I’ve been meaning to do this post for the last week, while the memory of a beautiful meal is still in fresh in my mind. I managed to get a babysitter and hit town (Dublin) for a night out with Himself recently! I went through many different venue, menus before finally settling to book Darwins
Darwins is very conveniently located in Aungier Street, just at the top of South Great Georges Street so extremely central. We were surprised as to how close it actually was to town as we both thought that it was a bit further away. By further away, I should clarify that we thought it was heading towards Wexford street. I’m a nordy living in Dublin, so my excuse is I’m still getting used to the geography.
Darwins is a family run restaurant. Upon arrival we were greeted by one of the owners, Dolores who is vegetarian, hence the wonderful selection of food available on a separate menu for non-meat eaters. I do not fall into that category and having looked at the menu, I had my sights most definitely set on a lovely big steak! They have their own in house butcher who supplies the award winning meat (Delores’s Husband). I’d made my reservation with their daughter Amy, who also helps in the running of the restaurant. There was a really warm and inviting atmosphere in the restaurant, that by the way, was fully booked. If you do decide that you’d like to try here, be sure to book a table well in advance. I managed to get an early table from 7pm – 9pm which suited us perfectly. The restaurant is deceptively large and we were shown to our table which through the front restaurant and down corridor to a smaller area than the front, but still beautifully intimate.
Upon opening the menu, it’s immediately evident that they are coeliac savvy. There are lots of options that are gluten free and also vegetarian.
You can have a proper look at the menus here
They have gluten free bread options and they also clearly mark on their menus that they have no problem giving you additional gluten free bread with your meal, should you require it. They also have a separate fryer for their chips, so if you want steak and chips for your gluten free dinner, it’s no problem. I know from experience, this is most certainly not the norm in many restaurants. The wine list has plenty of choice and a wide range of prices.
For my starter I opted for a Portobello Mushroom, Bluebell Falls Cheese, Baby Spinach, Smoked Tomato Relish, Parsnip and Chestnut Croquette. This is served with gluten free bread, which I declined as I went on to order a 14oz steak and I wouldn’t risk filling on bread!
While we are waiting on our meal, we enjoyed a glass of wine. The waiter also brought a carafe of water, which is always appreciated in restaurants.
I think that you’ll agree, the starter was beautifully presented.
Now for the mains. I love steak. I never used to enjoy it or certainly even order it when I was out. This changed in the past few years and now I love a good steak. I say ‘good steak’ as I’m a very fussy meat eater. I firmly believe in a more mature cut that has been handled properly to allow the flavour to develop and enhance. I said earlier I’m a nordy and in Northern Ireland, the meat is hung a lot longer, none of this nonsense of 14 or 21 days being called mature. For this reason, I ordered the Dry Aged Strip Loin that had been aged up to several weeks for the more concentrated flavour. It came out looking pretty impressive. I was equally impressed that I’d ordered a bigger steak than my husband 😉
I enjoy my steak medium, so the test is in the cutting. I think you’ll agree it was pretty perfect looking. The taste was deep and intense and really very, very good.
The steak comes with mash on the plate and you can order sides. I had buttered spinach and I tasted a few of my husbands chips – research purposes. He ordered the Fillet and was also impressed at the tenderness. All in all, a very good meal.
I can highly recommend Darwins for their gluten free menu choices and also their knowledge about coeliac disease and the importance of avoiding cross contamination. Their waiting staff were non intrusive but close by if you needed anything. We didn’t opt to have a dessert as after that amazing steak, I honestly didn’t have room for it. They do have a gluten free Eton Mess. So whether you’re vegetarian, or a steak eater, Darwins is a fantastic restaurant both for their knowledge of coeliac and also for the wide variety of gluten free menu choices.
Instead of dessert, we did manage to stop by at the Vintage Cocktail Club for an after dinner drink before heading home. Another place I’d been wanting to try in town for ages. The little black door was answered. They can also rustle up a few gluten free dishes if you decide to dine there, however this time, it was a post dinner drink.
I had a great night out in Dublin. Fantastic gluten free food, cocktails and company.