February 08, 2012

Raw at the Rustic Stone

Just before Christmas I was treated out to a meal at the Rustic Stone in Dublin City. I was unconvinced, cook the food myself...why...sure couldn't I do that at home! But I was converted and so much so that I told my friends they had to come and try it with me. So last Sunday we all managed to drag ourselves into town despite the neverending deluge of rain. It was wet, it was miserable but it was worth it (including my wet shopping bags distintegrating on the luas!!).

We were welcomed in by the very friendly staff, shook off the raindrops and sat ourselves down to what was a truly remarkable lunch. Rustic Stone offers two menus: you can order off their normal menu which is full of salads, pastas and food on the stone, this is where the cooking it yourself part comes in. One of the group went for this, deeming it her dinner for the day so Ms. J went all out and ordered herself a fillet of beef with mushrooms and wild tarragon.

Fillet of Beef
This came out to her sizzling on the plate. It was juicy, flavoursome and perfect by all accounts. She now is on a mission to find out where their beef comes from!! She also ordered a side of pesto chips with garlic and tomato parmesan. Big, fat, doorstops of potato and boy were they good.

Pesto Chips
Or you can order off their Raw menu which is only available at lunchtime.The Raw menu is described as 'a simple concept of applying less heat to food' and since this was just lunch for myself and Ms. B we ordered off this thinking we would still have room for sunday dinner later!! The menu basically works like a tapas menu, you can order two or three dishes as they come in small or big portion sizes. Now in reality there doesn't seem to be much difference but you do get two side salads with the main.

For starters we ordered mango slices with coriander, crab meat and radish and sushi - style tuna with ginger cous-cous, tofu and lime. Both were amazing the tuna was thinly sliced and placed on a small square of cous- cous tofu mixture. The mango and crabmeat both worked very well together and one didn't overpower the other. We milled through these and then it was on to the mains.

Monkfish and Salmon
The mains arrived beautifully presented. The one on the left is monkfish cured in beetroot followed by salmon on seasonal melon. The salmon and melon were as you would expect - fresh, tasty and tangy but for me it was the monkfish that stole the show. It was amazing with small but meaty pieces of monkfish wrapped in wafer thin beetroot.

We had such a fabulous lunch that we couldnt resist dessert!! Strawberries suspended in jelly with a lime foam, seasonal berries with passion fruit sauce and a vegan friendly oat crumble with kiwi and chocolate and avocado sauce. I have to admit I got the last one predominately because I was curious. It was different, very strong with a slight aftertaste but it's worth trying. The seasonal berries with the passion fruit sauce got the top vote with fingers being stuck into the pot to get the last remaining drops!! Overall the Raw menu in Rustic Stone is wonderful. It is very different, adventurous, creative and unusual. It is also a great restaurant for anyone with allergies as everything is marked clearly on the menu. So if you are floating around town and wondering what to do for lunch or indeed dinner, I'd definately suggest giving this a go, you won't be disappointed.

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