La Maison had been on my list for quite a while to try. I had seen photo’s some fellow bloggers had posted of tasty looking food so wanted to try it myself. As it turned out they come up on one of those groupon sites. €30 for a voucher for €60 to spend in the restaurant on their A La Carte menu. That just screams good value to me. It was restricted to Sunday to Wednesday, which actually suited me just fine as I happened to be wandering about town on a Sunday afternoon.
The restaurant has a really simple to use booking system on their website where you choose the date and time from the selection shown on-screen and then they email you a confirmation. Couldn’t be easier.
So 4 p.m. on a Sunday I headed to La Maison to check out their culinary delights. Myself and my dinner date got a table in the conservatory section to the front. Perfect spot for people watching. Although it can get a little drafty if the door is left open.
The restaurant also has a quite a nice elegant downstairs section with a typical French cafe style. Upstairs feels slightly more formal with red leather seating running along the wall. Perfect for a family get together.
I had in mind that I would keep to the budget of my voucher to see what exactly €60 would get me. The staff promptly furnished us with menu’s and a basket of bread with some of the freshest most vibrant pesto spread I’ve ever tasted.
For starters I oped for the Risotto aux petit pois, more commonly known as garden pea risotto. It was garnished with parmesan cheese shavings and rocket salad. It was absolutely delicious as it was served, but I think a very light drizzle of truffle oil would have given it a boost. Even though it was a starter portion it was quite ample a serving.
I had a glass of house white to go with it, which was crisp and fruity and to be fair they didn’t scrimp on the pouring of it either.
My dining buddy went for the Soupe de poisson, fish soup to those of us with no French. The presentation was really clever. It came out with an empty classic white soup bowl which had salmon in it and a small copper pot on the side with the actual broth in it.
I tried it myself, and although I wouldn’t be a huge fan of fish soup, it was actually quite tasty. My buddy cleaned the bowl so I’ll take that as confirmation it was good.
One thing I did notice about La Maison was they didn’t have any salt or pepper on the tables. Yes the chef seasons, but s/he could be Summer and I Winter so I prefer the option.
After the starters we were given a palate cleanser of red wine sorbet. It was an unexpected touch. I’m not a fan of red wine frozen or otherwise so himself ended up having two of them.
For main course I opted for the Coq au vin. Served in separate dishes which allowed me to decide how much or how little I wanted on my plate at one time. Ideal if you you wanted to share it. After smelling it, I made the decision that I wasn’t going to be sharing any of it.
The chicken was fall apart succulent and the bacon gave a great smoky taste to the wine sauce it was stewing in. I would have liked a few more potatoes to mop up the very ample serving of wine sauce as it was rich and packed with flavour. I may have used a spoon to drink it straight from the serving dish. Not very sophisticated but it was that good.
Himself went for Poêlée de la mer which is cod, salmon and mussels in a white wine sauce with potatoes. They table beside us had been served it just as we sat down so he knew exactly what to expect and it didn’t disappoint.
Presented creatively in a shallow copper pan on a large wooden board. I had thought maybe it wouldn’t be enough as a main course but I’m told it was. It would have been improved as a dish if it had some crusted bread served with it to mop up the white wine sauce.
Overall I would have to say it was a very positive dining experience. Two starters, two mins, a palate cleanser and a glass of house white (he was driving) came to about €58, perfectly covered by the voucher. As a very small side note, I would encourage La Maison to play some background music to add to the atmosphere.http://lamaisondublin.com/ 15 Castlemarket Street, Dublin 2 Ph: 01-6727258