The Brasserie Restaurant, under the expert eye of Executive Chef Gareth Mullins, is everything a contemporary great Irish restaurant should be. This chic restaurant situated in the fabulous Marker Hotel at Grand Canal Dock serves up fresh, seasonal and local food prepared with flair and imagination in a stylish unfussy ambiance. It is exactly the type of restaurant we would choose for a great meal.
The service achieves that rare restaurant excellence - the perfect balance between professional and friendly and like the food itself, it does so without any hint of stuffy over-formality. There are no crisp linen tablecloths, no white gloves or table crumb brushes - it is all about great food in a lovely setting.
We enjoyed a table beside the floor to ceiling glass looking out to the relaxed Grand Canal Square space, the Bord Gais Energy Theatre is directly opposite the hotel's dining room, and modern, minimalist furniture inside adds to the bright contemporary setting. Tables for two are complimented by tables for larger groups and there are also private booths for those who want a special area to themselves! We were staying in the hotel that evening, so it was perfect to come down in the lift, turn right, and we were in the Brasserie already.
So down to the food - and there were choices to be made as we sipped a glass of bubbles while we made our decisions. The menu is updated seasonally, so we were assured of having fresh food from carefully selected producers. Gareth Mullins has been at the helm of some of the top restaurants both at home and abroad, yet he remains cool and concentrated, and is certainly not one of those shouting 'celebrity' chefs! He is quite the opposite in fact, and he knows his craft and confidently creates a platform which allows the food to speak for itself.
The menu was well crafted with some great seasonal choices - the Veal Saltimboco sounded inviting, as did the Spatchcock Chicken, steaks from the grill and several tempting fresh fish dishes, but it was the Slow Cooked Pork Cheeks that provided the "wow" factor with their oh-so-tender, melt in the mouth meat and sweet/smokey Aubergine foil paired with the ultimate in comfort food - chef's champ mash! We had succulent Scallops, Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato in the perfect Caprese Salad, Pineapple and Prosecco Sorbet and marvelously meaty Monkfish. We were served warm crusty breads and our still water was topped up as required.
The service was like the whole experience - professional and friendly and slightly understated while every wish and recommendation was perfect. The wines by the glass that we enjoyed with each course were chosen to compliment the subtle flavours of every dish. We did indeed continue on to the dessert menu, and from the fresh fruity and rich chocolate options, it was the classic Tarte Tatin that rounded my dinner off perfectly. It was a really lovely evening, and we will certainly return to The Brasserie again. There are Pre-Theatre and Post-Theatre menus, Lunch, Drunch and Cocktails - lots of options to suit the mood. We had eaten in the bar on our previous visit to The Marker and were delighted to have the treat of dinner at The Brasserie this time. Highly recommended by Hotel Reviews Ireland.
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