It seems as though everyone in Ireland has a crush on Chef Dylan McGrath. I had an opportunity to visit his bustling new restaurant in Dublin, Fade Street Social after a rather ecstatic morning and afternoon spent front and centre in the St. Paddy’s Day Parade. His brand new venture offers an 8,000 sq ft space featuring an elegant restaurant and a funky gastro bar specializing in tapas style small plates.
Amiee and I were whisked past the jammed gastro bar (making a note that this place is POP-u-lar) and into the more subdued dining room. I sat on a comfy bench with the bar to my right and open concept kitchen to my left. Chef Dylan celebrates the local landscape with a phenomenal menu which features the head of a sheep and cabbage. Fade Street Social celebrates Irish food and character. Its approach is another departure from the formality of fine dining, while trying to capture the unique sense of humour of the Irish. It seems as though the concept has caught on well with the locals.
Over the course of the next two hours Amiee and I sipped through the restaurants fantastic cocktail list and nibbled through many of the kitchens signature dishes. The bartender impressed with two beverages that celebrate the carrot and beet. These vegetable centric beverages surprised and delighted. I had never encountered these sort of herbaceous cocktails before and to be honest felt a bit naughty drinking them. It was as if I had dropped my flask of booze into healthy veg juice. The sort of vitamin rich juices vegans drink on summer patios with their poodles in the sun.
Every bite from the kitchen was a memorable delight. The restaurant specializes in a selection of very thin flat bread (don’t you dare call it thin crust pizza) which they quickly bake in their wood-fired oven. We started with the pumpkin, pork and chestnut adorned selection. A perfect pairing. Our savoury adventure continued on with braised rabbit legs, open mushroom ravioli and a pickled carrot and tarragon salad. Our final indulgence included a duo of desserts: a reinterpretation of Banoffi and a sherry rich cherry trifle.
The team at Fade Street Social made me smile. The bar and kitchen seem to be working in a smooth harmony to tantalize our pallats with a new definition of what it means to be Irish. From first slurp to final swallow, dinner that evening would by the cherry on my sundae. A fine way to salut the most memorable St. Paddy’s Day one could ever wish to encounter.
Soothe The Beast
g’vine floraison, elderflower, citrus, lavender bitters, egg white
carrot juice, orange curacao, orange liquor, irish falernum
beetroot juice, muddled blackberries, citrus juice, cachacha, kammerlings ginsing liquor
jameson 12 year old whiskey, orange citrus oils, peychauds, tobacco liquor
Pumpkin, Pork and Chestnut Woodfired
pumpkin puree, fresh rosemary, parmesan, pulled crispy pork, onion puree, irish mozzarella, sliced chestnut, fried mushroom
Braised Rabbit Legs
white wine, smoked bacon, tarragon, onion
Mushroom Open Ravioli
truffle, parmesan, gremolata
Pickled Carrot and Tarragon Salad
pickled carrot, wild leaves, nasurtium, rocket, shallots, chives, carrot juice dressing
banana puree, caramelized condensed milk, vanilla, creme fraiche, caramel jelly, digestive biscuits, banana sorbet, caramel foam
cherry compote, vanilla custard, sherry and cherry sponge, jelly, whipped cream