We (as a family of 15) ate in The Russell Restaurant last night (11 May 2013) and had a SMASHING night. This was my first time to eat in this restaurant and didn’t really know what to expect. We were meeting there to celebrate a surprise 70th birthday. We had a table booked for 8pm and arrived at about 7:30pm for pre-dinner drinks and to get into position before our celebrant arrived.
I’m a big believer in “first impressions” and the first thing that struck me was the décor in The Russell Restaurant; it’s VERY nice (as one of our party (who is from Navan) said “you wouldn’t think you were in Navan”). Unfortunately, I found the blond lady at the bar a bit abrupt when I went to order pre-dinner drinks; her opening line to me was “are you alright?”.
As the rest of our guests arrived we made our way to our table (in front of the kitchen hatch). I like restaurants that have open kitchens as to me it suggests they have nothing to hide. We were all eating off the Early Bird Menu which was very good value (2 courses €19.75 and 3 courses €21.75).
Most of us went for either the Hot n Spicy Chicken Wings served with Celery Spear and Blue Cheese & Garlic Dip; the Smoked Salmon Parcel infused with Horseradish & Red Onion and served with Cucumber Pickle; or (as I myself opted for) Thai Beef Salad ( a Warm Beef Salad served with Chilli and Garlic Dressing). All the food came to the table in a speedy manner, was very well presented and most importantly tasted delish.
Again, for Main Courses, most of us opted for similar dishes. I’m not a big fan of fish (bad experience as a child with a fishbone) but I decided to order the Oven Baked Cod with a Coconut Herb Crust served on a bed of Vegetable Spaghetti. This was one of the nicest dishes I have had for a long time and might, just might, have persuaded me that I shouldn’t limit myself by avoiding fish dishes. Other guests ordered Dry Aged 8oz Sirloin Steak served with Market Fresh Greens, Red Onion Jam and Peppercorn Sauce (I loved the way the peppercorn sauce was served in an espresso cup); and others had the Supreme of Chicken served with Sweet Parsnip Puree & Roast Marinated Veg, Hazelnut Crumbs and Thyme Jus; and one of our party ordered the Tortellini stuffed with Ricotta Cheese & Spinach, Pine Nuts with a White Wine & Basil Cream.
The restaurant presented a birthday cake (which we had brought in ourselves) with a choice of tea and various types of coffees.
Overall, we had a fantastic evening. The restaurant was very busy (we saw two other groups celebrating birthdays too); despite all this the service was fast, friendly and efficient (except for one unfortunate inexperienced waitress who kept dropping things both on the floor and on the table). Most importantly the food was of an excellent high standard and we all agreed we would return to The Russell Restaurant. We had a SMASHING evening and I’m not referring to the inexperienced waitress who kept dropping things…
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