Trying New Things at The Blackboard Bistro, Dublin

Cookie FM Rating – 4.5/5

When we entered 2016, I said to myself that this would be the year of trying new things. And by new things I specifically want to include new restaurants, new foods and new cuisines. So when I dined at The Blackboard Bistro last week (January 28, 2016), I did exactly that; I tried two new dishes with ingredients I’ve never eaten before. This restaurant is just a stone’s throw away from the main South City Centre area, just off Nassau Street and beside Trinity College, on the corner of Merrion Square – and my gosh what a beautiful restaurant this is. Myself and best friend Chloë were seated at the front of house, with a great view of the restaurant, and ate from the À La Carte dinner menu. We opted for two glasses of wine each; I chose the Sauvignon Blanc & Viognier white while Chloë had the Macabeo blend, and we both went for the three-course meal, which I was very excited about.

To start, I ordered the Sauté Chicken Liver Salad which was served with mesclun leaves, hazelnuts, diced & crispy chorizo as well as diced Granny Smith apple that sat atop of  beetroot discs, drizzled with a light vinaigrette.  Firstly, the presentation of this dish is beautiful and really looked appetising, and it sure tasted as delicious. I’ve never eaten chicken livers before in this way, (though I have had paté), and although I’ve been rather apprehensive about it before, now I know that they are tasty little things. Their texture was that of fine minced chicken meat, sautéed for a crisp top and works so well with all of the fresh ingredients of this dish. Next up my main was the Porc Alentejana, which is an adaption of a Portuguese recipe where the pork fillets are marinated in white wine, garlic, bay leaves, chili & cumin, and served in a tomato sauce with surf clams, coriander and new potatoes. The colours alone are very enticing, but the flavours of this dish are unbelievable. It’s almost like a sweet & savoury kind of dish, because the pork is cooked to perfection; tender with great flavours of the wine, herbs & spices, and then the tomato sauce has that sweetness to it that blends wonderfully with the meat. And then there was the addition of those little surf clams. Again, I’ve never eaten clams before and I just thought “feck it, let’s try them!” And my gosh am I glad I did, because they added an extra depth & texture to the dish that I find really ties the whole prato do dia together. I was so happy with these two dishes, and Chloë really enjoyed her Poached Pear & Blue Cheese Salad starter, which also looked beautiful, and her Grilled Organic Salmon main course that I did try, and will definitely want to order next time! We both had dessert, going for the bold option of having the Chocolate Financier that was served in a lemon cream with a red berry granite on the side. A chocolate financier is a basic French traditional sweet, similar to a chocolate cake but much lighter, and the one at The Blackboard Bistro is just divine! It looks like a mini loaf, served in a shallow dish with the lemon cream that has the consistency of runny custard but the flavour of strong lemon & vanilla, though not overpowering, and comes with a red berry granite in a shot glass that works beautifully with the chocolate dessert. Delicious!

I was truly impressed with everything at The Blackboard Bistro. The decor of this downstairs eatery is beautiful & bright, with wooden furnishings and pretty little tableware. I was delighted that I even recognized their salt & pepper shakers as being Culinary Concepts, one of my favourite homeware brands that I discovered through work. The service was very friendly & attentive, many thanks to our kind waitress Namee, and as you have read; the food is top-notch. I highly recommend trying The Blackboard Bistro if you’re looking for a nice, intimate meal with your other half, friends or family. Fine dining and delicious, generous portions.

TRIED & TESTED

Wine

Domaine de Bertier, Sauvignon Blanc & Viognier blend, 2012 vintage

Marques de Tezeno , Macabeo & Sauvignon Blanc blend, 2011 vintage

Starters (À La Carte)

Sauté Chicken Liver Salad (served with mesclun leaves,  chorizo, organic beetroot, Granny Smith & hazelnuts)

Poached Pear and Blue Cheese Salad (served with baby spinach, Fourme d’Ambert, walnut & balsamic reduction)

Main Course (À La Carte)

Porc Alentejana (pork fillets marinated in white wine, garlic, bay leaves, chili & cumin, cooked with tomato, surf clams & coriander, served with new potatoes)

Grilled Organic Salmon (served with fennel & saffron sauce, wilted spinach, grilled courgette and baby boiled potatoes)

Dessert (À La Carte)

Chocolate Financier (served with lemon cream and red berry granite)

 

The Blackboard Bistro, 4 Clare Street, Dublin 2

CLICK TO VISIT THE BLACKBOARD BISTRO

Images © Nirina Plunkett, The Blackboard Bistro

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