Outdoor Dining-The places we want to try!
#The Great Escape 2021. Have you ever been so excited about heading out for lunch?
Over the last 18 months, many of us have been reacquainted with our kitchens as we experimented with menus we might never of dreamed of attempting before. Some of it worked and a lot of it didn’t. For those of us that were able to admit we were no culinary star, we turned to the many takeaway box offerings from restaurants across the country.
Now, as our great restaurants and cafe’s have re-opened once again, we grab our sunglasses and brolly and say a small prayer for sunshine every time we leave the house. We are thrilled to see our towns and cities transformed almost overnight with outdoor terraces and the excitement and buzz that comes with eating outdoors is palpable everywhere you go. Our local and city councils are to be commended for getting these spaces fit for purpose so quickly and we look forward to seeing them as permanent fixtures (with some refinement for rainier winter days of course!).
We have selected a few restaurants and places to dine outside in along the East Coast just to get you started! If the lovely people would like to serve us some wine too, who are we to refuse? 🙂
All of our choices are passionate about sourcing local produce and have a commitment to sustainable food and cooking.
Nannettis, Dawson St Dublin 2.
We will talk about this place first because it is the first place we have booked for ourselves (we will let you know how we get on!). The new Italian kid on the block (and sister of the famed Cirillo’s on Baggot St), Nannettis opened their doors last December, only to be closed again 3 weeks later. But we are delighted to see them back open again with the launch of their Terrace Menu, priced at €35 for 4 courses. Yes please! Squid Ink linguini with pea and mint pesto, washed down with a bottle of Inzolia white wine. Now you’re talking. If I close my eyes, I’m sure I will be able to hear the sounds of the Amalfi coast. James Cirillo certainly got it bang on with the opening of Cirillo’s a couple of years ago, so we are confident that his new venture will be just as authentic. Nannettis
The Woollen Mills, Ormand Quay, Dublin 1
This place will be the envy of many in the restaurant trade right now. Although it is based right in the city centre, it has a massive amount of outdoor space (most of it covered for those rainy days) at ground level and at their upstairs terrace. This place probably has some of the best sandwiches in Dublin. On the current menu is curried crab and chip butty with beetroot and apple relish. Enough said. Oh, except that their daily soups are fabulous. A great place for people watching too. Check them out The Woollen Mills
Matt the Thresher, Pembroke St, Dublin 2.
Matt’s has always been one of the best places for grabbing some sunshine to go with a bottle of cold, Friday wine, but you had to get in there quick to secure the best outdoor table (or any table for that matter) on a Friday evening. We are delighted to see that Dublin City Council has extended Matt the Thresher’s outdoor space in line with other places on Baggot St around the corner. With lots of additional seating, there should be room for anyone willing to walk the few extra meters from a busy Baggot St. They have just launched a new ‘Street Menu’ too, which we can assume means the best from their usual impressive seafood menu. The food is great, the wine is better and John Quinn has the best jokes. 🙂 Matt the Thresher
Ely Wine Shop, Maynooth, Co. Kildare.
With their two sister restaurants in Dublin still closed, Ely Wine shop in Maynooth, Co. Kildare is very much open for business! Breakfast is served outside from 10 am until 12 and lunch kicks in straight after that with Buttermilk chicken on a Waterford Blaa served with hand-cooked chips. They also serve up a fish of the day as well as a great summer salad for those sunshiney days. One of the things we love about Ely (apart from their massively impressive wine list – did we mention that?) is their new LovELY takeaway boxes. We have our eye on the charcuterie and wine box (no surprise there), which includes a selection of cheeses and cold meats with olives, pesto, chutney, crackers, roasted almonds, and of course a bottle of white and red wine – which you can change (for a supplement) if you wish. Ely Wine Bar and Shop Maynooth
Room 8, Navan, Co. Meath.
We just had to include this place based on their Instagram photos alone! They have restricted opening times right now (appears to be weekend only), but the menu looks superb with a great vegan menu on offer too. Their takeaway boxes look among the best we have seen, with a Sunday brunch sharing box that looks truly fabulous, with two box options to choose from. All their food is sourced from local suppliers and the customer reviews on their website say it all really. You can order one of these fabulous boxes here Room Eight
Las Tapas Greystones, Co Wicklow.
If ever there was a fast way of making yourself feel like you are on holiday, visiting a good tapas restaurant will do it. Las Tapas on Church Road, has a large menu of the usual Spanish delicacies and specialties, along with a few nice surprises too. This is the second Las Tapas in Dublin (the other one is in Cabinteely) and according to locals, you won’t find better tapas in the country. Find their menu here Las Tapas Greystones
Greenacres of Wexford.
This is a restaurant, gallery, and wine shop all under one roof and is truly magnificent space. The founder, James O’Connor is keen to point out that his family has been part of Wexford town for generations. And it shows. With a huge emphasis placed on visitor satisfaction, this really is how a business should be operated. Their lunch menu is enough to make anyone hungry and we believe their seafood chowder is legendary. The wine on offer is far from the usual selection, with a varied selection from regions across the world. It’s very obvious that time and passion are spent on the selection here, which is always great to see. Find them here Green Acres
That’s our selection for now, so hopefully, that’s enough to whet your appetite.
Check-in with us on Instagram for more great places to eat outdoors this summer!
Header Image: Rene Asmussen/ Pexels