December 31, 2013

Forest Avenue: An exceptional meal to end 2013

Blogging took a little bit of a backseat over the last few weeks. Christmas just seemed to fly up on me and for the first time ever our household was responsible for Christmas dinner!! It was a success but I may have landed myself into doing it for the next few years! Now I'm sure you might all well be sick of the sight of food after two weeks of Christmas delights but I thought this post would be a good way to round off 2013 as this meal was 'THE' meal of 2013 for me.

Just before Christmas myself and the mother took ourselves off to Forest Avenue, a newish restaurant situated on Sussex Avenue in Dublin 4 and run by husband and wife team, John and Sandy Wyer. It was a random Tuesday afternoon but the restaurant was busy and the first thing I noticed was the variety of diners in there. It included business men, students, families and well heeled ladies. Indeed the table next to us had buggies and a highchair at it. The decor is casual and has a Nordic feel to it with white walls and great floor to ceiling windows. The place had a lovely informal atmosphere to it and the owners have definitely managed to capture that neighbourhood feel. 

The menu for lunch consisted of two choices for each course. Unsurprisingly we both went for the same thing. The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree and all that jazz!!  The meal started off with some warm fresh bread and an aubergine dip. It was a small taste of the wonderful things to follow. There is also a open kitchen where the chef is on view and you are able to see all the dishes being plated up. The skill and flair in the kitchen is something to behold. Being able to see what was going on pleased the mother a lot and she said it was like a real life viewing of RTE's The Restaurant!

The first course up was the potted seatrout with horseradish, cucumber and beetroot.  It was beautiful to look at and almost too good to eat but we got over that fairly quickly! All the flavours worked wonderfully together and it was a light, fresh starter.

Potted seatrout with horseradish, cucumber and beetroot. 
Next up was our main course of roast cod with leeks, mussels and Jerusalem artichoke. Each mouthful was a delight and the fish flaked apart easily. I also love the earthy taste of Jerusalem artichoke and thought they worked a treat with the fish. The dish was also accompanied by a little fish cake. Conversation between myself and the mother ground to a halt and consisted mainly of 'mmm' and 'oh my god, have you tasted that bit yet'!! 

Roast cod with leeks, mussels and Jerusalem artichoke
At the beginning we did think we would only have two courses but we were so blown away by the quality of the dishes that we couldn't leave without having dessert. Dessert was coconut cream, passion fruit and spiced bread. The passion fruit came in the form of a sorbet with spiced bread sprinkled liberally around the plate. The coconut cream came in a separate little cup. It was divine! 

Passion fruit and Spiced Bread
Coconut Cream

From beginning to end this meal was flawless. The flavours and combinations were amazing and as my mother kept saying to anyone who would listen - the staff, the chef, and all her friends since - it was such an experience! I didn't doubt that it would be very good as John and Sandy Wyer are well known throughout the food world. I think though that they have managed to create something very special with Forest Avenue. It is modern food of a very high standard without any of the pretentiousness that normally accompanies food like this or the massive prices! I'm predicting that Forest Avenue will be of the stars of 2014!

Lunch at Forest Avenue cost us €27 for three courses. Dinner consists of a tasting menu for €48 while their fabulous sounding Sunday Brunch is €24. 

8 Sussex Terrace - Dublin 4 - Ph: 01 667 8337
Find them on Twitter here

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