Pigeon House Cafe - Great Food and Decent Value
The Pigeon House Cafe is a relatively new addition and is situated in the old Delgany Arms which was converted into a bakery and restaurant. Now I'm aware that Delgany is in Wicklow, but at a mere 25km from the south of Dublin city centre and it makes for a nice weekend trip. The bakery is a favourite haunt of mine, and it's the kind of place you have to hit early to get the good bread.
The previous restaurant always felt a bit stuffy for day time so I never ventured into it. It has now been revamped and offers a causal dining experience with breakfast, lunch and dinner from Thursday to Sunday. I arrived early and managed to get a great table. At the time of the review, the cafe was relatively new and the system staff had for seating customers seemed a bit haphazard.
The menu here hasn't got many items on it - 10 dishes to be precise. On the day I was there were two specials available, with all items are priced reasonably. Our group had 4 adults and 1 child and to my delight they were able to provide a kids menu as well as something to colour in.
But now, down to the good stuff - the food. I opted for the beef burger which was excellent. The onion chutney on it created a flavour that set it apart from your average pub grub burger. I had a taste of the poached trout, quinoa, fennel grape and cucumber salad which, although excellent, would have been better served on a Summer's day rather than the depths of Winter. Cold fish and summer is the perfect summer lunch dish. The dill cured salmon on sourdough bread was a good portion but again, not exactly Winter fare.
One of the specials on the day was a Shakshuka, which is a baked tomato dish with egg on top. That was served with some sourdough and I hesitated on ordering this as I was craving a burger.
I got serious food envy when I spotted the pies though. A chicken and mushroom pie that was housed in a dish and had a pie crust on top - now that was a true Winter dish for warming the cockles.
The kids menu offered fish and chips that kept the little one happy, and looked as big as the adult portion. This was followed by some ice cream, and was a pretty reasonable price.
There are a few different seating options in this spot but not all are eating appropriate. You'd happily have a coffee in some of the armchairs but shovelling downing a pie might make for a messy lap.
Coffee is excellent here and you could easily settling in for a long lunch with good company. We didn't hit the wine menu on our lunch date but they had a decent selection from the looks of it.
Service was good, although getting the bill took a little longer than I would have liked, and we had some payment confusion that was rectified before leaving.
I'd recommend a visit to the shop below that has an excellent cheese counter - having left with truffles and black truffle oil on occasion. Don't bother going to the bakery though - I will have bought all the bread they make so you will just be wasting your time. Joking aside though, the really do bake outstanding bread if you can get your hands on some. If you've got a few free hours over the weekend, definitely head to Delgany and check out the Pigeon House Cafe, it'll be well worth the drive.