First night on the town and we hit Leeson Street. Old habits die hard, but this time it's for a post lockdown dinner. A first night out since 1980, before the motor car or mobile phones. Or so it seems
I remember a time when eating out was a rarity, but in recent years it has become the norm rather than the exception. Take one Covid 19 virus and 100 days of solitude and the reset button has been well and truly pressed.
John Healy and the team in Suesey Street have been preparing well, and we had a great night out in this relaxed supper club vibey space before the end of days, so it seemed appropriate to return now.
We were booked for 7, and entry was easy; there were no border patrols and the doors were flung open, since although wet it was a balmy evening. Inside we were greeted by Karel, and taken straight to our table. Tables have been removed for the present, and so the space between them is very comfortable. It’s not like you feel dotted around an airport lounge, it’s more like the space you get in Michelin star land, and as the other tables fill up the buzz in the room is palpable, and the chatter excited and delighted to be back out out.
We were seated inside but the terrace was proving popular and it's worth remembering if you fancy a night out, but aren't yet ready to face indoor dining.
The staff are comfortable, and manager Karel mentions they all did their back to work training at the weekend, and so know what is expected from them. They aren’t nervous of getting too close, but keep a safe distance without looking like they are afraid of you. It’s all very normal and relaxed.
The menu is classic Suesey Street, and it’s presented on recyclable paper that is used once for each guest. Starters include Scallops, Dublin Bay prawns, a rainbow carrot salad, pressed chick and ham hock terrine and pan fried foie gras. Main courses included St.Tola’s goat’s cheese ravioli, catch of the day, baked monkfish with Iberico ham, Chateaubriand for two and a Scarlet Heifer sirloin steak.
The vegetarian options are excellent here, but we went to the sea with starters of scallops and Dublin Bay prawns, followed by two half lobsters which were the catch of the day option.
The starters were delicious, and it was such a treat to be served beautifully presented food cooked by someone else. The prawns have that softness and depth of flavour that’s never there in the tiger prawn, while the scallops are almost translucent and perfectly cooked.
The lobsters have been halve and grilled, the meat removed and replaced, so it’s a job of no work to enjoy the sweet flesh. A side salad is nicely dressed and new potatoes in butter and crispy fires get to use up the rest of the hollandaise sauce.
We couldn’t miss dessert, and an impossibly light chocolate mousse with marinated raspberries hit the spot. Good coffee and a little pot of tea sent us on our way.
It’s funny how sometimes the best new way to do the things you love is as close to the old way as possible. Suesey Street ticked all the physically distancing protocols, while managing to keep the social spirit alive. Great effort from a great team; fabulous food and a brilliantly buzzy, exciting and reassuring normal first night out after our pandemic isolation.