Dublin’s Coppinger Row has a reputation for consistently good food, so the same might be expected with the new venture from the brothers behind that restaurant, Charlotte Quay. Was James Kavanagh suitably impressed?
Whenever anyone on Snapchat asks me for a restaurant recommendation, I always, by safe default, suggest Coppinger Row, because I know it’s not going to disappoint.
When you go, you’re guarentted to be satisfied with the experiecne satisfied with the experience. I think it’s no mean feat to get an ‘always delicious’ reputation, so, when I heard the Bereens, brothers behind Coppinger Row, were opening a second restaurant at Grand Canal, I got excited.
I grabbed three friends (one vegetarian) and headed over to Charlotte Quay on Friday evening. The first thing I noted, with glee, was the bar.
Annexed to the restaurant, connected by a corridor, it feels like a different place that’s perfect for slinking into post-dinner to top up the booze levels. I started off in the bar, however, and had the Flo & Basy cocktail – which is also available in Coppinger Row.
It’s easily one of my favourite cocktails, with all the key ingredients for my pallet’s satisfaction – elderflower gin, basil and cucumber. One cocktail down and our table was ready. We were seated in a window box that offered both glittering views of Grand Canal and a great vantage point into the kitchen. I love seeing the culinary action while waiting for the food to arrive; it’s like foreplay.
I did my usual “you tell me what to order” with our lovely host, Tara. She recommended one of each of the small plates, which we ordered, and the Market Fish and the Roast Cauliflower for our large plates.
We were served various plates of food at three different intervals (the fourth time was dessert). This is my absolute favourite way to eat – an opportunity to taste everything. The Tuna Crudo with Orange, Scallion and Chilli (small plate) was deliciously silky and full of punchy, zesty flavours. The Salt Cod Croquettes (small plate) were divine, but the Gambas Pil Pil on Sourdough stole the small plate show for me. It was deliciously creamy and fragrant, with a mellow spice to it. The bread soaked up the sauce, which made for the most delicious little bites.
If you’re vegetarian, fear not, you won’t be offered a mundane goat’s cheese tart here. Megan, the veggie, gushed over the grilled Toonsbridge Halloumi with Squash, Pomegranate and Za’atar. We all dived in for a forkful because who doesn’t die for halloumi? She wasn’t wrong – it was delicious. Another veggie win was the large plate of roast Cauliflower on a bed of cauliflower couscous.
We were fit to burst at this stage, but we all joined forks and went to work on the Baked Whole Market Fish. It was tasty and surrounded by lovely roast beets and potatoes. When that was taken away, we were almost ready to fall into the canal, but the word ‘dessert’ was uttered by temptress Tara and we really couldn’t say no – that’d be rude.
We chose the Peanut Butter Parfait to share, and barely managed it. But the whisper of it I did manage tasted like really posh Reese’s Pieces. Heaven for any peanut butter aficionado.
The average price for a small plate is a comfortable €8 and for a large is around €15- €20. It’s all well worth the cost and as you’ve read, you won’t leave hungry. The restaurant is slightly out of the way (for lazy Dubliners like me who think five minutes away from South William Street is verging on another county), but I really hope this doesn’t deter people from frequenting this new little gem.
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