Dining Out

Eel and onion make a winning combo at Three Storey on St Stephen’s Green

Just three months after opening, this restaurant is already a winner with huge levels of care evident in almost every dish

Three Storey restaurant, basement of 10 Stephen’s Green: the food and service are equally top class. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Located on St Stephen’s Green, Three Storey opened in March to much intrigue thanks to its unique set-up: the restaurant is located in the basement, while the ground floor houses a café by day and spritzeria by night, and the first floor holds a cocktail bar.

The restaurant, which I’m visiting today, offers an à la carte menu from Wednesday until Sunday, with a curious lack of provenance listed, but the dishes sound very intriguing all the same.

While we mull over the food options, my companion and I order drinks. Although the wine offerings are pleasant, with a decent mix on offer, we decide to go for cocktails. I’m a tequila girl at heart, so I opt for the Birdy (€13) made with Don Julio Blanco, Aperol and marmalade, which is impressive, and she orders a sour cherry Americano (€13), which also includes Aperol as well as Bordiga Excelsior and sour cherry soda for a tart, refreshing sip.

Both are delivered with a flourish by our server, who is friendly and knowledgeable, qualities visible in his colleagues throughout the evening too.

We start with the goat’s cheese with smoked eel and burnt onion (€12.50) and the cured sea trout with crab aioli and pickled baby cucumbers (€14.25), delivered after we enjoy a complimentary – and generous – plate of housemade Guinness bread, sourdough and butter, a lovely touch. The eel and onion are a winning addition to the former, adding real depth of flavour, although the sizeable portion of goat’s cheese really is too much – the chef could easily whittle this down by half and it would still look like a generous plate.

By contrast, my sea trout looks tiny, with just three slices of fish, a dot of aioli and a small pile of cucumber all a little lost on the plate. However, these quantities seem to match up, as the dish is wonderfully balanced thanks to the citrus hit of finger lime and light torching on the trout. Hearing our curiosity about the finger lime, our server brings some out for us to see and explains why it was used, further highlighting the great service here.

For mains, my companion stays plant-based and opts for the comté custard ravioli with summer truffle and onions (€21). Again, this dish seems a little small, but impresses us with its delicately thin pasta, cooked just al dente. The filling is luxurious and flavourful, and she dines happy.

My salt-aged sirloin steak (€35) is served with charred green beans – although an unfortunate misspelling on the menu led me to believe I would receive chard instead – and bordelaise sauce. Cooked just medium rare, it’s seasoned perfectly with a decent crust on the exterior. Bordelaise, which you don’t see too much any more, is a wonderful accompaniment with a rich wine flavour and glistening globs of delicious bone marrow.

Even better, it’s served with a bowl of hasselback baby potatoes with cheese fondue and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Hasselback is a finnicky technique at the best of times, and to see it so perfectly executed is a real demonstration of care from the kitchen. These are a real winner, and I imagine they would be very popular if offered as a side.

Full as we are, we somehow find room for dessert and another cocktail, this time a spritz (€12.50 each). My rhubarb version is light and fresh, while my companion’s peach option is just sweet enough, making us wish we weren’t there on a school night and could imbibe a few more of these tasty tipples.

Warm chocolate mousse with coffee caramel jelly (€7) is pleasantly flavoured but lacking in texture, while my pavlova (€7) – really just a meringue – is a triumph thanks to the stunning peach sorbet perched on top, which is refreshing and sweet, a winning combination on a day like today.

All in all, two cocktails and three courses each with a shared side of truffle fries comes to just over €150 before a tip. Not a cheap weeknight meal, but well worth it for the level of care that is shown through each offering and the wonderful service we receive. I already can’t wait to come back to try more of those spritzes.

Three Storey, 10 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, 083-2008935, threestorey.ie, chef: Richard Borne

Breaking the bank

Starter: spiced lamb and pork terrine with piccalilli, sourdough toast and lardo, €16

Mains: salt-aged 10oz sirloin with hasselback potatoes, cheese fondue, Bordelaise sauce, €35

Dessert: pavlova with vanilla custard, poached blueberries and peach sorbet, €7

Wine: Castel Giocondo, Brunello di Montalcino, Sangiovese, Italy, €130

Dinner for two: €246

Watching the pennies

Starter: potato consommé with smoked potato dumplings, €11

Mains: comté custard ravioli with summer truffle and onions, €21

Dessert: treacle tart with mascarpone ice cream, €7

Wine: Escapada Vino Verde, Trajadura, Avesso, Loureiro, Arinto, Portugal, €28

Dinner for two: €106

Cathal McBride reviews the wine list

The restaurant menu at Three Storey Dublin is sufficiently concise to not require a wine list of biblical proportions, yet has enough intricate component parts to warrant a range of choice. This list carefully ticks those boxes. With an old-world core but with enough left-field options to keep it exciting, white and red wines range from €28 to €130 with four options in each by the glass (€6.50 to €10.30). A convivial Provence-style rosé from Languedoc-Roussillon (€7.50/€37) and four sparklings and Champagnes (€55-€145) complete the offerings.

Small gripes are the lack of vintages listed; along with a few spelling mistakes; these details matter. Still, the wines are interesting, with enough varietals and blends to pair with the food. One stand-out white wine for me is the Classic Drinks imported Prado Rey El Cuentista tempranillo blanco from Castilla y León in the north of Spain (€66). The first blanc des noirs made in Ribera del Duero, this has the ripe stone fruit texture, balanced acidity and oak to pair well with cured sea trout, John Dory fillet or the ravioli. For red, a classic Rioja is always a hit with red meat and the Santalba Viña Hermosa Rioja Crianza (€8.50/€41) also from Classic Drinks has the full-bodied nature and structured tannins to pair well with the lamb rump or the salt aged sirloin.

Rating: ****