**I was dining as a guest of the marketing team behind the Wrights Group. What follows like any other dining experience, is fair and reflective of the visit**
I was invited for lunch in Howth and meeting Mr. Always Late (Mal) in Wrights Findlater at one o’clock. I got to Howth an hour early and went for a wander around the harbour and the little market a couple of doors up from Findlater’s. Naturally left alone in a market I spent €10 on beef jerky (apparently its a good protein source) and €5 on two cupcakes which I ate straight away. Had I not looked at my watch and realised it was 12.55 I would have also bought the caramel popcorn and Belgian waffles I passed and the antique bathroom sign which said leithris on it.
Looking around the bar Mal was nowhere in sight so I perched myself on a bar stool and ordered a pint. Yes there are worse things in life than someone being late but it really irritates me. Mal arrived just before two and I had already downed two pints of judgement (Coors) and a packet of scorn (peanuts) and muttered the word ‘disappointed’ in his general direction. Yes I was being a dramatic bi!ch.
We grabbed a table on the second floor and since we were in Howth figured seafood was the best way to go. I went with the calamari with spicy tomato sauce €7.95 and Mal went with the Mussels €8.50. The calamari while a large portion was disappointing. The batter needed a little more crunch and the tomato sauce a hint more spice to make it work.
The mussels however were spot on and deserve a couple of extra pictures. They were plentiful and bathing luxuriously in a flavour packed garlic, white wine, chilli, cream and basil broth. I’m a fan of having some thick fresh baked brown bread on the side to mop up the leftover broth. While it did come with some it was more shop bought than home baked. Its little touches like this than can elevate a dish from good to sublime.
Both the mains worked well. Mal had the grilled smoked salmon (€16.50) served with spring onion, cheddar mash, asparagus tips and chive beurre blanc. The salmon a thick wedge was cooked to flake easily and the mash a cheesy whip of flavour. As a personal preference I do prefer a little more bite in my asparagus but to be fair it was perfectly fine.
I went for the traditional fish and chips (€15.50 ). A fresh cod which was served with hand cut chips, a side salad and of course some tartar sauce. The batter kept on the side of crisp rather than greasy and the cod fillet was thick and flaky and cooked just as it should be.
We also ordered a side order of truffle and parmesan fries (€3.75) for no reason other than the description alone had us salivating. They certainly didn’t scrimp on piling the fries and toppings high and to be honest our eyes were bigger than our belly given that mine had already come with fries and the other fellas came with mash.
Findlater’s also have quite an enticing dessert menu so despite being quite full we opted to share one between us. An apple and cinnamon crumble (€6) was quickly delivered to the table and if truth me known I may have eaten most of it. A couple of small tweaks here and there could be made on some dishes (my opinion) but the overall impression is positive. The location is great. The menu is varied in both offerings and price and the staff were attentive and welcoming. Next visit I plan on pairing the sunny day with a visit to the Sky Bar terrace on the top floor.