A restaurant in Dublin
's Temple Bar
, located on quiet Meeting House Square
, not far from the Irish Film Centre
Eden is my favourite restaurant at the moment. It's elegant but not stuffy, stylish without being annoyingly trendy, top scale without being ridiculously overpriced. The location in a quiet, sheltered part of town is perfect for a relaxing evening out in the middle of the week or for a slouchy Sunday brunch (outside seating with awnings and heaters to compensate for Irish weather is thoughtfully provided).
The decor inside the restaurant is light, spacious and uncluttered. The main space is a very long, very high room, one side of which (lengthwise) is entirely glass windows. The furniture is mosltly white, and the light outside is filtered through a jungle-like row of potted climbers and cheese plants (real ones!) halfway up the glass wall, a lovely tropical effect which is enhanced by grey and blue touches to the walls and furnishings within. Just to sit there is relaxing.
The bill of fare if of the highest quality and sophistication, but with surprisingly few airs and graces. I've had fried kidneys there that wouldn't be out of place in the most rustic of rural eateries, grilled and spiced to perfection (even my husband, who positively detests kidneys, agreed that these were special). All and any of the meat dishes are so perfect that it would be impossible for me to describe the seafood and poultry in the place - I can never be tempted away from the succulent steaks, the nubile fragrant lamb and the tender pork.
The desserts, especially for such a saber-sweet-tooth like me, are the least gratifying part of the meal - but are nevertheless well worth trying. The wine list is varied without being intimidating, just a single page long (well, in rather small print), but containing some choice bottles. Do not, under any circumstances, miss the Nero D'Avola. It is beyond devine.
The service is invariably friendly and efficient. The floor staff are mostly young, probably students, but are still proffessional and well trained, familiar with the menu and the kitchen, and willing to stick their neck out in a clever recommendation.
An anecdote: a few weeks ago, we went to Eden to reward ourselves for a very bad couple of days we'd been having. Having been seated in the upstairs area of the restaurant (we were the only ones there), we were left to stew there for half an hour, with not a soul coming near us all that time. We were understandably furious, and left in a huff. The very next day my husband got an extremely apologetic phone call from the duty manager, explaining how it was all her own fault for neglecting to inform the floor staff we were there. The call was swiftly followed by a voucher for a free meal for two, plus a bottle of wine. Well. That is service, no?