Limerick City Market Square
Chef Diarmuid O’Callaghan has been running the kitchen at the Market Square Brassiere in
Citysince they first opened their doors for business four years ago. Previously of the busy Green Onion O’Callaghan is one of the most inventive chefs working right now in the city. The menu of the
Market Squarereads quite, well, run of the mill. Listings of Caesar Salad and wrapped goats cheese don’t inspire. Once you are in the door however, it’s the specials, that change daily, that really are inspired.
restaurant has an old world feeling of class. Hidden in a vaulted cellar it’s
easy to miss from the street. Plush red velvet curtains hang over walls of
exposed brick, wine bottles are stacked on shelves and the waiters all wear
suits. The main area is made up of smaller rooms so it’s cosy and intimate
without being on top of one another. A private room, under the road, can cater
for another twenty guests. For a Tuesday night in Limerick
Limerickthis place was full of life. We were sat close to a table of ten Italians, all tucking into specials of Roast rack of Lamb.
Specials aside I am always drawn to Foie Gras, in any form so I chose the Terrine, served with red onion marmalade and toasted brioche. The Terrine was silky smooth with that unmistakable muskiness of the goose liver, god bless them. The brioche was soft and lightly toasted and still warm when it reached me, two pieces were just enough to smother inch with the pate and top with the sweet onion jam. Mum chose the Liscannor Crab Cakes which came in the form of two golf sized balls on the plate (ahem). An oil of basil & mint was dredged down the side of the plate. The cakes were light and crispy on the outside and the crab meat in the centre fell apart when the fork touched it. So far, so very good.
As always I seem to go for the fish main as any dinner guest I bring chooses the red meat. So the wine I was offered was a Sicilian Red called Concilio, it was light with a cherry finish but full bodied enough to hold up Mum’s Fillet steak main. The steak was perfectly cooked, seared darkly on its outside and tapering to a deep red in the middle, served with a béarnaise sauce and compote of red onions it was a rich plate of food but the tanginess of the onions helped to cut through a little.
I was immediately drawn to the special of Fillet of John Dory, served on a curry cauliflower puree with a vanilla cream sauce with blueberries. Who wouldn’t be intrigued? The plate of food was a knockout, the white fish, atop its bed of velvet mash, sat stark against the flood of deepest purple sauce. The fish, a rich fella on his own, was so enhanced by this rich almost chocolaty sauce. It had a tiny touch of sweetness and no sharpness from the blueberries at all. The curried cauliflower was more subtle than I expected, it don’t sound pretty, but it provided a warm underbelly of earthiness for this tremendous dish. We smiled inanely at each other throughout.
All the deserts that flew past us on the deft hands of those waiters looked wonderful. The raspberry & white chocolate tiramisu was already sold out. I chose the Sticky Toffee Pudding, also not what you might expect on a menu of fine dining, but I’d been told it was great. It arrived in a huge dish, a little mould turned upside-down and wallowing in its own pool of the lightest toffee sauce and a life raft of vanilla ice cream. The sponge was light, much lighter than it’s common cousin, and the sauce with the ice cream was, well, warm and rich and sweet and amazing and it one of those moments where you’d be happy to just go to God and say “ Ok I’m done, it’s was great, take me now”. Mum had the special of steamed apple cake, a dense and dainty thing with more of their lovely vanilla ice cream and berries. We were happy piglets.
Because I cleaned my plate, again, I needed a brandy. It arrived warm and wafting in the glass. Diners chatted, laughter flowed, and this is a romantic place to go, with or without a lover. The bill, with coffees came to €129.00
Market Square Brassiere
74 O'Connell Street
Phone: +353 61 316311
Open: Tue – Sat Dinner only
Two sittings on weekends 7pm & 9pm
All major credit cards accepted