I have a personal rule about shopping. I love clothes and shoes, but I don’t like shopping. Shopping as an activity frustrates me. I do love to look at beautiful clothes and shoes, and to imagine what my closet would look like without any financial restraints. My rule is this: look at everything, try some things on, and if I think about it for days (or even weeks) afterwards, I can go and get it. (Funds allowing, obviously.)
If I follow this rule in regards to food consumed, I will absolutely be going back to Sophie’s, the new restaurant at The Dean Hotel. I can’t stop thinking about the rotisserie chicken and fries and coleslaw I had the other afternoon. No, it wasn’t fancy. No, it wasn’t expensive. But it was warm, and tasty and comforting; in a word, it was food you want to eat in December.
I am skeptical when I hear about new places in Dublin and people use the phrase: “It’s just like New York!” to describe them. There are more than a few restaurants around town that can claim this distinction. One or two places have lifted their exact design from restaurants in New York. Subway tiles are only the tip of the iceberg. Too many restaurants are trying to copy NYC decor wise and it is getting boring. So I was ready to be judgmental of The Dean and Sophie’s because all that I had heard was that it was like New York.
And it is just like New York. The lobby could be any lobby of any hip boutique hotel in Manhattan or Brooklyn. There is a full bar that acts as a cafe during the day, a collection of antique cameras, exposed concrete ceiling and a neon sign that reads: I Fell in Love Here.
To get to Sophie’s, the roof-top restaurant, I popped into the elevator up to the fifth floor. This is where we differ from New York. You’d never see a rooftop restaurant on a fifth floor in New York.
I was greeted by a row of swings as I stepped off the elevator. A quick walk past the kitchen and I was in the gorgeous space of the restaurant. I knew what to expect and it still was exciting and more beautiful than I could have imagined. The view is great; almost all of squat little Dublin stretched out for miles, with the Wicklow Mountains are visible to the left and the sea to the right. Dublin from above is a city of church spires and green domes.
The rustic but simple decor doesn’t detract from the amazing view. It’s so unusual to be up high in Dublin (“high” being relative), and such a treat to see the city from above.
I was joined by four gorgeous lady friends for brunch. The menu is simple and not too big with all the brunch classics available. There is a BLT, burger, and steak frites along with eggs, a Full Irish and Huevos Rancheros, Dublin’s new favorite brunch. I went for the half a rotisserie chicken. I’d noticed them spinning around in the downstairs kitchen before getting on the lift. I was surprised I didn’t go for the huevos, but I’m glad I didn’t. The chicken was served with skinny fries (my fav) and coleslaw. The chicken was dressed with a thin, but very rich gravy that really made me happy.
All the meals were fairly priced, and considering that Sophie’s is a hotel restaurant, brand new, and has that amazing view, I’m surprised how fairly priced everything was. We all tried something different and everyone was happy with their choices. As I mentioned, I can’t wait to go back for the chicken. The coleslaw did seem a bit “standard”. It is so easy to make coleslaw amazing, a little more effort would have been welcome. I did eat all of it, though, so I can’t be overly critical.
Aside from the chicken, my favorite part was watching the sky change over the mountains and city. We had cloud, then a burst of sunshine, then it started to get dark and lights started to twinkle below us.
Sophie’s will be hugely popular. It already it. But I think it deserves it. I might not have as any money for clothes shopping if I’m pouring it all into chicken dinners.
(I had many more photos, but my phone and computer have decided to stop speaking to each other. When I fix this problem, more photos of the fab interior spaces will be posted.)