Saturday, 17 November 2012

One Pico

I came across One Pico one evening after parking in Dawson Street carpark and walked past the resto which was just around the corner. The white walls and windows with their shutters and flower baskets made it look very picturesque from the outside. Upon perusing the menu online, there were lots of dishes that looked very tempting which is how we ended up there for dinner one Saturday night.

Service was polite and efficient at the start of our meal. After our starters were served and cleared, we then endured a perplexingly long wait for our mains. The resto was only half full at this point yet it felt like the waiting staff were definitely in the weeds, which was worrying. Someone needs to take a long, hard look at the service - only having 1 waiter serve a table of 4 and only carrying out dishes 2 at a time therefore only serving half the guests before returning to the kitchen for the other 2 dishes is amateur for a resto with Michelin ambitions. So too is serving a table of 2 their mains without their side dishes causing the poor couple to look on as their steaks were getting cold and wondering where on earth their chips were. Luckily for us, when our mains finally arrived, there were no further delays. However, I did have to harangue a server to bring my glass of dessert wine after they had already served my dessert. Surely, the definition "dessert wine" hints to the fact that it should be served with the dessert course?

Overall, the food was a bit hit and miss (favourite course was the cheese plate which was yummy with my glass of dessert wine......when it finally showed up!) and as I mentioned above, service was a little awry. It sounds like nit-picking but this is service at its most basic level and I expect it to be better if I am paying this much for my dinner. The waiting staff who gave us our bill (possibly a more senior member as he was wearing a jacket) and took our payment was the only member of staff who really did give good service (a friendly French guy). I wanted to like One Pico but ultimately, was left feeling disappointed.
Starter of langoustine risotto, sauteed Dublin Bay prawns, sweet peas and sorrel. The prawns tasted delicious. Unfortunately, they were overpowered by a salty, cheesy undercooked risotto, which had no taste of langoustine whatsoever.

Complimentary palate cleanser of celery sorbet - very refreshing but even with the addition of this course, we still had to wait a very long time for our main courses.

Pan fried halibut with truffle gnocchi, oxtail cannelloni, Jerusalem artichoke puree and ceps. 
On paper, a very inviting autumnal dish with lots of lovely rich, earthy flavours. In reality, this dish was let down by execution; the cannelloni was dry and chewy which could've been excusable as it was a garnish. Overcooking fish to the point where it is dry and tasted like it had been kept under the passe too long is unexcusable.
Selection of cheese - I have never ordered cheese as a dessert but after tasting this selection, I will certainly consider it in the future. A yummy selection served with lovely crackers, grapes and pieces of quince jelly. Perfect with a glass of Paul Cluver Weisser Riesling Noble Late Harvest!

Chocolates served with our tea and coffee - nice touch but overall, a little on the sweet side

Saturday, 3 November 2012


I had read about 777 from another food blog and was interested in trying it out after perusing their menu online. The only bummer is that they don't take reservations for tables less than 6 peeps, meaning that if you want to dine there on the weekend, it means turning up early and putting your name down. We arrived around 6:30pm on a Saturday evening and were told that a table won't be available until an hour later! Since we had already made the trek into town, we went for a drink in a pub nearby to kill time. To be fair, our table was ready before the allotted time which was a plus :)

777 (pronounced as "triple 7" by the way) describes itself as a Mexican restaurant and tequila bar and is owned by the same peeps behind Dillingers and The Butcher Grill in Ranelagh. The entrance of the resto is pretty non-descript, as though they are aspiring for a "speakeasy" feel. The interior of the resto is dominated by a large bar area with high stool seating, which is then surrounded by several tables. It definitely looks like whoever designed it had Russell Norman's restos in mind at the time....

Whilst the menu definitely looked tempting, the dishes we chose did not quite hit the mark on most occasions. On the plus side, our waitress was excellent service personified. I'm glad we got the opportunity to eat at 777 but compared to the likes of Polpo and Spuntino in the big smoke, it still has a long way to go in terms of the quality of their food.
Roasted bone marrow with toasted bread - one of my fav things to eat but this portion was actually over-generous (not always a good thing as bone marrow is pretty rich) and some of the bones were under-roasted.

Yellow fin tuna sashimi tostados - best starter of the night

Carnitas taquitos - a little bit on the fatty side for us

My main of costillas (pork ribs) - generous portion but I prefer my ribs to be thinner with more bones. These ribs were just large chunks of meat and too dry. Side of papas bravas were disappointingly unspicy.

JD chose a special of skirt steak and spuds - he chose well :)