11a Monkstown Crescent, Monkstown
Salt and its accompanying specialty food store and marketplace Avoca are Monkstown’s go-to for breakfast, lunch, the butcher, a dozen eggs, good coffee, cold press—you get the idea, it is the unequivocal general store of dreams. Salt is big and bustling with a slightly Scandi-looking interior. Frankly, the food here never disappoints, and the chefs make a stellar Irish breakfast—bacon, pork sausage, grilled black pudding and mushroom, roasted tomatoes, and a few slices of generously buttered toast. Lunch is fairly international with bold flavors and inventive pairings, like duck breast salad with peaches and figs, boeuf bourguignon; the favored order amongst locals is the half chicken with Caesar salad and a side of crunchy fries (called chips in Ireland, and chips are called crisps), this chicken is straight from the rotisserie and melts in the mouth. Totally kid-friendly and an excuse to make your way out to the Monkstown village with its seaside Georgian terraces and boutiques.
107 Monkstown Rd., Monkstown
The sheer number of bodies that manage to fit into this absolutely tiny space in the heart of Monkstown village never fails to amaze. The minuscule kitchen, helmed by one or two Italian chefs, turns out flavor-packed, authentic, comforting food that people cannot get enough of, to the point that in the depths of the frigid Irish winter, it’s not unusual to see locals sitting outside wrapped in blankets with their pappardelle. While the menu boasts all the usual suspects—insalati, antipasti, excellent thin-crust pizza—you’re here for the pasta. That’s Amore eschews the usual skinny spaghetti for tonnarelli, which is a little thicker, more of a mouthful. Order the tonnarello al tartufo, dense pasta doused in a rich, creamy truffle sauce flecked with aged Parmesan, probably the most indulgent thing you’ll eat all year.
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