâté with smoked yoghurt & crumbled goat’s cheese and hazelnuts, served with raw veg sticks and homemade flatbread 10/17


Sweet potato pancakes with whipped goats' cheese and smoky tomato, pepper, sweet potato and black kale stew 19

Fried Howth ray wing with red and golden beetroot, cider-soaked sultanas, capers, brown butter and smashed potato 23

Honey mustard and marmalade bacon ribs with black kale and baby potatoes 21

Baked hake with champ, baby leeks, poached egg and crab hollandaise 22

Roaring Water Bay rope mussels with herb crab cream and homemade chips 19

Slow-braised beef cheek with celeriac purée, onion rings, smoky bacon and pearl onion and stout gravy 25


Choose two sides, included in price

John Stone’s 21 day aged 8oz ‘chef’s secret’ (Co Longford) 22

Killenure Castle 28 day dry-aged heritage Dexter 10oz rump (Co Tipperary) 25

Pat McLoughlin's 9oz smoked Sirloin (Co Wicklow) 28

Killenure Castle 28 day dry-aged heritage Dexter 10oz rib-eye (Co Tipperary) 34


- Pepper
- Béarnaise
- Wild garlic butter
- Gravy


Homemade chips with aioli 3.5

Devil’s onion rings 3.5

Steaming greens 3.5

Baby Caesar salad 5

Creamed spinach 3.5

Sweet potato fries with chilli mayo and Maldon sea salt 5

Baked potato with Cuinneog farmhouse butter 3.5

Creamed potato 3.5

Our Suppliers

PRODUCERS FOR LABELS (list changes frequently):

Meats & Meat Products

Killenure Castle Dexter Beef, Co Tipperary
John Stone Beef, Longford
Ferme Nadurtha Red Limousine Beef, Lusk Co Dublin
Peter Hannan Black Angus Moira Co Down
Peter Hannan Hereford Moira Co Down
Pigs on the Green, Co Offaly
Ballinwillin Wild Boar and venison Co Cork
Pat McLoughlin Beef Dublin
Kerry Hill Lamb Co Kerry
Lambay Island Rabbit, off coast Co Dublin
Ard Na Ri Wild Game, Co Meath
Annascaul Black Pudding, Co Kerry
James McGeough Charcuterie Co Galway
Fingal Ferguson Chorizo Co Cork
The Whole Hogg chorizo Co Meath

Fish & Seafood

Dorans Fish, Howth Co Dublin
Terry Butterly salmon, Annagassan Co Louth
Clogherhead Crab, Co Louth
Silver Darling Pickled Herring Limerick
Killybegs Tuna Co Donegal
Stephen Kavanagh Oyster Paté, Co Wicklow


Cuinneog Farmhouse Butter Co Mayo
Coolattin Cheese Co Carlow
Young Buck blue cheese Newtownards, Co Down
Silke Cropp, Corleggy Cheese Co Cavan
Gubbeen cheese Co Cork
Coolea cheese Co Cork
Durrus cheese Co Cork
Milleens cheese Co Cork
St Gall’s cheese Co Cork
Bluebell Falls goats cheese Co Cork
Toonsbridge Dairy Co Cork
Cais na Tire cheese, Co Tipperary

Vegetables & Miscellaneous

Keelings Co Dublin
Seaweed Spanish Point Co Clare
Redmond Fine Foods, quinoa and grains, Co Kildare



Just Ask!” is a public awareness campaign that aims to encourage consumers when eating out to look for information on where the food (particularly meat) on their plate comes from, and encourages chefs to provide this information on their menus. The programme supports both large and smaller artisan suppliers, encouraging both Irish diners and visitors from abroad to support restaurants that are in turn supporting their suppliers.

Here at Georgina Campbell Guides we have always been avid supporters of the ‘eat local’ concept, and we always enjoy reading menus that have a real sense of place. The dining experience is greatly enriched by knowing that the food on your plate is inspired by the produce and traditions of the area, and sourced nearby – and we would love to see more chefs sharing that precious information with their guests.  

If you are a visitor to the area, learning a little about local food and the people who produce it adds a special extra dimension to the visit – and, for residents, it reinforces a natural pride in the good things of their locality and makes a meal all the more enjoyable.

So, we are delighted by the high standard of menus that continue to be submitted for our ' “Just Ask!” Restaurant of the Month Competition', menus that really speak of the best of Irish foods – and the dedication of both the people who make them, and the chefs who select them to create wonderful dishes with real Irish flavour for our enjoyment.



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