The Cheese Pantry
At the end of the day, you've got to get the flavour on the plate. In The Cheese Pantry, they know that. They know that getting the tastes into the dish, and then onto the fork is the clincher. And they deliver, and that's why the Cheese Pantry is so busy.
Take a lunchtime special of linguini with chilli chicken. So easy to render it as bland, but here the chicken is plosive with buttery chilli tastes - it remined us of the seminal Elephant and Castle chicken wings back in their heyday of the 1990's - and the addition of some mesclun leaves is just right, the pasta is cooked perfectly and the garlic bread is excellent and the salad is clean and fresh. With a special of toasted goat's cheese sandwich and a bowl of potato and leek soup, the same rule applies: packed with flavour, and the toasted sandwich is quite simply brilliant, thanks to the mix of finely chopped red onion and leaves that are packed underneath the goat's cheese. This reminded us of a Denis Cotter Café Paradiso sandwich: the simple made special.
When you can make simple things special, then you are really cooking, and The Cheese Pantry is really cookin'. But there is more than just splendid cooking at the CP: they also have the most superlative cheese ageing room to coax Irish and Continental farmhouse cheeses to limpid perfection, and they have a fabulous array of wines, and great artisan foods to boot. Drumcondra should be proud of this benchmark destination, a destination where they deliver, where they get the flavour on the plate, and where the stock all the things you need, just the way you need them.
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