I’ve heard plenty of buzz, good and bad about Avenue by Nick Munier. I remember reading peoples outrage that a burger could cost €25 and thinking to myself that value is relative. If you think it such an incredulous thing to ask, there is a very simple resolution, don’t order it. I prefer to make up my own mind about places, so with that in mind myself and a friend headed to check it out.
We arrived at a slightly odd time of day. Too late to really be considered lunch and too early to be considered dinner so as a result it was a fairly quiet restaurant. The welcome from the wonderful host Alanna was not warm, it was scorching hot and we had a great bit of banter with her on and off throughout the meal. First impressions really can make or break a dining experience so I was glad we were off to a good start.
We also happened to have a Living Social voucher which gave us €60 to spend for the price of €30. As with most vouchers it was limited to the A La Carte menu. Glasses of wine were poured while we checked out the menu.
Some fresh baked brown bread kicked off proceedings while we waited for our starters to arrive.
The first starter was a crab and shrimp salad (€10). Delicately piled high on the plate it was served with spiced avocado, melon salsa and frisee salad. It was fresh and tasty and the spice of the avocado and fruitiness of the melon worked well with the crab.
The second starter (mine) was butternut squash tortellini (€8.95). Oyster mushroom fricassee with pickled pearl onions and rosemary cream. A visual triumph, a taste explosion and I wanted more. A starter it is but I think three tortellini would be a better fit here.
Some days are just steak days when your eating so for the main course we were both won over by the sound of the steaks. 10oz rib eye (€39.50) with Portobello mushrooms, pepper relish béarnaise and shoestring fries to accompany it. There is no denying that it was a good steak. An ample size, cooked perfectly to order and the béarnaise was rich and creamy. My picture doesn’t however do it justice.
The only draw back to eating a steak for a main course was that we were both too full to try out the dessert menu. So having wined and dined and chatted with the staff over quite a long lunch (I’m calling it lunch) what’s the verdict?
The Food: there is no denying that the food was excellent. The menu is varied and starters have a reasonable range of prices from €7 to €14.50. The mains equally varied in offering and something to tempt everyone. The prices here however are a bit more on the steep side. They range from €21 for poached cod to €45 for a full lobster.
The Service: simply excellent from start to finish.
The Surrounds: The artwork is modern and fun. The tablecloths are crisp white and the seating comfortable and varied. Our booth by the window was perfect.
I can’t fault Avenue for what they delivered and as I said at the start value is all relative. I certainly had a great experience, left with high spirits and perhaps a lighter than usual wallet. With that said we had consciously chosen to utilise a Living Social voucher and limit ourselves to a more expensive menu.
I will certainly be back and on my next visit I’ll be trying out the excellently priced lunch/early bird which gives you 3 courses for €20. Avenue is also a play on words ‘A Venue’ which it also is with a cocktail lounge and bar attached. I’m reliably informed that they have an exciting line up of events in the works to fully showcase Avenue.
You can find Avenue on 1/1A Crow Street, Templebar. They are also great fun on Twitter @avenuedublin