I have a pair of friends, let's call them Jess and Packie, who have worked very hard (well, Packie has, Jess is a bit of a layabout) and love going out to eat. I live vicariously through their many photos of lovely lunches, delectable dinners and many, many cocktails. One such dining extravaganza involved lunch at Pichet on Trinity Street in Dublin 2 when I was starving at my desk. I rang The Hubs and told him that we were going there for my birthday lunch. Not being one to argue, he agreed on the spot.
Pichet describes itself as a modern take on the classic bistro and although it launched after the economy tanked, it has been consistently busy week after week. When we arrived for a late lunch, every table was full and the atmosphere was upbeat. We chose from the set lunch and early evening menu, offering two courses for €20 and three courses for €25 and ordered a pint of Kronembourg 1664 and a pichet of Lombaline Sauvignon Blanc. A perfect taste of France.
A surprise pre-starter arrived on a wooden board :lemon sole in a tempura batter, wasabi mayo, shreds of pickled cucumber, shaved radish and micro coriander. It was like a puff of crisp air with sweet fish inside. Tangy cucumber and gentle heat from the wasabi was a lovely contrast. The basket of bread included a very moreish rosemary and sea salt focaccia, which was heavy on the sea salt, an indication of what lay ahead.
The country style terrine was a substantial disc packed with pork and accompanied by tangy apricot puree and a cabbage and apple slaw which was a little too creamy for my palate. Beignets of salt cod arrived as five crisp fried spheres of salt cod with avocado, pickled cucumber and a caesar aioli. Very striking against the black plate and delicious. I shared mine begrudgingly.
Main courses brought porchetta with black pudding, butternut squash, spelt risotto and fried sage, and
chicken with morteau sausage, white beans and artichoke The risotto was tender with sweet petals of onion perched on top with a cube of black pudding for earthiness. The porchetta was very tender but the whole dish was very salty, even for me. The chicken was perfect comfort food and the pail of frites were crisp and perfect for dipping into the remains of the white bean sauce.
And to dessert. Despite it being my birthday and therefore being all about me, The Hubs stole my dessert. The Snickers was decadent rich peanut butter parfait with a dark bitter chocolate sorbet for balance with shards of honeycomb for crunch and a silky toffee sauce. I chose the Cassis dessert which was the virtuous option. A very intense blackcurrant sorbet with crunchy honey granola, cream cheese vanilla mousse fragrant berries & meringue looked very striking against a black plate. To be honest it didn't engage me as much as the Snickers because I adore peanut butter and chocolate together but the flavours were well balanced and the cream cheese mousse was luscious.
An espresso for me rounded off a very enjoyable lunch in lovely surroundings with very charming service. The bill came to €77 excluding service. Book a table, you'll have a great time.
Pichet, 14/15 Trinity Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
Tel : +353 1 6771060
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