The solo dining series goes to Ireland for Solo Dining Dublin at Farm Restaurant. To those new to the blog, I travel solo and thought I would highlight a few dining experiences from my solo travels. Each review/report will be preceded with the following and attempt to follow a similar format:
Solo dining is either embraced or feared. I decided a long time ago to embrace it and look at it for what it is – I’m hungry and am allowed to eat, by myself, alone at a table and enjoy my meal just like the couples and groups around me. I really don’t care what other people think about me alone – they can feel sad, pity or jealousy, that’s their emotion not mine. Rather than hide in the hotel with room service (not that I haven’t before), I try to explore the new city and food is part of the exploration. So ditch the book (I play a game or two on my phone sometimes) and immerse yourself in the restaurant experience – watch the people, the servers, the action – make up stories of people at tables, interact with the staff or the table/person next to you – have fun, enjoy the food and make it part of your story – the story of your travels. Just don’t eat and run to hide – you have every right to eat at the restaurant and “Table for One” should not be a bad thing.
Concept: Organic, locally sourced food and herbs (as much as possible). Think “farm to table” with gluten free and vegetarian options available. The menus also list if the meal is high in omega, high in protein, low in saturated fat and rich in vitamins. Sounds really healthy, right? I loved that it is locally owned by an Irish family (supporting small business while eating organic is a win/win)
Recommended By: The concierge at the Westin when I asked for a “farm to table” restaurant
Reservations Needed for One?: The concierge made my reservation for one as it was a Saturday night at 7pm. I’m not sure you really need a reservation but it can’t hurt. You can call ahead or book online.
Location(s): Two locations – one near The Westin & Trinity College at 3 Dawson Street which I would visit. The other location is near St. Stephen’s Green (133 Leeson), not far from the DT Dublin.
Decor: Warm blue, green, purple and grey decor. Modern in design with simple wood accents and pictures. Mix of tables outside, inside, up the stairs and along the long corridor separated by the bar in the middle. It was definitely a feel good space.
Made to feel Welcome?: Yes, I was immediately greeted as I entered and shown to a table in the back of the restaurant. I didn’t expect a crowd, yet at 7pm, I was surrounded by full tables in the back so it was a nice surprise not to be alone in an empty restaurant. The server quickly appeared for my drink order.
Seated at a table or the bar?: Table for two – I chose to sit on the booth side looking out to the restaurant. While there was a bar in the middle of the restaurant, I don’t remember seeing bar stools to eat there.
Service: The “service button” was a surprise, actually when I waitressed I would have been afraid to have such a button as it would have been rung every minute, however, here the service is tip top so there was never a need to call anyone over. The servers were quite nice to me as I was alone and keen to keep me happy in bread and wine.
Food: With a variety of menus to choose from – ala carte, evening set, €40 menu and €50 menu, I chose the two course option of an entree and dessert, which, for me, was enough – I believe it was €32 before wine. My main would be a 21 day aged 8 oz filet of Irish beef with a mashed vegetable and a side of chips.
Dessert: Chocolate Mousse with fresh whipped cream and fruit – delicious!
Bottom Line: Farm Restaurant is a lovely option for solo dining in Dublin. It was a shame that I found this on my last night in Dublin as there were so many food options on the menu I wanted to try (oh well, next visit). It is refreshing to see the farm to table, organic, healthy food concept in Dublin, a far cry from my pub food in the past.