Although Bluebells remain an unprotected plant in the Republic of Ireland, in the UK, they are in fact such. Landowners are forbidden to pick and sell the Bluebells and so attempts at breeding a sort to flourish within a commercial environment. They favour western areas and prosper best in wooded areas out of the reach of direct sunlight.
This photo was taken when the ever hopeful grandchildren were out looking for pixies! You can see the carpet affect these beautiful flowers present when growing in their favoured circumstances.                                                                                                                            Associated with the weather of late spring we have finally seen them bloom in the early days of June!Image

View original post

ely’s Classic Wine Bar experience

Two outstanding wines, only one place to try them.

Following the enormous success of our last ‘Classic Wine Bar Experience’ we are very excited about this one!
This summer’s Classic Wine Bar Experience features two lesser known grape varieties from a little known region in Spain. The one thing they have in common is that they are both the finest expressions of these grape varieties that we’ve ever come across. They have totally captured our imaginations as lovers of great wine and we think they will do the same for you.

Both wines usually list at €69 but we are delighted to offer them at €39
Also available by the glass €9.75

as sortesRafael Palacios ‘As Sortes’ 2010

100% Godello
The Godello grape, native to Galicia in north-west Spain was once close to extinction but has seen a remarkable resurgence in recent times, both in popularity and in quality.
Leading the pack is Rafael Palacios, who’s ‘As Sortes’ is surely the very pinnacle of modern Godello.  This wonderfully complex wine shows classic Godello character on the nose – lemon, pear and white fruit followed by lightly toasty oak. The palate is rich and rounded- a result of maturing for 8 months on its lees- but cut through by a vibrant citrusy acidity and precise minerality.
All of these components combine beautifully for a persistent and hugely satisfying finish.  This wine will compliment most fish dishes but works especially well with monkfish.

lalamaDomini do Bibei ‘Lalama’ Ribero Sacro 2008

85% Mencia, 15% Garnacha & Brancellao
Also from the Galicia region in north-west Spain, ‘Lalama’ is a blend of Mencia (85%) Garnacha and Brancellao, with vines ranging between 15 and 100yrs of age.
Mencia from old vines is now producing some extraordinary wines and this is definitely our favourite. Strikingly different to the majority of Spanish wines, this comes across more like an intriguing cross between Northern Rhone and Cote de Nuits – The savoury, spicy blackberry flavours of a great Cote Rotie, but with the silky texture and violet aromatics of a great Burgundy.
This wine spends 21 months in barrel, followed by 18 months in bottle before it is released and it is drinking perfectly now. As in right now. If you’re a fan of great Burgundy, great Rhone or just great wine you should check this out. The subtlety of flavour and natural acidity make this a perfect partner for duck.

This offer is exclusive to ely winebar, Ely Place. We have good stocks of both wines and hope they will see us through until August, but at these prices they could be gone sooner. Be sure to call in and try them for yourself! 
Contact us on or 01 676-8986 – Mighty Docks

Mighty Docks by gastro bar

The sun fell behind the Grand Canal Theatre signalling the end of the weekend.
On a sunny Sunday evening, revellers enjoyed their last bits of merriment before a new week outside ely gastro bar on Hanover Quay. Inside, my date was engorging on a fish and chips dinner, bright-eyed and barely coming up for air. Ely’s version was just declared a new entry in the ongoing chart of “best fish and chips ever.”

ely gastro bar 001The evening sun setting gave the view of the people outside a soft glow and the room inside a warm light softened by the green tint of the floor-to-ceiling windows that make up half of ely’s wall.
A shared plate of exquisite carpaccio of beetroot and goat cheese salad (€7.95) started our meal off on the right foot. How can a boring old beetroot and goat cheese salad be exquisite?
When red and gold beetroots are finely sliced and soaked in orange, while juicy segments of the fruit are interspersed with crunchy leaves topped with crushed toasted almonds, topped off with a creamy, mild but charming goat cheese, that’s how. It was perfect for the summery evening.
An order of garlic tiger prawns with spaghetti (€17.95) for a main was perhaps a mistake, thanks to a case of mismanaged expectations.
I see prawns and spaghetti on a menu and I imagine sitting at a seaside table with a plate topped with homemade pasta and unctuous, flavour bombs of fat, juicy prawns with heaps of garlic oil and chilli. Ely’s version was good, don’t get me wrong, though a touch too much lemon juice added to the lack of punch from the Tiger prawns, which could never have competed with those fat, juicy Dublin Bay suckers in my mind.
It was when I had a taste of the fish & chips (€15.50) that I truly felt diner’s FOMO. Generous portions of hake in a light, crispy batter arrived with a sweet pea puree and a little baby deep fryer basket of home-cut skinny chips – I fought hard to get my date to relinquish more than one bite.

ely gastro bar 002My wine went a long way to patching things up, however. A glass of Hugel Gentil reisling/pinot blanc/gewürztraminer/muscat conglomeration (€7) was expertly selected for me by the waiter. A glass of Belgian Omer Strong Gold (€7) was a good complement for the fish and chips chosen from a decent selection of 40 or so bottled beers.
We shared a brilliant little dessert of light white chocolate mousse and summer berry compote that came with a deliciously sticky crumble (€6.80). With one macchiato, a bottle of sparkling water, the whole lot came to a satisfactory €69.85.
Erik and Michelle Robson started ely in 1999 when they opened a wine bar. “Both of us enjoyed good food and wine but we weren’t particularly interested in having to book dinner for two and the entailing verbal contract for a three course meal,” Erik explains. “To be honest we were more interested in having a good bottle of wine, at a price we could afford, plus some tapas style dishes. Rather than try to take on the established restaurants as a restaurant we were emphatically a wine bar.”
In 2006, they opened ely bar & brasserie in the 200 year old tobacco and wine warehouse in the CHQ building and found themselves looking after four to five hundred customers a day from lunch to dinner, of course taking their passion for wine already appreciated at ely wine bar with them.
As a three-tiered business, it makes sense that the couple bridged the gap between their first two venues by opening ely gastro bar shortly after choosing Hanover Quay as their location.
It wouldn’t be wild to imagine that the couple may have questioned this choice when development on Hanover Quay and Grand Canal Square stalled. “Ely gastro bar has held its core values while we waited for the theatre and hotel to open and the area to be completed, all through the recession,” said Erik. This patience has clearly paid off. Grand Canal Square has come through the other side and has a genuine feeling of community, in which ely gastro bar seems to sit comfortably among.
We left the Sunday evening revellers where we found them and figured they’d be all right, assuming that ely was their neighbourhood hangout spot and they didn’t have far to go to get home unlike ourselves. We’ll be back for a double serving of fish and chips some other summery day.

ely gastro bar
Grand Canal Square
Dublin 2
Ph: 01-6339986

Wines for summer #003


by Ian Brosnan

If ever there was a day for rosé, this must surely be it.
Rosé wines are very underappreciated in this country, often opened as a last resort or knocked back on a sunny day with little regard for its flavour or character. While it is true that rosé and sunshine complement each other perfectly, there are many dishes that are greatly enhanced by a chilled glass or two.
RoseThe best tip I ever learned was this- think pink! Pink foods just seem to have a natural affinity to rosé wines – Salmon, poached and cold in a salad, prawns, lightly grilled on a bbq, paella , cured hams such as Serrano or Parma… the list goes on.
The best rosés tend to come from the Mediterranean, especially south of France – Rhone, Languedoc and Provence, and Northern Spain. The wines are produced from the traditional red varieties – Grenache, Syrah, Carignan and in Spain – Garnacha and Tempranillo. But there are also wonderful wines produced around Bordeaux- usually from Merlot, sometimes Cabernet, and many in Italy – a recently tasted Sangiovese Rosé from Capezzana was an absolute delight. Outside of Europe there are some quality examples from Australia in particular. Californian Rosé found on our supermarket shelves tends to be sweet (sometimes sickly so..) and is not a good representation of what good quality rosé wine is about.
Our rosé of choice is from a little known region, and a lesser known grape. Cotes de Gascogne is an region in southwest France producing reds, whites and rosés of outstanding value.

Domaine de Millet Rosé, Cotes de Gascogne 2011
Produced from the little known Egiodola grape, this is what we call proper rosé- Wonderful ripe red fruit- fresh strawberry, and red cherry – lovely freshness on the palate and a dry finish with just a touch of grip. Perfect for sipping, even better with food. Oh, and it’s not just for girls.

Cotes de Gascogne 2011 is available at all 3 ely restaurants by the bottle at €27.00 or €6.75 by the glass.
For more info and to make a reservation please visit

%d bloggers like this: