At the beginning of 2015 I took a trip back to one of my favourite cities, good old Dublin town. I love Dubliners for their friendliness and sense of humour and I find it to be a great place to chill out and relax with a glass of wine or a few. I was staying very close to O’Connell Street, which meant that all of the best restaurants, pubs and theatres were within a short walking distance and we were blessed with the very rare sight of sun so we could go out and explore.
As always, I had googled the best places to eat in the local area and had found what was supposedly ‘the best fish & chip shop in town,’ which is quite a statement. Quite rightly, I got straight to finding this place, known as Beshoff fish and chips, as soon as the clock hit 12 and it becomes acceptable to eat deep fried food.
Beshoff fish & chips
There was a long line of customers sat eating on their own not making a sound when I entered, which I took for a good sign that the food must be good as happy diners are silent diners in my opinion. Upon asking about the gluten free options, I was told that they offered a range of fish in gluten free batter and also to my surprise, gluten free onion rings which I sorely miss.
The cod and chips had been cooked for me there and then and so tasted really fresh and crispy. The chips were also offered with gluten free cider vinegar which I thought was a really nice touch. Priced at €5.95, the fish was very reasonably priced and the best I have had in a long time. Usually gluten free batter is very dry and can actually taste very floury in my experience, but at Beshoff the batter literally fell off with the fish and was perfectly cooked. Not surprisingly I would definitely recommend the place to anyone passing by O’Connell Street.
Le Bon Crubeen
After a trip to the theatre during the afternoon and stopping for a few drinks, me and my friend ventured down to Le Bon Crubeen, a French restaurant situated on Talbot Street that I had found online. The great thing about Le Bon is that almost everything on the menu features a ‘C,’ which means that it is Coeliac friendly and can be prepared without gluten free ingredients, giving me an extensive choice of dinners to choose from.
I opted for the rabbit terrine for starters, served alongside plum chutney and gluten free soda bread. I love terrine and as it often contains gluten or dairy ingredients it was a real treat to be able to have it in a restaurant and it was absolutely delicious.
For mains, I chose the pan roasted duck breast, accompanied by braised red cabbage, potato fondant, redcurrant and passion fruit glaze. The duck was cooked to perfection, with the meat pink and the skin crispy, and the sauce really complimented the whole dish. My only complaint would be that there was just a bit too much red cabbage with it and some vegetables such as carrots would have been nice, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed it and would order it again.
Unusually for me with my dairy intolerance I did manage to find one pudding which did not contain milk – the poached pear with maple roasted figs. I love maple syrup and pears so quite frankly nothing was ever going to go wrong with this dish, but it was great to be able to have three whole courses at a restaurant.
The best thing about Le Bon Crubeen is that there is actually too much choice for gluten free eaters, a problem that we very rarely if at all ever have. We all know that most dishes on a normal menu can quite easily be made gluten free and Le Bon clearly realises that as it doesn’t distinguish one diner from another due to their dietary requirements. I could have eaten any of the choices on the menu as they all sounded delicious, and those with a sweet tooth will be pleased to know that a wide array of the puds are produced gluten free. The atmosphere in the restaurant was great, the staff were friendly and the live musicians in there on the night really added to the experience.