Dublin Dining: Five-course tasting menu at Forest Avenue

Dublin Dining chronicles my food & drink experiences during six months living in Dublin, Ireland.

Agnolotti, Forest Avenue
Agnolotti of Comté, Jerusalem artichoke, truffle & whey butter & pickled cabbage

I knew that my last weekend in Dublin had to include a special meal, and after a little research, Forest Avenue fit all the criteria: seasonal and locally sourced Irish cuisine, tasting menu format, reasonable price. But this restaurant was even more of a gem than I ever expected. I stayed impressed through the entire dinner, including an especially dreamy pasta course with buttery, truffle-scented agnolotti and Jeusalem artichoke.

Bacon tart and aubergine-green olive snacks, Forest Avenue
Aubergine and green olive on a cracker and mini bacon tart, two of several snacks
Parsnip soup, Forest Avenue
Parsnip soup with mushroom and crisps, the last of the snacks

Several snacks and soup served as bonus courses to begin the meal. Each bite packed flavor, whether it was salty olive on a cracker, smoky bacon in a tart, or earthy mushrooms punctuating a delightfully foamy parsnip soup. Next came the salad course, where roasted beets were transformed by blood orange, creamy curd, and dukkah, an Egyptian spice blend. The early courses paired especially well with our bottle of Austrian white wine, a unique straw-colored blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Gruner Veltliner from 2014.

Beet salad, Forest Avenue
Salad of beets with blood orange, curd, dukkah, and radish
Duck, Forest Avenue
Duck, swede, onion, chanterelle, and romaine lettuce

I chose duck as my main, which brought me full circle from the excellent duck I’d had at The Pig’s Ear during my very first weekend in Dublin. The nicely charred onion, wilted greens, and rich jus kept the focus firmly on the meat itself. In fact, that kind of focus and purity of flavor was really a theme in all of the dishes.

Dessert also included a couple of bonus courses, but the main event was a pleasantly tropical combination of coconut panna cotta and passion fruit sorbet with pineapple and spiced bread crumble on top. Even with its several playful components, the dessert still felt focused and clean. And Forest Avenue’s whole aesthetic adhered to those same values, from the earth-toned art and antler wall hangings down to the beautiful ceramic servingware. All that combined with attentive service and a soulful soundtrack made this the restaurant I’d now most highly recommend in Dublin.

Coconut panna cotta, Forest Avenue
Coconut panna cotta, pineapple, spiced bread & passion fruit sorbet

While I’m sad that my time in Dublin had to come to an end, I’ve already started catching up on all the food and drink Chicago introduced while I was gone. Stay tuned!

The details: Forest Avenue, 8 Sussex Terrace, Dublin 4, Ireland.

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