If there is one Dublin restaurant that is guaranteed to chase away the winter blues, it’s The Green Hen on Exchequer Street. With a warm and welcoming ambience, friendly service and an excellent cocktail list, it’s one of my favourite places to eat and drink in Dublin – and clearly I’m far from unique, given its inclusion in this New York Times video about 36 hours in our capital. And, as an added bonus, it’s right beside The Exchequer (read about it here) if you fancy a post-dinner tipple or two.
I snapped a few pics on a recent festive get-together with our best friends Mark and Jo, who are such regulars that they were gifted cds of the restaurant's sound tracks as we left – we got them too, as an added bonus of being in their excellent company.
So what’s so great about the place? The décor is lovely, to start with: all twinkling lights and reflective surfaces with posters and photos from classics of the silver screen; it’s soft and inviting and conducive to more than a little indulgence.
It’s a little on the spendy side but the early bird is excellent value, at €19.50 for two courses or €22 for 3. From that, I chose the salad with goats cheese, beetroot and walnuts as a starter, followed by hake, mushroom ragout and gnocchi to follow. The textures and flavours of both dishes were delicious and worked really well together; the portions were also generous and we didn’t really need the side of garlic baby potatoes we had ordered for the table (though they, too, were very tasty).
We skipped dessert and coffee in favour of pints elsewhere, but we did knock back a couple of bottles of very drinkable red and a cocktail a-piece; the bill came to €190 for four which we agreed was grand for such a nice meal in convivial surrounds.
One insiders tip? Try to be seated downstairs: it’s more atmospheric, with snappier service and less time to wait for your cocktails. Which, by the way, are wonderful – especially the raspberry bellini and champagne mojito, both €9.50 a pop. Check out the website for more.