You can't patent a restaurant. Some of the best restaurants in the world are ideas that people have brought back from other countries and just replicated for a local market. As much as you might dislike Starbucks for example every coffee shop in the world copies their model now. Chefs copy dishes and get inspiration from each other all the time but they usually add a little twist to pass it off as their own. This week I came across probably the most blatant copy I've ever seen wedged about 200 yards between the two restaurants that it was copying and rather than a full review I thought I'd highlight some of the ways in which they'd copied two other high profile Dublin restaurants. There is absolutely nothing illegal happening here and I think it's great that we have loads more hip restaurants opening in Dublin but you'd be a tad pissed off if you owned Bison or Neon right now! Check out the similarities...
You can do a lot with wording on a menu and pretend you are not trying to copy somewhere else but Pitt Brothers have not even tried to hide the fact that they are copying a restaurant less than 200 yards away. The meat choices are the exact same.
The way they serve it all with sides are the exact same and they haven't even bothered changing the prices making the sides exactly 3.95 as well. It is as if they tried to copy it subtly and then just said "fuck it you know what lets just do the exact same and not even worry about it"
You can normally make a restaurant feel completely different by simply adding your own little touches but even these are copied in Pitt brothers. I guess their thinking is if it ain't broke don't fix it or don't come up with your own ideas.
Kitchen towel on the table is something that was unique and quirky in other places like Bison but it just feels like yet another tired copy in here.
Just when you think the whole experience feels very familiar and copied from one restaurant in particular along comes something completely different. A free ice cream cone that you serve yourself with. How original and unique right? Wrong. The same thing was introduced by Neon an Asian restaurant just up the road on Camden Street last year. You could even go as far as saying it is their signature touch. Now I'm sure Neon copied that from somewhere else themselves but offering the exact thing a couple of hundred yards down the road feels cheap and tacky.
So Is It Worth It?
If you were a tourist or had never been to Neon or Bison then this would be a pretty nice experience. The food is decent although the smoking could do with a bit of tinkering and they were missing the brisket which I was dying to taste but I'll put that down to it being opening week. It is good value and you leave feeling full and like you had good food at a very decent price. The place is buzzing and the young hip crowd and cool decor make it feel like a pace you want to spend time in before going for a few beers with the service outstanding. Personally speaking I'll be going to Bison or somewhere else that is more original. Eating here would be like buying the fake Gucci bag in Thailand. Having Aldi Cola instead of Coca Cola. Having said that Samsung copy everything that Apple do including recently unashamedly launching a gold phone just a week after Apple launched their gold phone. Samsung are now the biggest phone company in the world. Copying doesn't sit right with everybody but it works and sometimes the copies can go on to be bigger and better than the originals. I don't need to share the location of Pitt Brothers because just walk down Georges Street and look for the angry chefs and interior designers from Neon and Bison hanging around outside a restaurant with pitch forks and their lawyers.
The View From Others
I am only one person eating there on one single day so in a bid to give the review a little balance here are some other people who have eaten there