Posted by: susanjcaldwell28 | January 19, 2014

TAPHOUSE BAR, RANELAGH VILLAGE, DUBLIN 6

I’ve been going to this bar in its previous incarnation, Russells of Ranelagh since I first moved there with John in 1992.  It was the first bar I drank in in Ranelagh and indeed on our wedding day in 1995, we had drinks there after the Registry Office before our wedding meal in Mario’s, so I was a little nervous when it got a large refurb lately, venturing back into to see how this historical building had turned out.  I need not have worried, the refurb was fab, it still retained its old charm but was a lot cosier.  On entering the building, I first noted a velvet curtain to the front which immediately cosied up the bar.  The bar itself had a fabulous feel that took me immediately to an American Bar,  there was a huge array of craft beers on tap and around the walls and wines.  The back of the bar that used to have a lot of high stools was now turned into a cosy library area with books covering the walls.  There was a great buzz and it was a lot fuller than it used to be.

The staff were very friendly and helpful and we noticed you could also get sampler beers from the menu, getting four beers for 5.30. We sat at the bar and the barman told us all about the different beers. We perused the food menu and it was very much tapas style but not a lot on for vegis and vegans.  We played it safe with the beer and went for our usual Tiger on draft but I think we will be braver next time, which so many different beers to try.  We decided to order a snack to accompany our beer.  There was a flatbread listed on the small bites section of the menu with hummous and salad and feta, we asked for the same without feta.  It duly arrived and it was a large bowl of hummous with some cucumber dipped in and lettuce, accompanied by one small white pitta cut into sections.  We asked for some olives to replace the feta.  Now you would not need to be a mathematical genius to work out that one small pitta into a large bowl of hummous does not go.  I know we dont eat cheese but I still think the configuration was all wrong, this is a dish that should have been served with sundried tomatoes and mixed olives and with the price of pitta, I think they could have thrown an extra one in.  This little snack was 6 euro and I feel 4 euro would have been more realistic.  Tasting plates were 12 euro. The mediterannean one had calamari included so if we were getting it we would have to ask for the feta and this to be excluded.

This is a great bar with a fabulous buzz, a tremendous array of beers and wines and it is fitted out beautifully.  Its a fabulous addition to my favourite village and I am happy to see it doing so well and retaining many of its previous staff.  It just needs to step up to the mark with the food.

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