Delahunt is the kind of restaurant I dream of. It ticks so many of my boxes, I am so proud it exists in Dublin.
To be fair, C and I went to celebrate an anniversary last week, so we were primed for a good night, but the atmosphere and the food left us positively giddy.
Delahunt is on the top of Camden street located in what was an off license and before that a pub. You wouldn’t know it now as you walk into the dark blue, dimly lit, cozy interior. Lace windows hang in the front to protect the diners sitting in the window from passersby, and a Child of Prague graces a shelf in the centre of the old bar. These small homages to old Dublin harmonize perfectly with the very cool modern prints, classic marble table tops and dark wood floors. It’s beautiful.
The old snug in the back has been kept in tact since the buildings days as pub. They have one table that can seat maybe eight people inside. This is my birthday meal location. I saw it and knew. My birthday is months away yet, but it will be there.
I booked on the day for an early dinner. It was Tuesday. I got the table for 6.30, and they did tell me they would need the table back by 8.30. Though this was more than enough time, I always feel like that is some sort of challenge to make my meal last as long as possible. The room is not big, but the restaurant was completely full by the time we did vacate our table (just after 8.30pm), which for a Tuesday in March can only be a good sign.*
I ordered two glasses of fizz for celebrations, and it arrived in beautiful vintage coups. They had me at the coups. We ordered the two “snacks” on the menu: Crispy Pig’s Ears and Fried White Bait. Though both were fried, each tasted rich and completely like itself; one rich and porky, the other like the sea. The dipping sauces, much to my delight, were almost better than the dipees.
Because of the snacks, we skipped starters and went right for mains. The menu is small and precise: four starter options, and four mains. This always makes me feel like each choice will be done very well. It turned out to be true. I had the fresh haddock with jerusalem artichoke puree. C had lamb. I don’t usually like lamb, but his was very tasty. My fish was incredible. Neither of us spoke much while we ate, and not from boredom with each other’s conversation. The food demanded full attention.
As if my heart was not won already, the dessert menu consisted of three desserts and four “dessert cocktails”. Heaven. C and I each opted for the Maple Old Fashioned. Why not enjoy your after dinner drink as a dessert?
Delahunt is not inexpensive, but it is special. It is worth the money and I can see it being our main “occasion” restaurant many times in the future.
*For the restaurant. Maybe not if you need a last minute booking.