During a recent trip home to Dublin (the best city in the world, but I may be biased!) I made a point to visit Oliver Dunne’s latest offering, Beef & Lobster. The restaurant opened on the corner of Parliament Street back in July, not too far from Dunne’s Temple Bar venue, Cleaver East.
The clue is in the name and Beef & Lobster serves just that; a small menu with a combination of beef or lobster dishes. The menu is printed on a business card; a cost effective method I’ve come across before in some Dublin eateries. Straight forward, simple, to the point. You can’t go wrong with a menu consisting of delicious juicy beef and the light sweet taste of lobster meat!
Five friends and I went on a Thursday night and found ourselves most comfortable from the moment we walked in. The staff were very professional, knowledgeable and friendly. We received a warm welcome and a cocktail; a shade that colour coordinated with the place perfectly, also reminding me of lobster shells. That’s good marketing! I’m glad they went with cocktails reminiscent of the colour of lobster than the colour of beef. We were seated at a round table; an opportunity that doesn’t present itself in city restaurants as often as I’d like. It was wonderful that we could all see and hear each other, with no straining or sweet switching. All great touches, and it’s all the sweet little details that make dining special, right?
The wine, beer, and cocktail list is larger than the food menu itself, which I found amusing, but of course, there is great variety in alcohol. I also like how the wines are labelled. Reds are ‘beef wine’, whites are ‘lobster wine’. Olive Dunne always seems to bring a lighthearted side to his establishments, and I like that he doesn’t take himself too seriously.
We ordered still and sparkling water for the table, a bottle of red and a bottle of white. Both really good, both Spanish, both La Mancha.
The menu consists of four dishes with a price point of €22. Ribeye steak, beef wellington, a whole lobster, or a lobster roll. These come with two sides (the day we went the sides were fries and coleslaw with cashew nuts). Or you can go for the special; surf ‘n’ turf for €35 – an 8oz steak, half lobster, and the same two sides.
The whole lobster was the majority order at the table. Four of those were ordered, and one friend went for sweet potato fries instead of regular (an additional €2). The lobster is served ready to go and nicely charred accompanied with a little jug of lemon and garlic butter. Another friend went for the rib eye (this comes with pepper sauce or garlic butter) which was cooked perfectly, and a good portion. I have no picture of the ribeye as he dove right in, so you can take that as a good sign!
I decided to try the Beef & Lobster special, the Surf ‘n’ Turf, and get the best of both worlds. The dish was incredibly tasty and there was no fault in the flavour of the beef, the lobster or indeed the sides or sauce. I was a bit disappointed in what you get for the price. I have no problem spending money on food, but I felt the special wasn’t worth €35. The amount of lobster meat wasn’t a whole lot, and the 8oz steak was quite small – it doesn’t look it in the pictures but we all did say it looked very small, maybe more of a 5 or 6oz steak. That’s just my guess but I could be wrong by the size.
I think the dish should have been capped at €28 or so; it definitely wasn’t worth the extra €13…but honestly, taste wise it was delicious. Nothing but positives there. I think next time I would go for the beef wellington, or stop by Beef & Lobster for brunch. There seems to be more choice for the brunch menu, with the option of bottomless cocktails and more sides -I have my eye on those fries with crispy beef and pepper sauce!
Going back to the professional staff – they really are just that. They were attentive but left us alone to our own devices, where we spent more than three fantastic hours over our meal. A few opted for desserts; a selection of ice creams, a deconstructed Oreo cheesecake and the apple tart tatin. The apple tart tatin was the star of the show, ordered by the very same ribeye chomping friend, so alas no photo. Kev really loves his food. Hi Kev!
Overall, Beef & Lobster is very, very good. The main menu is great value at €22. I will definitely return based on the atmosphere, staff, and experience alone. And the round tables! A treasure when you find them.
Beef & Lobster
40 Parliament Street
P.S. Happy Halloween!
♥ ♥ ♥