Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Dublin City Early Birds- An Update

My post last March on early bird deals in Dublin ( ) is my most read post on this blog. Due to this interest I thought I'd post an update.

As we all complain of the price of things, there is the good news that five restaurants have reduced the price of their early bird menu. Encouraging also is the fact that a year on fifteen of them have kept their prices the same. Twelve restaurants have put their menu prices up by €1-€3 euro. There is still great value to be had in early birds around Dublin, new restaurants continue to open and with many at under €20 for two courses the diner can feel safe at trying out new restaurants. I have included the same restaurants as before and will post a second page of new openings/other restaurants of interest later.

All restaurants are D2 addresses, I will not be repeating contact details- you're clever enough to Google or to refer back to my previous article! Some are not available on Saturdays or even Fridays and please check or ring ahead to be sure information hasn't changed since publication.

I have sorted them by price of the two course menu for easy comparison.

Under €20 for 2 courses
La Cave, admittedly one of the cheapest around town, has put the menu up by €1. Still great value at just €17.95 for 2 courses from 5-7pm.
Chilli Club is up €2 but still very reasonable
-€2 courses €18.95, 5.30-6.30pm, tables vacated by 7.30pm.
Chez Max has no changes from last year. A case of don't fix what ain't broke!
-2 courses €19, Sun-Thurs 5.30-7pm
Odessa famous for it's brunch (Sat and Sun 11.30am-4pm) and always good value has put up it's prices by €1.55 and €3 respectively;
-2 course €19.50, 3 courses €23.95 Mon-Thurs and Sun all night, Fri 6-7pm , Sat 5.30-7pm.
San Lorenzo has a good reduction both down €3 and for longer times in the week.
-2 courses €19.50, 3 courses €24.50 Sun-Thurs all evening, Fri and Sat 5-7pm
Dada Moroccan, had a great meal here last year and very nice staff. No price changes.
-2 courses with mint tea €19.90, Sun-Weds all night, Thurs and Fri 5-7pm, Sat and Sun 4pm-7pm.
Marco Pierre White still serves the great lunch special until 5pm- steak sandwich and pommes frites for €13.95. No change in early bird prices;
-1 course €14.95, 2 courses €19.95, 3 courses €24.95 Mon-Fri until 6.45, Sat and Sun until 4.45pm
The Larder has  a slight price rise of 95c and €1.95 respectfully.
-2 courses €19.95, 3 courses €23.95, no times stated on website. Also does the €12.95 steak with additional purchase necessary.

Il Posto has come down in price by €2 and €1 respectively
-2 courses €20, 3 courses €25 Mon-Sat 5.30-7pm
Pichet has come in price since last year. It is a lunch and early evening menu;
-2 courses €20, 3 for €25 Mon-Sat 12-3pm/ 5-6.30pm, Sun 1-30pm/5-6.30pm.
Les Fréres Jacques has kept prices the same.
-2 courses €20, 3 courses €25, times not stated.
Eden has no change in price.
-2 course €20, 3 course €24.50, Sun-Weds all evening 
Francesca's in Brook's Hotel; 10% off the table d'hote menu between 6-7pm-no price change
-2 courses €23(-10% €20.70), 3 courses €29 (€26.10) or €33 (€29.70) with a glass of wine
Olesya's (couldn't get price last year-link not working)
-2 courses €20.95, 3 courses €23.50, Sun-Thurs until 7pm
Hugo's, a favourite of ours, has gone up €2;
-2 courses €21.50, 3 courses €26 available 7 days 5-6.45pm
Unicorn menu's are up €2
-2 courses €21.50, 3 courses €26.50, all night Mon-Weds, 5.30-7pm Thurs, Fri (and Sat?)
Diep Le Shaker didn't have an early bird as such last year, instead a 2 person deal with wine (€62). This deal has gone up €3 and there is now an early option too;
-2 courses €21.95, 3 courses €25.95, Tues-Fri served 5-7pm, Sat 5-6.30pm or 3 courses for 2 with wine at €65.
Farm Restaurant prices remain the same.
-2 courses €21.95, 3 courses €24.95, served daily from 3pm-7pm
Ely Wine Bar has upped it's early bird by €2;
-2 courses €21.95, 3 courses €27 Mon-Sat 5-6.30pm
The Pig's Ear stays the same;
- 2 course €21.95, 3 course €26.95 Mon-Sat 5.30-6.30pm
La Maison has no change in prices;
-2 courses €22, 3 courses €26 Sun-Weds from 3pm, Thurs-Sat 3-7pm
Saba has also reduced its price for its fixed price menu but still does not do an early bird offer;
-2 course fixed menu Sun-Weds €22.95. They also serve an express 2 course lunch for €13.95.

Il Primo across the Green has kept its' prices the same
-2 courses €23, 3 courses €26, Mon-Weds all evening, Thurs-Sat until 6.45pm.
Isabel's has the same prices as last year.
-2 courses €23, 3 courses €27, Tues-Thurs 6-7pm, Fri and Sat 5.30-7pm
Bang  up €1.95 and €2.95 respectively.
-2 courses €23.95, 3 courses €29.95
Fallon and Byrne has no change in prices;
-2 courses €24.50, 3 courses €29.95 Sun-Fri all night, at 6pm on Sat.
Pearl Brasserie has changed it's menu option. Now called the 'Two Course Seasonal Menu' and up €3
-2 courses €25, Lunch each day from 12, Mon-Weds all night, Thurs and Fri 6-7pm.
Town Bar and Grill-relaunched as Saison, no rise in price (well-we won't quibble over 5c!)
-2 courses €25, Mon-Sat 5.30-6.45pm

One Pico, although pricey, has stayed the same;
-2 courses €29 Mon-Sat 5-6.45pm

3 Courses only option
Toscana a change of choice (no 2 course) and a price reduction of €1
-3 courses €20.95, all week 3-6.30pm
Fade Street Social Restaurant has kept the price the same.
- 3 courses €25,called 'early evening' but can't find a time.
La Mere Zou only serves a 3 course option. No change in price from last year;
-3 courses €26.50, Mon-Sat 5.30-7pm.
Peploes, fave of the business lunch crowd has gone up €1.50
-3 courses for €26.50 5.30-6.30pm, last order 6.25pm.
The Trocadero, fave of the theatre set has gone up €2. They've slightly changed booking also;
-3 course €27, available daily from 5pm, latest reservation 6.15pm and vacate all tables by 7.30pm.

The Cellar in The Merrion Hotel doesn't appear to serve an early bird as such any more.
Il Segreto is now closed
Bite is closed but relocating-no news yet.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

New Year, New Challenges- A Reading List....

Okay, don't all cheer at once, but I'm back to resurrect the blog from it's long overdue winter slumber.

The reason for this burst of new energy? A lack of direction in my reading matter. I'm willing to admit that I'm a list-a-holic. I make lists for movies to watch on Netflix, lists of holiday destinations to check out, lists of recipes to try, lists lists lists. And of course, lists of books to read. For several years Six to be precise) these consisted of academic reading matter for a literature and history degree. When that finished I frequently had the lists of book award longlists or shortlists on regular order at the library.

I've had various stabs at the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list but the mere size is so overwhelming that you end up having to take a specific approach to the list (reading modern books first i.e. from the back forwards, reading chronologically by date, reading the 20th century list only are all approaches I've tried) but with such a huge challenge you are setting yourself up to fail. And then of course they keep bringing out new versions with revisions of more books. To add them to the list? To remove those from your book that they have removed? Oh, these are the questions that keep me awake at night :)
 2006 version

Well today I have devised a new reading list/challenge for myself based on my birth year (cough, hum 1966 shush I know, I don't look it, you sweet talkers you) and you can tailor it to your own birth year and your own version of the 1001 books.

So this is the new approach and I think it makes it achievable. My first list is solely made up of the books published in 1966 in the 2006 version of 1001 books, and as I finish that I will start on the 1967 list. Each time I complete a year I will have a sense of achievement and can stop at the end of any year and pick up again with a sense of direction.

So, the reading list of books published in 1966 looks like this, a beautifully easy to manage list of just five books:

1. The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
2. Giles Goat Boy by John Barth
(-. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys) - already read. Highly recommended if you have not read this.
3. The Vice-Consul by Marguerite Duras
(-. The Magus by John Fowles)-already read. Recommended but don't expect to know what is going on                                                    half of the time- this is a very confusing novel.
4. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote- I have started this in the past and not finished it. I will give it                                                                    another go.
5. Trawl by B.S. Johnson