Wednesday 5 June 2013

La Maison, Castle Market Street, Dublin 2

I’ve eaten here once before and I was very impressed. For my second night in Dublin this week I decided to revisit, with four colleagues. I always find when I am introducing other people to a restaurant I have visited before that there is a weight of responsibility on my shoulders, I really hope that the venue delivers for a second time. La Maison is a quirky little French place tucked discreetly away off Grafton Street in Dublin city centre. I especially love the décor; lots of old French advertising posters, I spent most of my meal looking at a happy goose advertising foie gras.

I had for starter the same thing I had on my first visit, pate. At La Maison they elevate the simple pate so much that it gets its own tray, with a selection of three available. There is the ubiquitous chicken liver pate, a venison terrine and (what I would describe as) a rilette of duck and poultry. I naturally chose all three and all three were excellent. Served with plenty of bread, with an interesting balsamic chutney and with some pickled cornichons and cauliflower. My favourite was the chicken liver pate, every bit as strong as if you were to make it at home.

To follow I had pigeon. Traditionally, something that I have most often found disappointing to eat, but nowadays it is almost always excellent. Have all the chefs in the world got together and cracked the right way to cook an air-rat? Very tender, served on a bed of lentils which were swimming in a rich, juicy gravy. Also on the side were a couple of chicken livers. All in all, a great main course, if a little too rich (even for me). Regular readers will know that my favourite main course is steak tartare, somehow I had managed to miss this on the menu so actually ended up being a little annoyed with myself for not reading the menu thoroughly.

To end I had a plum tart with vanilla ice cream and a red berry jus. Just excellent, not something I would normally order but I am really pleased that I did.

There were also a couple of amuse bouches to note. The first was a sort of ragout on a fried potato, it was OK but it was what it was. The second was a lime sorbet with basil, this was excellent and the whole table enjoyed it.

Another great meal at La Maison, everybody thoroughly enjoyed their choices so I feel that I did a good job. I have written before about the difficulty of finding good food at a reasonable price in Dublin; this restaurant is the exception that proves the rule.

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