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23rd Feb 2024

Mount Merrion welcomes new restaurant where you can watch the chefs prepare your food

Katy Thornton

blackrock restaurant esther's

This is going to be the new go-to spot for Mount Merrion locals.

There’s a new neighbourhood restaurant in Mount Merrion, and we have a feeling it’s going to have the locals flocking to it for any and all occasions.

Occupying the space previously held by little bro to big brother Michael’s, Esther’s officially opened on Thursday February 22nd, and has set bookings live on their website. The exterior is simple, one you’d almost pass by without another glance, but as someone who has studied the menu, I can say to do so would be a mistake. The inside is intimate, on the smaller side of restaurants, with pale greys walls and plush bar chairs, accented by green tiles and gold hardware.

If you love the hustle and bustle of the kitchen (there’s a reason The Bear has been so successful) you can opt for seats at the chef’s table to have a goo while you sip on your wine.

If you’d prefer something quieter, for a romantic meal with your partner, or a catch up with your friend who emigrated years ago, there’s a cosy snug available to dine at too. You can choose your preference upon booking. There are also seats outside which could make dining al fresco a viable option once the weather starts to improve.

Esther’s menu is short but considered, packed with locally sourced and fresh Irish ingredients, and split into five categories (snacks, starters, mains, sides, desserts) with 3-4 items in each. Each section accommodates meat eaters, vegetarians, and pescatarians, although if you’re strictly vegan, you might have to sit a visit to Esther’s out. Olives, prosciutto, and sourdough are on offer to warm up your stomach ahead of your meal, while the starters lean towards all things seafood, from Dublin prawns with a ciabatta, to cured organic Clare island salmon with citrus jelly.

There are just four mains, two meat, one fish, and one vegetarian. The meat dishes are up there in price, with the herb marinated Achill Island lamb rump setting you back €38.50, and the John O’Reilly’s beef fillet cottage pie costing you €45 – that said, both sound incredible, with a healthy helping of sides, and using Irish producers and suppliers. The fish and vegetarian mains are slightly more affordable, with the fried Castletownbere cod in parsley crumb listed at €29, and the roasted cauliflower in vadouvan sauce costing €23 – whatever you choose, you’re bound to leave with the desire to unbutton your trousers.

Sides are kept simple, each with the €6 price-tag, a choice of fried garlic-y potatoes, a lemon dressed leafy salad, or cauliflower accompanied by anchovy vinaigrette, mint, and sesame.

Currently the wine menu is still under wraps, but given its positioning as a wine bar and restaurant, we’re sure they will have an impressive selection to choose from. We did spy bottles of Poggio Alla Luna Chianti 2020 on their shelves, a wine that bursts with red berry notes, as well as Montelaguna Roble 2022, which leans more into blackberry and blueberry flavours. The former pairs gorgeously with lamb and beef, whilst the latter works great in collaboration with pork and poultry, so no matter what you choose off the menu, there will be a wine that suits.

From all that research, my stomach is grumbling and my saliva glands are working over-time – a trip to Esther’s is definitely on the cards at my earliest convenience. The beef fillet cottage pie is absolutely calling my name.

Esther’s can be found at 63 Deer Park Road, Mount Merrion, Blackrock; you can make a booking here.

Header images via Instagram / Esther’s


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