Reply To: Rustic Stone by Dylan McGrath, Dublin, Ireland

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November 2015, Our Lunch

Having passed Rustic Stone a lot of times we were aware that the restaurant is run by Dylan McGrath, a former Michelin Star winning chef of Mint Restaurant fame, existed, but didn’t think it would be suitable for us.

Since we are more health conscious it suddenly made sense. We were actively discussing for months, if this should be our next restaurant we were going to test. It also came highly recommended by the Maitre d’ of Glynn Purnell’s – a 1* Michelin stared restaurant in Birmingham, UK -, where we had lunch in October 2015, so we took the plunge. A review is going to follow about Glynn Purnell’s, but it might take some time.

Rustic Stone by Dylan McGrath is located on South Georges Street, not too far from Fallon & Byrne.

It is housed in a classic building (Georges Street Arcade) and contains one of the most expensive kitchens in Ireland. It is Chef McGrath’s experimental kitchen.

The cuisine is fresh, seasonal and healthy. Any dietary requirements can be accommodated and all dishes state if they are wheat, gluten, dairy and/or sugar free, if they are low in saturated fat or vegetarian/vegan. It makes it easier for allergy sufferers, diabetics, persons with high cholesterol or blood pressure or generally health conscious guests to choose.

We arrived on a rainy November day. Our reservation was in the system and we were brought to our table with a smile. The restaurant is rustic in design with lots of wood and mirrors. It is small and the tables are somewhat too tight arranged together.

Rustic Stone was humming with activity.

Our waiter was friendly and brought all relevant menus. We were asked if we wanted still or sparkling water, which arrived promptly in a non branded glass bottle with a flip top opening. A wonderful touch for an earlier era.

We also had the raw warm cinnamon and apple shake and the carrot, orange, sweet ginger shake. They were memorable, tasty and healthy, so we had them twice.

Making up our mind what to order wasn’t easy, because there were so many interesting items on the Raw Menu, which means the food is cooked on lower temperature than usual to keep as many nutrient as possible.

We had the tuna and sweet pickled peppers, seasonal melon cubes with ginger, basil and cucumber, citrus cured salmon, duck with celery orange and green olives and thin slices of heirloom tomato with crunchy courgette and black olive oil. We ordered small plates of those. Another starter was the beetroot broth infused with orange and dill, which didn’t belong to the raw food, but it was outstandingly good.

The raw appetizers were all served together on an understated marble plate. It reminded us of Japan. The broth came in a laboratory bottle, which we could serve ourselves in a bowl, filled with grated beetroot. The flavors were amazing and worked well together.

The melon cubes, heirloom tomatoes and the citrus cured salmon were our favorites.

Our main courses were Penne Pesto and Fish in a Bag. He had chosen the small portion of penne, but seeing how big it was it left us wonder what a large plate would look like. The basil pesto was delicious and the plate looked like a work of art.

My Mackerel was rustic and came with quinoa, carrots and saffron. Our main courses were very well balanced and so good, we could have ordered more, but dessert was waiting.

We ordered a chocolate soup with chocolate mousse and a Catalan Cassanade with toasted brioche. The Cassanade was Catalan Curd served with orange sorbet. The textures were interesting and the flavors good.

The soup, roasted and grated hazelnut and mousse went very well together and wasn’t bland at all, a fear I had, it was moreish.

A Kahlua for him rounded up the meal.

The bill came in at 113.95 Euro or ca. 120.80 USD.

The staff was extremely busy, because the restaurant was fully booked. Sometimes it was difficult to grab their attention, but they were friendly and helpful.

Fellow diners changed the later in the afternoon it was. At first there were many young couples under thirty there, then the clientele was suddenly over fifty.

The atmosphere was good, sometimes a bit loud. Conversations were possible, though.

Other guests favored the value menu. The chicken wings and steak or tuna grilled on a hot stone were the bestsellers.

We would return, because the cuisine is very rare and nowhere else to be found in Dublin or Ireland. It combines healthy components with being tasty and allowing to “graze” and try many different dishes.

We also hope that Chef McGrath tries his hand again in the future on Michelin stared fine dining possibilities with another new restaurant. At least we hope so.

Would we recommend this particular restaurant to a friend? YES!
Would we want to have lunch/dinner again at this particular restaurant in our future? YES!

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