In 10 Words
Cracking traditional grub, perfect for when Ranelagh’s all booked up.
Peperina Garden Bistro. Beside Morton’s supermarket, just a stone’s throw from Beechwood Luas stop. Not that anybody does be throwing stones in this part of town, mind.
Its proximity to Ranelagh village, which offers an embarrassment of riches when it comes to restaurants and yet can still be utterly booked out on a Friday or Saturday evening, makes it an excellent Plan B.
Young couples (like ourselves) and families. Doesn’t seem to be somewhere that plays to groups of mates – the mood is a bit hushed, and one raucous family group stands out rather painfully – but then that’s just a snapshot of one evening.
Nothing wild, nothing experimental – the mains section is largely filled out with chicken dishes, steaks, burgers and bakes, while starters are your usual blend of bruschetti, calimari and crostini.
The big-bellied may fancy their chances with the nacho starter, while the adventurous (or small-bellied) may opt for the mushroom pappardelle main, but all in all this is very much a menu you could present to your mam and not have her accuse you of notions.
A shared goat cheese and caramelised red onion bruschetta kicks things off – those mains all look rather hefty, and so the object here is to take the edge off our Friday night ravenousness without quite spoiling our appetites.
The red onion marmalade is divine, the goat cheese is top-notch and beautifully baked – but the bread is an absolute disaster. It’s hard to be absolutely sure, but this looks for all the world like sliced bread; soggy under the balsamic drizzle and red onion marmalade, and not providing the crunch you want from something named so onomatopoeically.
But onwards and upwards.
The words “chargrilled 8oz dry aged hamburger” dance before me on the menu, luring me in with the promise of carby satisfaction after my stressful week and – I justify to myself – a protein-heavy recovery meal after my earlier workout.
Again, though, bread proves my undoing: there’s no buns in the kitchen, and so I opt for the steak again. It’s rare enough that steak is a consolation prize or a disappointment – and certainly there’s nothing wrong with this medium rare ribeye – but dammit, I had my heart set on that hamburger.
Aisling gets the chicken supreme; a one-item representation of the menu and the restaurant itself, that’s low on imagination or originality but high on quality with a deliciously grilled skin packing a punch for the tastebuds.
Bottle of delicious, light and fruity Pinot Grigio for €24.50. Not an ideal companion to the steak, admittedly, but goes down very nicely.
€83 for the lot, including chocolate and ice cream desserts that don’t really require too much more commentary. Pricey enough, particularly given we shared a starter and got a relatively well priced wine.
Sound out. Apologetic about the bread situation, attentive, not overbearing. Top marks.
Hardly the sort of place where you’d spend a week eagerly anticipating your visit – but a perfectly good complement to the nearby local scene in D6.