Seven is a bright, modern and intimate restaurant situated in Stoneybatter (Bóthar na gCloch, Bóthar is road and Cloch is stone which became Stoney Bóthar and eventually became in English Stoneybatter), in Dublin 7. I like Stoneybatter as it still retains it's village atmosphere even though it is only a few minutes from the city centre. I have a friend who lives close by near Fontenoy Street where James Joyce lived for a few years and I imagine Stoneybatter hasn't changed much since his time.
Even though it was Saturday night we weren't interested in going into town and preferred to stay local. There are plenty of pubs in Stoneybatter but not many restaurants. I had spotted Seven on Manor Street whilst driving and my friend had recently lunched there, so this was a good chance to check it out as an evening venue.
I thought the name of the restaurant came from it's location in Dublin 7, however, when I entered the restaurant it became evident from the seven pictures on the wall that the name derives from the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The theme is continued in the choices on the Menu where there are seven starters, seven main courses and seven deserts. The staff are friendly, welcoming and efficient. The restaurant area is quite small which makes the seating a little tight, but this adds rather than detracts from the ambience, which is pleasant.
What we had to eat:
Mushroom and Bacon Tart, with gruyere cheese and mixed leaf salad
Pan Fried Cod, with baby potatoes, broccoli and bearnaise sauce
Bread and Butter Pudding, with vanilla custard
A cafe Latte
Smoked Chicken Salad, with poached pears, crispy bacon and hazelnuts
Fillet Steak with Parsnip Mash, Grilled asparagus and wild mushroom sauce
Strawberry Cheese Cake, with strawberry ice cream
A regular Coffee
A bottle of Amarone della Valpolicella
The food is European, and the portions are nicely sized, not too big nor too small. The Mushroom Tart didn't really make the grade as the pastry was too tough and the filling insubstantial. My friend, however, liked the Chicken Salad. The Cod was cooked well and my friend gave the same verdict for the Steak. The Bread & Butter pudding was pretty good, as was the Strawberry Cheese Cake. The Amarone was delicious and probably the best part of the meal. Overall the food is good, cooked well but not exceptional and quite pricey.
Afterwards we adjourned to Thomas Read's pub in Smithfield which is about a five minute walk from the restaurant. Thomas Read is a well known name in Dublin and a fine pub to while away a few hours.
Caroline Brady, out and about in Stoneybatter, Dublin 7 Saturday 5th April 2008.