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 Great Places to Eat

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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:07 pm

cookiemonster wrote:
Recession my hairy hole! You try getting a table in any half decent reataurant in the city an you'll know all about the recession. Indeed, try getting a table in any pub in the city on a Friday evening and you'll know all about the recession.

Thank you for that refreshingly direct assessment, cookie. I will bear that in mind when booking the table. So let me get this straight. "Recession" is a relative term. It affects the property market but not the hospitality industry. At least at weekends. Interesting. I look forward to seeing it next month
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:40 pm

Slim Buddha wrote:
cookiemonster wrote:
Recession my hairy hole! You try getting a table in any half decent reataurant in the city an you'll know all about the recession. Indeed, try getting a table in any pub in the city on a Friday evening and you'll know all about the recession.

Thank you for that refreshingly direct assessment, cookie. I will bear that in mind when booking the table. So let me get this straight. "Recession" is a relative term. It affects the property market but not the hospitality industry. At least at weekends. Interesting. I look forward to seeing it next month

The housing market was a bubble, and people just got sick to the teeth of paying higher and higher prices for further out, smaller and more and more badly built rubbish shoved into to every available crack and sliver of land. So they stopped, they realised that they have the power to drive the market on and they have the power to lower prices. That and the fuckuppery over stampduty by the government well and truly burst the bubble.

Since we copped on house prices are falling and the construction industry (which we had, again owing to the bloody government, become overly reliant on) crumbled from his inflated and dizzying heights to a more realistic size. That of course had knock on effects on the economy and gave the appearance of a recession, but not a real recession because there is enough industry out there to allow us to coast along until things pick up again.

House prices have been falling (but not fast enough in my view) for a while now. Those who would have bought in the last year or two are holding off, there is no doubt that the higher interest rates and the worldwide credit crunch will have an effect on the buying of new houses but I don't think it will stop people buying a home, but it will (thankfully) ward off the weird obsession we've created with property investment.

Outside of construction, manufacturing is taking a hammering, but then it always does but other than that the fundamentals are good and we'll make it through "the recession" in a year (that is if things are not already turning around now - we tend not to see the start of these things until we're about 6 months in and tend not to see the end until we're about 6 months past it too) and we'll be flying again in no time. I'm not worried.
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:19 pm

cookiemonster wrote:
Slim Buddha wrote:
cookiemonster wrote:
Recession my hairy hole! You try getting a table in any half decent reataurant in the city an you'll know all about the recession. Indeed, try getting a table in any pub in the city on a Friday evening and you'll know all about the recession.

Thank you for that refreshingly direct assessment, cookie. I will bear that in mind when booking the table. So let me get this straight. "Recession" is a relative term. It affects the property market but not the hospitality industry. At least at weekends. Interesting. I look forward to seeing it next month

The housing market was a bubble, and people just got sick to the teeth of paying higher and higher prices for further out, smaller and more and more badly built rubbish shoved into to every available crack and sliver of land. So they stopped, they realised that they have the power to drive the market on and they have the power to lower prices. That and the fuckuppery over stampduty by the government well and truly burst the bubble.

Since we copped on house prices are falling and the construction industry (which we had, again owing to the bloody government, become overly reliant on) crumbled from his inflated and dizzying heights to a more realistic size. That of course had knock on effects on the economy and gave the appearance of a recession, but not a real recession because there is enough industry out there to allow us to coast along until things pick up again.

House prices have been falling (but not fast enough in my view) for a while now. Those who would have bought in the last year or two are holding off, there is no doubt that the higher interest rates and the worldwide credit crunch will have an effect on the buying of new houses but I don't think it will stop people buying a home, but it will (thankfully) ward off the weird obsession we've created with property investment.

Outside of construction, manufacturing is taking a hammering, but then it always does but other than that the fundamentals are good and we'll make it through "the recession" in a year (that is if things are not already turning around now - we tend not to see the start of these things until we're about 6 months in and tend not to see the end until we're about 6 months past it too) and we'll be flying again in no time. I'm not worried.

Quite an optimistic assessment. I'll give you the view from my perch here. We have, like the British and to a lesser extent the Americans, a ridiculously proprietorial view of "owning one's own house". While it makes sense on an emotional level, on an economical level it has not made sense in Ireland for many years now. The problem is that on a legal level, the constitution sanctifies private property and consequently the owners of it and on a political level, the main government party is utterly beholden to the construction industry who, until recently, went to a race meeting around this time every year, stuffed pockets and envelopes with money and handed the party hierarchy a list of demands for the following 12 months.

Plainly this was farcical. But Irish politics is nothing if not farcical. To allow a quarter of the entire economy to be taken up with crap housing was criminally negligent but that's now in the past. Manufacturing is getting hammered as you say but in China in June, I saw why, The Chinese have an inexhaustable supply of cheap labour and are controlling the pace of technology in production processes. What the Chinese are getting right is infrastructure. In both Shanghai and Beijing, the infrastructural development is happening on a gargantuan scale to serve the cities in 2020 and 2030. They are planning ahead, which, when it comes to infrastructure, as far as I can remember, Ireland has never done.

But what I find really depressing about economic policy in Ireland is the total lack of government involvement in stimulating venture capital and young businesses. What I would like to see is an emphasis away from construction and a series of tax credits to the better off with money to invest to enable their tax liabliity to be lessened provided it goes into registered venture capital funds. This would necessarily involve the banks, by adjusting their corporation tax liability to get them to support such a series of venture capital funds so that young businesses and start-ups could avail of ready capital, with a pro-active bank already on board and expertise gleaned from the IMI and other institutions to grow Irish indigineous industry. It's just an idea.

Finally, I would like to address the myth of "low-tax Ireland" which irritating PDs always bang on about. VAT at 21% is certainly not low-tax. Ireland may be low tax compared to Sweden but Sweden has a health service. The reason I live where I live is that I earn about 50% more than I could earn in Ireland and pay about 40% less tax. The reason is simple. In Switzerland each canton is autonomous. The cantons collect the tax. I pay 8% to the central government in Berne. I live in Zurich at the moment. I pay a cantonal tax of 8% and a community tax of 2%. On all my income. I pay 7.6% VAT. I may move to canton Schwyz and if I do I will pay 4.6% cantonal tax. Switzerland has 26 cantons. Ireland has 26 counties. We need devolvement in order to get inter-cantonal tax competition going like they have here in order to lure in foreign companies. Switzerland has profited enormously from this. We could too. But we need to do much more to build up world class industry names like the Swiss have with Nestlé, Novartis and ABB. It can be done.


Last edited by Slim Buddha on Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:39 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:30 pm

Slim Buddha wrote:
cookiemonster wrote:
Slim Buddha wrote:
cookiemonster wrote:
Recession my hairy hole! You try getting a table in any half decent reataurant in the city an you'll know all about the recession. Indeed, try getting a table in any pub in the city on a Friday evening and you'll know all about the recession.

Thank you for that refreshingly direct assessment, cookie. I will bear that in mind when booking the table. So let me get this straight. "Recession" is a relative term. It affects the property market but not the hospitality industry. At least at weekends. Interesting. I look forward to seeing it next month

The housing market was a bubble, and people just got sick to the teeth of paying higher and higher prices for further out, smaller and more and more badly built rubbish shoved into to every available crack and sliver of land. So they stopped, they realised that they have the power to drive the market on and they have the power to lower prices. That and the fuckuppery over stampduty by the government well and truly burst the bubble.

Since we copped on house prices are falling and the construction industry (which we had, again owing to the bloody government, become overly reliant on) crumbled from his inflated and dizzying heights to a more realistic size. That of course had knock on effects on the economy and gave the appearance of a recession, but not a real recession because there is enough industry out there to allow us to coast along until things pick up again.

House prices have been falling (but not fast enough in my view) for a while now. Those who would have bought in the last year or two are holding off, there is no doubt that the higher interest rates and the worldwide credit crunch will have an effect on the buying of new houses but I don't think it will stop people buying a home, but it will (thankfully) ward off the weird obsession we've created with property investment.

Outside of construction, manufacturing is taking a hammering, but then it always does but other than that the fundamentals are good and we'll make it through "the recession" in a year (that is if things are not already turning around now - we tend not to see the start of these things until we're about 6 months in and tend not to see the end until we're about 6 months past it too) and we'll be flying again in no time. I'm not worried.

Quite an optimistic assessment. I'll give you the view from my perch here. We have, like the British and to a lesser extent the Americans, a ridiculously proprietorial view of "owning one's own house". While it makes sense on an emotional level, on an economical level it has not made sense in Ireland for many years now. The problem is that on a legal level, the constitution sanctifies private property and consequently the owners of it and on a political level, the main government party is utterly beholden to the construction industry who, until recently, went to a race meeting around this time every year, stuffed pockets and envelopes with money and handed the party hierarchy a list of demands for the following 12 months.

Plainly this was farcical. But Irish politics is nothing if not farcical. To allow a quarter of the entire economy to be taken up with crap housing was criminally negligent but that's now in the past. Manufacturing is getting hammered as you say but in China in June, I saw why, The Chinese have an inexhaustable supply of cheap labour and are controlling the pace of technology in production processes. What the Chinese are getting right is infrastructure. In both Shanghai and Beijing, the infrastructural development is happening on a gargantuan scale to serve the cities in 2020 and 2030. They are planning ahead, which, when it comes to infrastructure, has, as far as I can remember, Ireland has never done.

But what I find really depressing about economic policy in Ireland is the total lack of government involvement in stimulating venture capital and young businesses. What I would like to see is an emphasis away from construction and a series of tax credits to the better off with money to invest to enable their tax liabliity to be lessened provided it goes into registered venture capital funds. This would necessarily involve the banks, by adjusting their corporation tax liability to get them to support such a series of venture capital funds so that young businesses and start-ups could avail of ready capital, with a pro-active bank already on board and expertise gleaned from the IMI and other institutions to grow Irish indigineous industry. It's just an idea.

Finally, I would like to address the myth of "low-tax Ireland" which irritating PDs always bang on about. VAT at 21% is certainly not low-tax. Ireland may be low tax compared to Sweden but Sweden has a health service. The reason I live where I live is that I earn about 50% more than I could earn in Ireland and pay about 40% less tax. The reason is simple. In Switzerland each canton is autonomous. The cantons collect the tax. I pay 8% to the central government in Berne. I live in Zurich at the moment. I pay a cantonal tax of 8% and a community tax of 2%. On all my income. I pay 7.6% VAT. I may move to canton Schwyz and if I do I will pay 4.6% cantonal tax. Switzerland has 26 cantons. Ireland has 26 counties. We need devolvement in order to get inter-cantonal tax competition going like they have here in order to lure in foreign companies. Switzerland has profited enormously from this. We could too. But we need to do much more to build up world class industry names like the Swiss have with Nestlé, Novartis and ABB. It can be done.

It can be done, it should be done, but sadly it won't be done. We vote for gombeens time and time again who work for the short term and never look down the line. Maybe that is changing, maybe we have to change it ourselves.
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:43 pm

I haven't time just now to read all the above about the housing market but... on the more important subject of your dinner, slim buddha, there is only one choice.

Chapter 1, just beside the Hugh Lane Gallery is the place to go. The food is superb - and the wine list and service are excellent. She'll be treated like royalty but not in a pretentious or dramatic way. Everything about it spells classy, discrete, luxurious quality. Of all the places I've been in Dublin, it's the best by a country mile and putting myself in your girlfriend's shoes, I'd be impressed, flattered and delighted to celebrate my birthday there.

There is, I believe, no other option.

They have a website but I can't link to it now - battery almost dead, away from home and internet too slow to support two windows. But check it out.
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:47 pm

Kate P wrote:
I haven't time just now to read all the above about the housing market but... on the more important subject of your dinner, slim buddha, there is only one choice.

Chapter 1, just beside the Hugh Lane Gallery is the place to go. The food is superb - and the wine list and service are excellent. She'll be treated like royalty but not in a pretentious or dramatic way. Everything about it spells classy, discrete, luxurious quality. Of all the places I've been in Dublin, it's the best by a country mile and putting myself in your girlfriend's shoes, I'd be impressed, flattered and delighted to celebrate my birthday there.

There is, I believe, no other option.

They have a website but I can't link to it now - battery almost dead, away from home and internet too slow to support two windows. But check it out.

Good choice Kate P. It is also sensibly priced compared with not so good and more pretentious restaurants in Dublin. Lunch and pre theatre menus are particularly reasonable.

http://www.chapteronerestaurant.com/menus.asp?MenuID=1
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:13 am

Chapter One is great but it will cost you a fair bit more than Roly's. Another word of caution regarding Chapter One - my parents rang up looking for a booking for a Saturday night. Earliest they could get was mid September unless there is a cancellation.
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:35 am

Thank you one and all. You have been most kind with your time and your tips. It seems to be a straight choice between Rolys and Chapter One. Whether or not it is pricey is really immaterial. She is worth every cent.

I will bear in mind what you said about booking for Chapter One, johnfàs. Regardless of the so-called recession, it seems that the better places to eat out will always do ok.

(PS Kate, whatever about my response, it is worth reading what cookie had to say regarding the recession. In the words of Catherine Tate, he's not bothered. And he makes his case well.)
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:50 am

Slim Buddha wrote:
Thank you one and all. You have been most kind with your time and your tips. It seems to be a straight choice between Rolys and Chapter One. Whether or not it is pricey is really immaterial. She is worth every cent.

I will bear in mind what you said about booking for Chapter One, johnfàs. Regardless of the so-called recession, it seems that the better places to eat out will always do ok.

(PS Kate, whatever about my response, it is worth reading what cookie had to say regarding the recession. In the words of Catherine Tate, he's not bothered. And he makes his case well.)

Where can this be found?
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Mon Aug 04, 2008 12:07 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Slim Buddha wrote:
Thank you one and all. You have been most kind with your time and your tips. It seems to be a straight choice between Rolys and Chapter One. Whether or not it is pricey is really immaterial. She is worth every cent.

I will bear in mind what you said about booking for Chapter One, johnfàs. Regardless of the so-called recession, it seems that the better places to eat out will always do ok.

(PS Kate, whatever about my response, it is worth reading what cookie had to say regarding the recession. In the words of Catherine Tate, he's not bothered. And he makes his case well.)

Where can this be found?

Further back in the thread, cactusflower. I was wondering about the effect of the recession on the hospitality industry and cookie marked my card for me, as it were, regarding the "recession".
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Mon Aug 04, 2008 12:30 pm

Slim Buddha wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Slim Buddha wrote:
Thank you one and all. You have been most kind with your time and your tips. It seems to be a straight choice between Rolys and Chapter One. Whether or not it is pricey is really immaterial. She is worth every cent.

I will bear in mind what you said about booking for Chapter One, johnfàs. Regardless of the so-called recession, it seems that the better places to eat out will always do ok.

(PS Kate, whatever about my response, it is worth reading what cookie had to say regarding the recession. In the words of Catherine Tate, he's not bothered. And he makes his case well.)

Where can this be found?

Further back in the thread, cactusflower. I was wondering about the effect of the recession on the hospitality industry and cookie marked my card for me, as it were, regarding the "recession".

He does indeed. But outside Dublin the Americans are missed and tables are free. We have a much bigger economy now than in the 1980s, but a lot of it is consumption based, or based on footloose industry and services. Eating out is one of the first things to go when the family budget gets tight. Roly's and Chapter One are hopefully the type of well established and sensible establishments that will weather any storms.
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Mon Aug 04, 2008 12:44 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Slim Buddha wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Slim Buddha wrote:
Thank you one and all. You have been most kind with your time and your tips. It seems to be a straight choice between Rolys and Chapter One. Whether or not it is pricey is really immaterial. She is worth every cent.

I will bear in mind what you said about booking for Chapter One, johnfàs. Regardless of the so-called recession, it seems that the better places to eat out will always do ok.

(PS Kate, whatever about my response, it is worth reading what cookie had to say regarding the recession. In the words of Catherine Tate, he's not bothered. And he makes his case well.)

Where can this be found?

Further back in the thread, cactusflower. I was wondering about the effect of the recession on the hospitality industry and cookie marked my card for me, as it were, regarding the "recession".

He does indeed. But outside Dublin the Americans are missed and tables are free. We have a much bigger economy now than in the 1980s, but a lot of it is consumption based, or based on footloose industry and services. Eating out is one of the first things to go when the family budget gets tight. Roly's and Chapter One are hopefully the type of well established and sensible establishments that will weather any storms.

I admit, cactusflower, to going hopelessly off topic above but there is a marked decrease here in the level of eating out. Admittedly, UBS expense accounts fuelled a lot of the tills of restuarants in the downtown area of Zurich and these will be missed. But in general the turnover in restuarants has gone down in the last year.That is not to say that Switzerland is in a recession. That is not the case at all. But these are a very cautious people anyway and lock onto the slightest reason to draw in the horns. Having said that, the better places are still pulling them in and have thriving businesses. Americans do not make up a significant part of the tourist industry so their presence or absence is negligible. What is extraordinary here is the huge number of Swiss who use most of their holiday time and money within Switzerland. A great many of them stay here and don't move out for the mandatory 2 weeks. It also strikes me when I am in Ireland, the UK and indeed Germany how much better the standard of service is in Switzerland. The extensive training (usually in the Ecole Gastronomiques in Lausanne and Geneva) is a determining factor here but most Swiss in the industry are very proud of the job they do and it shines through.
Anyway, my decision must be made; Rolys or Chapter One? Any personal observations, cactusflower?
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:57 pm

I've another observation, since you're settled on Roly's or Chapter One; Roly's is more everyday. Chapter One is not. You're in Switzerland, dinner is in Dublin, it's a special occasion.

My best friend and I had our celebratory lunch in Chapter One when we gave up our steady jobs for a life more interesting and rewarding. In fact, we went on the day we got our very last paycheques. As a rule, I don't drink more than a glass of wine at Christmas, but the Sommelier experience seemed irresistable. If you're used to better service in Switzerland, Chapter One is the place. Rolys always strikes me more as a place where you take your mother on her birthday and present nice presents around the table. But some of the guys who are more familiar with it than I am, might have more to say on that...
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:29 pm

Well Chapter One is one of only four Michelin Starred restaurants in Dublin. The others being L'Ecrivain, Thorntons and Patrick Guilbaud - which is another absolute fabulous place to eat, albeit very expensive. Guilbaud has two Michelin Stars and the rest have one Michelin Star. Not that it means very much really, because what you really want is a nice meal and an enjoyable evening, not something because a man made of white tyres told you to go there.

On a personal basis I prefer Roly's because it is more relaxed and it is that bit more out of town. You can go for a nice stroll after you leave Roly's, you can combine it with something on in the RDS, if you go for lunch you can go wander in Herbert Park and so on. There is an element of family about Roly's but I have to say that is why I prefer it.

That said, either are fantastic establishments. As is Guilbaud's - just to add another to the mix! The artwork hanging in Guilbaud's is half the experience there. It is attached to the Merrion Hotel, opposite Government Buildings.
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:45 pm

johnfás wrote:
Well Chapter One is one of only four Michelin Starred restaurants in Dublin. The others being L'Ecrivain, Thorntons and Patrick Guilbaud - which is another absolute fabulous place to eat, albeit very expensive. Guilbaud has two Michelin Stars and the rest have one Michelin Star. Not that it means very much really, because what you really want is a nice meal and an enjoyable evening, not something because a man made of white tyres told you to go there.

On a personal basis I prefer Roly's because it is more relaxed and it is that bit more out of town. You can go for a nice stroll after you leave Roly's, you can combine it with something on in the RDS, if you go for lunch you can go wander in Herbert Park and so on. There is an element of family about Roly's but I have to say that is why I prefer it.

That said, either are fantastic establishments. As is Guilbaud's - just to add another to the mix! The artwork hanging in Guilbaud's is half the experience there. It is attached to the Merrion Hotel, opposite Government Buildings.

I have been in Guilbaud's and found the experience at the time most enjoyable. The time, however, was 6 years ago and that is a lot of time for a restuarant to change. Nonetheless, it goes into the mix and, as you mentioned previously, I will need to decide quickly because I am only there for a weekend, the birthday is on a Saturday and one needs to book Chapter One from quite a distance out. So time to go eeny meenie miny moe. Merci for all your help.
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:52 pm

Kate P wrote:
I've another observation, since you're settled on Roly's or Chapter One; Roly's is more everyday. Chapter One is not. You're in Switzerland, dinner is in Dublin, it's a special occasion.

My best friend and I had our celebratory lunch in Chapter One when we gave up our steady jobs for a life more interesting and rewarding. In fact, we went on the day we got our very last paycheques. As a rule, I don't drink more than a glass of wine at Christmas, but the Sommelier experience seemed irresistable. If you're used to better service in Switzerland, Chapter One is the place. Rolys always strikes me more as a place where you take your mother on her birthday and present nice presents around the table. But some of the guys who are more familiar with it than I am, might have more to say on that...

I am sure the service in the places mentioned is excellent. It has to be for the standard which makes them recession proof to be maintained. My comments about service in Switzerland refers to the more everyday experience in cafés and bistros. It's a pity I couldn't just show you what I mean. but believe me, the experience is different. And it really doesn't take that much for indifferent service to become good service and good service to become excellent service. A lot is simply down to attitude.


Last edited by Slim Buddha on Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:53 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:10 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
Wagamama

Da Vincis of Leixlip makes tasty pastas and pizzas.

Finnstown House of Lucan make delicious sticky toffee puddings.

Yamamori is indeed nice and I've enjoyed their food.

Avocas is good, but way too expensive most of the time.

Gruel on Dame Street is another place I'd recommend for breakfast.

Millstone on the same street do very good pastas and pizzas.

The Epicurean Food Hall is a grand place in which there's plenty of mileage in terms of places to visit.

There are very good chippers in Howth who do the best cod/haddock/whiting and chips you'll taste this side of Killybegs.

Those are the gastronomic sites I can think of at the moment. Try them and enjoy!

I'd add the Wolseley beside the Ritz in London as another excellent place to eat. You have to stand around a while for a table to become free, but it is well worth it. The service staff are perfection defined and would put an army to shame with their metronomic efficiency, the food is superb and expertly judged and the variety of teas are amazing. An unforgettable, unmissable gastronomic experience.
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:12 pm

I was in London not too long ago - McDonalds on Leicester Square do a good deal on Chicken Nuggets. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:13 pm

johnfás wrote:
I was in London not too long ago - McDonalds on Leicester Square do a good deal on Chicken Nuggets. Very Happy

Smile I'm sure they do.
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:17 pm

On a serious note, there is a very nice place to get a bite of lunch in Fortnum and Mason when in London.
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:20 pm

johnfás wrote:
On a serious note, there is a very nice place to get a bite of lunch in Fortnum and Mason when in London.

Did you go to Leon in the Spitalfields Market? The place does very good uber-healthy food. The menu is a work of art there. There's so many things to choose from and they are all fantastic.
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:23 pm

I haven't been to the Spitafields Markets in an age. I'm ove in London quite alot though so I shall make a special effort go to at the end of August. My train brings me into Liverpool St so it is nearby.
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:26 pm

johnfás wrote:
I haven't been to the Spitafields Markets in an age. I'm ove in London quite alot though so I shall make a special effort go to at the end of August. My train brings me into Liverpool St so it is nearby.

Yep. It's lovely there. I also like the heartier fare in Carluccio's. Some proper good stuff there. I really like the sparkling water, it's very refreshing after a day traipsing London streets.
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:30 pm

Another very nice thing to do on a sunny day is get yourself stocked up and go have lunch on a rowing boat on the Serpentine.
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PostSubject: Re: Great Places to Eat   Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:31 pm

Quote :
My comments about service in Switzerland refers to the more everyday experience in cafés and bistros. It's a pity I couldn't just show you what I mean. but believe me, the experience is different. And it really doesn't take that much for indifferent service to become good service and good service to become excellent service. A lot is simply down to attitude.

I know exactly what you mean - but I think that's a vocational issue. There is a sense of pride in working "in der Gastronomie" in Switzerland, Austria and Germany that doesn't leave the customer feeling under a compliment.

Irish service is often friendly - but it can be sloppy, rushed and inept. More often than not when it's bad however, every dish is served up cold with begrudgery, as if the barely tolerated customer is an inconvenience in whatever else the server could be doing - because, don't you know, they're only waiting tables while waiting for something better to come along?

I'm in a hotel now where I come regularly to write up stuff and the staff are terrific. There are two middle aged women, Gertie and Ronnie who usually work the floor where I sit and they couldn't be more efficient or pleasant - they can sense when you need something because they're tuned into the job as opposed to tuning out to something else. I've had lunch here and realised afterwards I had no money - and the staff in general couldn't have been more decent.

Today there are a couple of students here today and they're equally friendly and efficient, which leads me to believe that quality of service is led from the top-down in this country and that's why it's so variable.
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