Picture: Courtesy of Balfes

The buzz
Seconds from Dublin’s chic pedestrian shopping street, Grafton Street, Balfes is part of the Westbury Hotel, the A-listers choice for breaks in Ireland’s capital. The hotel sits behind the street’s flower sellers and the iconic Phil Lynott statue and offers the perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of the area.

What to expect
Recently revamped, the elegant space with outdoor dining has a separate entrance and is self-contained within the hotel. Although spacious, it manages to retain an intimate ambience with fantastic attentive and helpful yet in-obtrusive waiting staff. The crisp décor is a mix of French brasserie and laid back New York dinner, with marble tables and inviting leather seating.

From the menu
Varied and extensive, the menu certainly has something for all tastes and diets including gluten free and vegan. The useful all day dining includes fresh local produce sourced by Executive Chef, Cathal Dunne and his team. It’s evident in the Castletown crab cocktail with shredded apple, which is fresh, light and sumptuous. The pork is cooked to perfection and is a good hearty meal, in the traditional Irish sense. The portion sizes are large for lunch but that’s hardly a complaint.  Served with champ this is the perfect tasty a dish for a cold weather day. Be warned the whole roast sea bream comes with the head and plenty of bones, but worth the effort. The desserts are worth leaving room for, in particular the unusual mixed berries with Champagne sabayon.

Good for…
Balfes caters for the professional and is great for a working lunch, but is also so welcoming that popping in for a leisurely brush or first date dinner is also recommended.

The details
Balfe St, Dublin 2, Ireland. For bookings call +353 1 646 3335

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