Karl Dillon looks after the customers of today by looking after the customers of tomorrow.
In The House, his Howth resrtaurant that is, for many residents, nothing less than a home from home, Mr Dillon offers one of the smartest kids’ menus you will find anywhere in the country: grilled ham and cheddar on sourdough; Sloppy Joe; homemade spaghetti bolognaise with Desmond cheese; pork and leek sausages with mash; hot daily roast on ciabatta; the day’s fish with chips and salad; chocolate brownie.
Result: delighted kids. Result: over-the-moon parents.
Being smart has always been the signature of The House. Mr Dillon has always seemed to have the inside track on what people want, and what people want to eat, and he manages to give his customers – and their children! – exactly what they crave, from breakfast through to dinner, day after day. That dinner might begin with pork belly with a white pudding croquette, or a classic like scallops with cauliflower, and then offer ray wing with brown shrimp butter, or an organic beef burger with blue cheese and onion rings. The cooking is punchy, clean, and enlivening, much like the good sounds they offer courtesy of the hip musicians who play here, and much like the artworks on the walls, which are offered for sale.
Mr Dillon has a vision of The House which is that of a total restaurant: not just a place to eat, but a place to share, enjoy, relax, have fun, listen, admire, educate and bring up the children. The House isn’t just a restaurant for Howth: it’s a public cultural, and culinary, service for Howth. The people of Howth should be very, very grateful. Their kids certainly are.
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