The dynamic John Farrell has been ringing the changes in his Dublin empire. Leslie Williams tries to keep up.
It's all change at the (mini) empire of John Farrell of Dillingers, The Butcher Grill and 777. Menus are changing in all three restaurants and he is just about to open Super Miss Sue - a 65 seater seafood and sushi restaurant with a Camari and Gin bar on Drury Street beside Fade Street Social.
But first to Dillingers - many of you will have seen the ingenious Downfall parody about the restaurant closing for renovations a few weeks back (see below ) well the good news for the Fuhrer is that it is now open again.
The re-vamp has extended the dining room which is looking much sleeker and cooler in green and black. The menu has some nice cheffy starters such as Foie Gras and Chicken Liver on Brioche, and Calf's Tongue, Lardo di Colonnata with Fennel, while mains are strictly comfort food with Buttermilk Marinated Fried Chicken and Beef Hotdog with Yeung's Wife's Kimchi and Spicy Mustard.
Farrell's love of American food is to the fore in the sides with Corn Dogs, Mac and Cheese and Sweetcorn all available and desserts included Key Lime Pie and Cheese Cake on the night we visited.
Attention to detail is evident as per usual and I love the fact that John is getting his own hot dogs made specifically for him and that the kimchi is sourced from the wife of a Korean friend that runs a small shop on Parnell Street.
Myself and William Barry (of this parish) enjoyed our meal on opening night with my Calf's Tongue luscious and velvety and my John Dory with caramelized scallops perfectly cooked. William's steak was a massive bone-in hunk cooked as directed with fine crispy chips and we had decent key lime pie and cheescake to finish. This was opening night so yes a few things will need tweeking such as the too-solid Macaroni and Cheese and perhaps some longer cooking of the lamb ribs to render out some of the fattiness.
Meanwhile across the street in the Butcher's Block a new menu is being rolled out by new chef Barry Fitzgerald who previously ran the Michelin starred The Harwood Arms gastropub in London.
Bone-in Cote de Boeuf aged for 45 days and Cheese and Onion Tart typify the menu which also includes modish touches such as Raw Mackerel with Cucumber and Charcoal and Cod Cheeks, Fennel and Onion Broth.
Adam Dunne who trained under Neil Perry in Rockpool in Sydney is determined to kick things up a few notches at 777 which has evolved from classic Mexican to contemporary and although I have heard some mixed reports recently John is confident Adam has things back up to speed.