Dobbins Restaurant Dublin

In the last few years, in common with many parts of the world, numerous restaurants shut their doors in Dublin. Some of the trendiest and extremely expensive ones just priced themselves out of business. Even the most fashionable Dubliners, who six months earlier, never looked at the prices on a menu, suddenly seemed to decide that there was a limit to how much a certain kind of 'cool' was worth.

Dobbins in Stephen's Lane seems to have bucked the trend. Though, some might say, that in one sense it was never really trendy, in another sense it always was. For over a quarter century, it kept its chic image by not trying very hard to be chic. It didn't seem to have to and still doesn't. The things that matter in a restaurant speak for themselves. The food always was and still is superb here. The location is central but still a short refreshing distance from the city bustle. The recently refurbished unique interior architecture with the iconic ceiling still lends it the ambience of a French chateau's wine cellar. And, speaking of wine, in keeping with Dobbins 'wine bistro' origins going back twenty five years, the selection is truly munificent and masterful, with a vintage for any occasion.

Dobbins is a great favourite at lunchtime with an eclectic range of culinary devotees. These include young business people like advertising agency execs, media persons, a sprinkling of interesting artistic characters, as well as a selection of the perennial visitors to Dublin. Lunch offers excellent value for money, with a set menu below €20 per person.

In the evening it's a superior eating place with a relaxed laid back ambiance for young and not so young couples and groups who don't want to feel that they have to dress up too much to enjoy a quality and relaxing meal. Unlike many establishments nowadays, in Dobbins, there is no sense of a client being obliged to sit a few short inches from the next table and have to listen to the conversation of strangers. Many of the tables here are in individual cubicles, perfect for romantic and intimate tête-à-têtes, or simply just a little privacy. For a very special occasion or just to have your own really exclusive area in this ever popular restaurant, Dobbins has recently added a private dining room. It's available for meetings and other small group events.

Many of the dishes are original concepts of the great culinary artists who have worked as chefs in Dobbins over the years. Some creations have become enduring classics in Dublin. The evening menu offers a very wide choice of starters, main courses and deserts. Here's an example of a possible three course meal. The cost is roughly €25 (without wine or service). You start with roasted plum tomato salad with feta goat's cheese and balsamic dressing. To follow that, a very popular main course is rump of lamb, herb de Provence, and ratatouille of vegetables. A perennially favourite desert is Dobbin's own vanilla & mandarin crème brûlée. Tea or coffee, that they promise is always freshly made, is also included in the price.

Finally, if you'd like Dobbins culinary fare to be served in a dining room of your own choosing, they provide an outside catering service and have built up an impressive clientele that includes the Irish government.

Dobbins Restaurant is located in the understated but upmarket business and residential area of Dublin 2. If you feel a little energetic, you could easily walk there from the city centre. It's a pleasant two mile stroll through wide, impressive streets of world famous Georgian architecture. If you prefer to drive, there is ample safe parking on the street outside the front door.

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