Tell me this…. what would you think if I said “let’s go for cocktails and a bite to eat” and this was the doorway of the place I took you to?
I am thinking you may be too polite to say it but in your head you’re thinking “Has Kate lost the plot?!” Pretty much what I’d say the boyf was thinking when we strolled up to the door of Vintage Cocktail Club last Sunday. We’d spent the few hours previous watching Dublin win the GAA match in Croke Park so it was time for something a bit less sporty for me… Food and cocktails were in order 🙂
This place is a pretty well kept secret – so far anyway. I’ve only heard a few people say they’ve been here and most folk I mention it to have never heard of it. What I had heard was that the cocktails were GREAT. It’s a small place so I called ahead and made a reservation for dinner at 7pm.
VCC (as it says on the door) is not the kinda place you would ever notice as you stroll through Temple Bar…. I knew beforehand it was slightly hidden but I came armed with the address and found the black iron door pretty quickly. Big heavy black iron door…. no handle… how do I get in?! Ring the bell of course Kate. So, ring the bell I did then stood waiting not having a clue what to expect.
The door was opened by a lovely girl who lead us up the stairs. At this point I was beginning to think that maybe I had lost the plot! We were greeted by 70’s style carpet and a dimly lit stairway which lead us into the main area. It was slightly like an explosion in your Nan’s house back in the day… a very dark explosion! Clashing carpets and wallpaper, silver ceilings, red velvet curtains, lamps dotted around the place, framed pics on the walls and beige velvet seats … there was loads going on – and I loved it! We were seated and the waitress gave us a free small glass of prosecco and a menu… a nice touch I think – I’ll NEVER say no to free prosecco 🙂
The menu is just one page.
They offer small bites and snacks, then a couple of “belly fillers” and some desserts or as they call them the “aftermath”. The belly fillers were pretty substantial meals, only two options – hanger steak or crispy pork belly. We decided to get a few of the smaller plates instead. We went for the Wild Mushrooms on charred sour dough with burrata €10 (a type of cheese I’d never heard of), Fondant potatoes with black pudding and quail eggs €12, Ginger beef €12.50 and a portion of shoe string fries €6.
While waiting for the food we ordered a couple of cocktails, Champagne Punch and a Dirty Wizard – both were fab!
The food arrived not too long after and it looked great. The prices aren’t cheap for small plates but the portion size is really good and the food was so well cooked.
I’m struggling to say what my favourite was but I think it was the pudding and quail eggs, the eggs were small and perfectly cooked so that they burst open when I cut through.
We both agreed that the ginger beef, while having a lovely flavour with the sweet sticky sauce, actually lacked the flavour of beef. There seemed to be more batter than beef. The huge bowl of shoestring fries came with a spicy pepper aioli which was yum.
While we were eating we could see that most people who came in were trying to get a seat upstairs so I went up to the loo to check it out. I expected it to just be another bar area but it was actually a lovely open roofed terrace – it was a nice enough evening and there were a few groups of people sitting on the wicker chairs just chilling out with some cocktails. It would be the perfect place to spend a few hours on a sunny afternoon – the area is very small though so you may struggle to get a table.
Once we’d finished eating we decided against dessert (me…no dessert!! For once!) and had another look through the cocktail menu. There is SO MUCH choice on it. The waitress was really helpful and talked us through a few of them so we decided on the Flip Out (my one in the little milk bottle) and another one which was either Henry XIV or Louis XIV – I’m not up to speed on my history and Kings!! These two were great for after dinner as both were kinda creamy as opposed to our fruity first round.
The bill came to just under €90. It was pretty pricey, i know that a lot of places are in Dublin city but it was quite steep. The cocktails were all approx. €12….manageable for 1 or 2 but you’d need a fair bit of dosh to stay there for the whole night. I did really like this place though, it’s so different to anywhere else in the city and the fact that it wasn’t heaving full of people, was nice and relaxed and had nice helpful and friendly staff all added to the atmosphere. It’s probably not a place you could stay all night as you would spend an absolute fortune but for a few drinks it’s definitely a place to try out.
Vintage Cocktail Club
15 Crown Alley
Ph: 01 – 675 3547
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