You know those restaurants that you’ve always heard of but never tried? The Pig’s Ear was one of those for me… over the years I’d heard great reports on the food, but I’d never even seen the place never mind tried it!
I was recently given a voucher for the popular restaurant and was excited to try it out. They were awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2009 and have retained it since so I was pretty sure it would be a decent meal.
I popped along on a sunny Saturday afternoon after a bit of shopping on Grafton Street. The restaurant is on Nassau Street, easily recognisable by the gorgeous bright pink door! We bundled up a small set of stairs and went into the first floor of the restaurant. There are 3 dining rooms which all face onto Nassau Street and as they are on the elevated floors you are gifted beautiful views out toward Trinity College. I would have loved to be seated on the higher level but this particular evening it seemed pretty full up there! We were delighted to get a lovely seat next to the beautiful windows though, a lovely spot to eat while the evening closed in. The dining room is simple and cosy and has a comfortable, laid back atmosphere.
We were given the menu to look over and presented with a gorgeous little bag of fresh bread and butter. As per usual I had zero willpower and polished off the majority of this!
We decided to order from the Early Bird Menu, offering 2 courses for €21.95 or 3 for €26.95. With a choice of 3 starters, 3 mains and 3 desserts it may have been a slightly shorter menu than some restaurants but in saying that with a meat, fish or veggie main course option most will easily fancy one or more of the choices!
To start I chose the Crispy Pig’s Head Croquette comprised of Lardo, Tarragon Mayonnaise & Apple. I’ll be honest, the Pig’s Head part made me slightly nervous … I will try most meat or fish but the image of eating meat from a pig’s head isn’t too pretty! However, I adore croquettes and was pretty sure once I tasted it that the piggy’s face would be forgotten – and I was right! The croquette was crispy on the outside with beautifully soft and well seasoned meat inside. The pairing with apple worked very well as always.
While Mam isn’t a vegetarian, she isn’t big on meat other than chicken and very rarely eats fish so the options of pork or salmon were out for her. Luckily she does like goat’s cheese as the last choice was Gold River Farm Beetroot with Burnt Apple, St Tola Goats Cheese & Pickled Onions. How fabulous is the presentation on this dish?! I had a small slice of the cheese and it was delicious, so soft and creamy.
For my main I decided on the fish… Pan Fried Cod with Broccoli Purée, Salt Cod Mash, Broad Beans, Carrots & Brown Shrimp. This dish was so good – light, fresh and simple but perfectly cooked. The fish fell apart in flakes and it was an all round well balanced dish.
Mam decided on the Chicken Breast with Sweetcorn, Smoked Garlic Potato & Grilled Lettuce. I don’t often order chicken when I’m eating out as I have it so much at home, but on the occasions I do, I realise how badly I cook it. Throwing it into a stir fry and eating dry chicken really makes me appreciate how amazing a piece of well cooked chicken can be! This was soft and moist and so tasty.
We decided against a dessert and just sipped over our glasses of wine, enjoying the relaxed feel to our meal. The Pig’s Ear offers fantastic food in a comfortable environment and should definitely make it onto your list on “Must Try” restaurants in Dublin!