Etto, Dublin, 12/16/17

IMG_5527.jpgEtto is a small front room with about 10 tables and a second room for a good sized bar and some counter seating.  Small tables are spaced closely, napkins are of paper and jazz music plays in the background.  For our reservation we were given a 2 hour window at which time you needed to be gone so the next wave could come in.  Service is efficient and so this works.  Lunch had a 2 or 3 course fixed price menu with multiple choices for each course or an a la carte menu.  The wine list also offered a selection of wines by the carafe. We had the 3 course menu and tried to order some different things to sample more of their foods.  

interior
interior
interior
interior
interior
interior
nice ceiling
nice ceiling
lunch menu
lunch menu
menu
menu
Frankie played with her reflection in the water carafe
Frankie played with her reflection in the water carafe

 

For a starter mussels, samphire, nduja and leek was delicious.  The sausage was chopped into the flavorful broth and added a very distinctive flavor.  A bit spicy, it was great mixed with the leeks and seabeans and mussels.  They were nice enough to bring out a finger bowl for when you finished.

Mussels, samphire, nduja and leek
Mussels, samphire, nduja and leek
closer
closer
another angle
another angle
finger bowl
finger bowl

 

Good bread was provided which was lovely dipped into the sauce.

bread
bread
butter
butter
wine
wine

 

Deer carpaccio, artichoke, pickled pear and juniper was another starter.  The deer was sliced very thin and quite tender.  It mixed well with the sweet pear and pickled artichoke pieces.  A light dressing of oil finished out this fine dish.

Deer carpaccio, artichoke, pickled pear and juniper
Deer carpaccio, artichoke, pickled pear and juniper
A second shot
A second shot

 

For a main roast onion, squash risotto, chanterellles and taleggio was a bit on the pasty and dull side.  The pieces of squash were wonderful but it was too thick for my taste.  The rice still had a nice al dente texture and the overall flavor was okay, it just wasn’t outstanding.

Roast squash risotto, chantererlles and taleggio
Roast onion squash risotto, chantererlles and taleggio
closer
closer
Frankie checked out the decorations
Frankie checked out the decorations

 

Braised short rib, sprout tops, pickled walnuts and polenta was a much better choice.  The meat was tender and in a tasty sauce, that was on the thick side.  Polenta was set and cut into rectangles which may or may not be to your taste.  I prefer runny polenta but I thought this mixed nicely with the meat.  Carrots were quite good but the fried bits of greens were fairly heavy.  Overall it was a good dish and definitely the better choice.

Braised short rib, sprout tops, pickled walnuts and polenta
Braised short rib, sprout tops, pickled walnuts and polenta
closer
closer
other side
other side

 

We ordered a side of Hashed potatoes and Lyonnaise onions to with the two.  The potatoes were quite good but I thought it was short on onions.

Hashed potatoes and Lyonnaise onions
Hashed potatoes and Lyonnaise onions

 

For dessert we both tried the red wine prunes and vanilla mascarpone.  The mascarpone is heavy but worked beautifully with the prunes.  One portion could have easily fed 2 people but no mistake here, it was delicious.  The prunes were absolutely tender and well flavored.  Even the juice the prunes floated in was good and great mixed with a dab of mascarpone.  It was a winner and a good finish.

Red wine prunes and vanilla mascarpone
Red wine prunes and vanilla mascarpone
closer
closer
Frankie offered to help
Frankie offered to help
peek in kitchen
peek in the kitchen
Frankie sniffed the sugar
Frankie sniffed the sugar
Frankie needed a little coffee
Frankie needed a little coffee

 

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