The 15 Series, Week 2: 15 Things To Do In Dublin Before December

ely restaurants celebrates its 15th birthday this year and each week, The 15 Series brings you 15 tips on topics such as food, wine, culture, lifestyle, craft beer and more!

#ely15years

 

15 Things To Do In Dublin Before December

The lead up to the festive season can be chilly, wet, dull and grey. Some have Halloween, pumpkins and dressing up to look forward to, while others might decide to have a dry November in anticipation of the busy festive season ahead, or take up a hobby they mightn’t have had time for during the summer months. There are plenty of amazing things happening in Dublin in the weeks leading up to December, so we’ve put together 15 for your bucket list.

1. Get Stoked For Bram
Bram Stoker
Photo credit: http://www.bramstokerfestival.com

There are a million and one things going on for this year’s Bram Stoker Festival, we reckon you won’t need to do anything else for the rest of the month after it! From vamp-wiring (yes, that’s city centre zip lining) to sinister screenings, gothic markets, karaoke to to all things ghoulish for the kids, there’s something for every man, woman, child and vampire this 24 – 27 October.

Enjoy at glass of blood red and a fang’s bite of rare organic steak at ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place, Dublin 2


2. A Photo Speaks A Thousand Words
World press photo exhibition
Photo credit: http://www.worldpressphoto.ie

The awe-inspiring World Press Photo exhibition returns to The chq Building this Friday 17 October and runs right up until 15 November. If you didn’t catch it last year, now’s your chance to check out a showcase of some of the best photojournalism in the world. Prepare to be moved.

Enjoy lunch at ely bar & brasserie, beside the exhibition in The chq Building, IFSC, Dublin 1


3. Art Comes Alive

NGI Plays presents sixteen short plays inspired by National Gallery paintings on Saturday 22 November and 29 November 2014. Sixteen 10-minute plays inspired by paintings in the National Gallery of Ireland have been created, over two years, by five Irish playwrights and will be beautifully performed by actors from the Umbrella Theatre company.

Enjoy early-bird menus from 5pm, Mon – Sat at ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place, Dublin 2.


4.  Book It In

As the clever Kitten Soft tv advert states, “Paper has a big future”. Meet authors, editors, publishers and head down, bookmark in hand, to the Smock Alley Theatre for the Dublin Book Festival, 13 – 16 November. Perfect for families, book lovers and fans of poetry & prose, we’re looking forward to the return this vibrant festival,  which has been running since 2005.


5. Run Dublin, Run

No better way to spend a bank holiday Monday than to enjoy a little bit of fresh Dublin air at the annual Dublin Marathon, taking place on Monday 27 October. For those of you who have been training, a very well done, to those who haven’t had the time to train, fear not! Walkers are accepted and welcomed.


6. Explore The Unknown Rhône 
rhone wine

Photo credit: ely restaurants

Rhône Wine Week Ireland is a celebration of the wines of the Rhône Valley, with events all over the city, from 3 – 8 November. From Rhône dinners, Q&A’s with Rhône experts and wine makers, to the Big Rhône Quiz, there’s lots to love about this South of France wine celebration.

Fans of the ely Big Tasting will love the Big Rhone Tasting, Thursday 6 November at ely bar & brasserie, IFSC, Dublin 1.


7.  That’ll Do Donkey, That’ll Do

Based on the hit films, Shrek The Musical promises to bring all the much-loved characters to life, live on stage, in an “all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza” at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre on 21 Oct – 9 November.  The onstage version is sure to provide a lot of laughs between the green swamp-dwelling ogre and his cheeky donkey sidekick.

Enjoy pre-theatre dining from 5pm at ely gastro bar, Grand Canal Square, Dublin 2.


8.  Smashing Science

Three Smashing Science films will screen at the Chq Building on 13 – 15 November as part of science week. Along with a film, each evening will also include discussion with leading scientists and thinkers. Brought to you by Insight, AMBER, UCD Science Expression and Happenings, the evening promises films, science, beers and discussions – a winning combination.

Enjoy an all new bar menu, craft beers and an extensive wine list at ely bar & brasserie, in The chq Building, IFSC, Dublin 1


9.  Let’s Dance

Think pink and dance like everybody’s watching for a fantastic cause this 29 November at the Convention Centre Dublin. Strictly Against Breast Cancer returns to Dublin with even more glitz, glamour and dancing than ever. Some great personalities will be partnered with supporters and survivors and this black tie event offers a fun night out, while helping a very worthy cause.

Enjoy pre-event signature cocktails at ely bar & brasserie, in The chq Building, IFSC, Dublin 1


10. Love The Wine You’re With
wine and cheese tasting

Photo credit: ely restaurants

Many people just assume that cheese and wine go together, but that’s not always the case. Some cheeses ruin a good wine, and vice versa. But, there are some outstanding wine and cheese pairings and at the ely Wine & Cheese Tasting, Thursday 30 October, we will get a better understanding of what wines work with cheese and why, while most importantly enjoying them!

Limited tickets available for the ely Wine & Cheese Tasting. To book, click here


11. Don’t Let The Days Go To Waste

When you first read about the upcoming Abbey Theatre production The Waste Ground Party, you are greeted by the words “This area has gone to the f***ing dogs”. This intriguing intro, in our opinion, just reiterates the fact that this exciting new play from Shaun Dunne is definitely one to catch this 22 October – 29 November.

Enjoy pre-theatre dining at ely bar & brasserie, in The chq Building, Dublin 1 – corporate ambassador of The Abbey Theatre.


12. Run In Dublin’s Darkness

Mark Pollock is one of the world’s most inspiring and amazing athletes and this year’s Lifestyle Sports Run in the Dark plays a massive part in funding the Mark Pollock Trust’s mission to find a fast track cure for paralysis. You can play your part by lighting up Dublin’s darkness and running 5k or 10k on 12 November.


13.  Gonna Make A Change

Marking the 5th anniversary of the King of Pops’ passing, Anthony Walker premieres The Man In The Mirror – A live tribute to the music of Michael Jackson at the Olympia Theatre, Saturday 1 November. With a 5 piece live backing band, 4 backing singers and 6 piece dance troupe, MJ will really come to life in Dublin, for one night only.


14. Shoulder To Shoulder 

Whether you’re one of the lucky 150,000+ ticket holders or simply prefer watching from your sofa or at the bar, there are 3 big Irish rugby dates to enjoy in the run up to December. The 2014 Guinness Series kicks off at the Aviva Stadium on 8, 16, 22 November as the nation comes together for this year’s autumn internationals to cheer on the boys in green.

Enjoy a post match feed, featuring organic Burren steak from the ely family farm at ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place, Dublin 2.


15. It’s Beginning To Look Alot Like…

In the week before December, the RDS will transform into a Christmas wonderland filled with food, wine, crafts, gifts and more. Get ready for the month ahead at the Food & Wine Magazine Christmas Show, 21 – 23 November. This year’s show promises so much red and gold festive goodness it’s sure to knock the bah humbug out of any skeptic.

Enjoy the run up to the festive season at ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place, Dublin 2 – Awarded ‘Best Wine Experience in Ireland’ by Food & Wine Magazine, August 2014.

tips, tipples & table talk – Week 17

This week’s tips, tipples & table talk  is all about the beautiful Burren. We fill you in on our 15th year anniversary trip to our family farm and let you almost imagine it, as if you were there, and could feel the country air. We also infuse Moroccan and Burren cuisine with a gorgeous lamb tagine recipe, perfect for these Autumn months and we discuss some wine phrases in an ely urban dictionary’d language you can understand.

Enjoy!

Tipple Tip(s) of the Week: Wine Phrases Without the Pretension

Have you ever had somebody describe wine and find yourself nodding along without a clue? More often than not, these terms means something very simple and we’ve picked a few of the ones that some people struggle with, in a language you can understand. There are wine bores, there are wine snobs and there are those – like you and I – that just like wine.Big tasting

  • Austere

They say: Wines that are austere are generally not terribly pleasant wines to drink. An austere wine is a hard, rather dry wine that lacks richness.

We say: An austere wine is not necessarily a negative one. This would be that seemingly stern and formal gent you get seated next to at a dinner party. The quiet type, but as the evening goes on, you start to realise that there’s a lot more to them and certainly, they’re more fun the more you get to know them. 

  • Barnyard

They say: An unclean, farmyard, fecal aroma that is imparted to a wine because of unclean barrels or unsanitary wine-making facilities.

We say: Well that sounds horrible! Old Burgundys and sometimes, old Rhones, can take on aromas that you might find in, say, a “recently” cleaned stable or perhaps by the carriages around Stephen’s Green. Thankfully this is a great example of how wines don’t always taste like they smell.

  • Bouquet:

They say: As a wine’s aroma becomes more developed from bottle aging, the aroma is transformed into a bouquet that is more than just the smell of the grape.

We say: Really… just a poncey word to describe the scent of a wine.

  • Tannic:

They say: The tannins of a wine, which are extracted from the grape skins and stems, are, along with a wine’s acidity and alcohol, its lifeline. Tannins give a wine firmness and some roughness when young, but gradually fall away and dissipate.

We say: Tannins are what give red wine its colour and dries out your mouth.. A tannic wine is also what’ll what give you away the morning after, with your black teeth and stained lips! 

  • Hot:

They say: Wines with alcohol levels in excess of 14.5% often taste hot if the requisite depth of fruit is not present.

We say: Feeling a little merrier than you expected you might at 6pm? A hot wine describes nothing to do with the temperature of the wine, but suggests that the alcohol levels in the wine are too high (yes, there is such a thing!).

  • Lush:

They say: Lush wines are soft, richly fruity wines that are both concentrated and fat. A lush wine can never be an astringent or hard wine.

We say: Not just a brand of natural cosmetics or  what a young British bloke might holler at a particularly good looking lady, a lush wine is rich, smooth, full, fruity, velvety. Highly desirable, a lush wine is basically the Jessica Rabbit of wines.

Learn more about wine at our BIGGEST wine tasting event of the year, ely’s Big Tasting on Friday 10th October, 2014 at ely bar & brasserie, IFSC.

the BIG tasting September 2011


Taste Tip of the Week: “Craggy Island” Lamb Tagine

There are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, but once you put a little bit of love into it, it’s really worth the effort. A Burren-Moroccan fusion dish and a nice alternative to the traditional Irish Stew.

What you need:

  • 800g–1kg lean lamb shoulder, diced (at ely, we use organic “Craggy Island” lamb)
  • plain flour, to coat lamb
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion
  • 1 each red and yellow peppers, diced
  • 2 large or 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig thyme, 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 small, red chilli, dried or fresh
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 10g fresh ginger, peeled and grated, or ½ tsp ground
  • 20g dried ground cumin
  • 100ml honey
  • 800g tinned chopped tomatoes or passata, or enough to submerge all ingredients
  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 courgette

Serves 6

Lamb Tagine Collage

How we do it:

  • Lightly coat the lamb in flour and brown in a little oil on a hot pan. You will need to do this in batches. Set aside and remove any excess fat.
  • In one large frying pan (or two, if necessary), fry the onion, peppers, carrots and garlic in some olive oil until they are soft.
  • Add the lamb, bay leaves and fresh herbs.
  • Now add the chilli, cinnamon sticks, ginger and cumin. Stir well to coat the lamb and vegetables.
  • Drizzle the honey over the lamb, then pour in the tomatoes or passata. Stir well.
  • Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. Take off the heat and leave to cool.
  • Slowly reheat the tagine when you are ready to serve.
  • Chop the aubergine and courgette into large chunks, fry in some olive oil and add to the tagine. Doing this last prevents the aubergine
    and courgette from being discoloured by the sauce.
  • Serve with couscous (see note for the cook).

A note for the cook:

  • This delicious lamb tagine tastes even better the day after cooking, when the flavours have had a chance to blend and settle.
  • It’s best served with couscous. Rub oil into the couscous (before cooking) to prevent it sticking together.
  • Mix equal quantities of hot stock and couscous, cover with cling film and leave for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the cling film and run a fork through the couscous to separate.
  • Season, add some fresh mint, and serve.

Enjoy grass fed, organic “Craggy Island” lamb, sourced through our family farm in the Burren, Co. Clare at ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place.

craggy island lamb


Table Talk of the Week: ely’s Farm Trip to the Burren, Co. Clare 

On Tuesday 23rd September, to kick off ely’s 15th year celebrations, a gang of us slipped on our wellies, tucked our ponchos into our bags and headed out for a fun filled and insightful trip to the ely organic family farm in the Burren, Co. Clare.

The day started bright and early at 8am with the warming scent of homemade sausage rolls and brownies laid out for breakfast at ely bar & brasserie, IFSC. Fed, watered and one chorus of Irish mammy style “make sure you go to the restroom before we leave” later and we were off on the 3 hour luxury coach to Clare.

Our first stop found us outside of the coach and inside our TV boxes, at “Craggy Island Parochial House”. Father Ted’s house, the McCormacks’ organic farm, is where all of ely’s delicious organic lamb is reared. Cheryl McCormack, the lovely lady of the house, treated the gang to scrumptious home baking using only organic ingredients; scones, brown bread, home made jams made from their own fruit, organic tea and coffee, served in a welcoming home atmosphere. Patrick McCormack, the first speaker of the day, so eloquently recited the poem Lost” and discussed the simplicity and passion of a simple Burren farm life along with a much needed reminder, to always try to take a little “Burren time” for ourselves, in our fast paced and busy lives.

“Stand still. Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you. Are not lost.” – David Wagoner

Outside Father Ted's

The beauty of farming in the Burren, Co. Clare lies in the fact that it has been farmed in the same fashion for 6,000 – 7,000 years. We then visited a site, which to the naked eye might have just seemed like grass, rock and shrubbery, but which was in fact the home to rare and unique Burren flora and fauna. Paula and Sharon from the Burren Life Project spoke to the group about the importance of Burren landscape preservation, the difficulties that organic Burren farming faces and the strict grazing methods being used to counteract these difficulties.

Group at Burren Life Project

Following this, in true Irish fashion, the clouds began to darken and the drizzle appeared. With a few rumbling tummies and rain jackets zipped up to the neck, we hopped back in to the coach and headed off to the home of Hugh and Isobel Robson, the organic ely family farm, for a much anticipated farm lunch.

Having worked up an appetite, we were in for a treat. What awaited us was a feast of Burren produce featuring organic Burren beef tongue with black truffles, organic porchetta rolled in local Burren herbs and succulent organic Burren rib, all from the ely family farm. We also enjoyed nori, dillisk and kombu smoked organic salmon from the Burren Smokehouse and homemade MOPE (Most Oppressed People Ever) potato cakes from the Burren Spud Project, all accompanied with salads, quiche, artisan Burren cheeses, ely’s homemade Guinness bread and 7-day pickled eggs. Deirdre from the Burren Spud project spoke about the importance of the humble potato in the global food crisis while Birgitta from the Burren Smokehouse spoke about combining her love of the west of Ireland with her passion for organic smoked salmon.

All of this wonderful food for thought was washed down with Irish craft beers such as Orpens Irish Cider, O’ Haras Curim Gold and Trouble Brewing’s Sabotage IPA and enjoyed with wine favourites such as Yann Chave Crozes-Hermitage Blanc and Thalran Syrah Castell d’Encus.

Farm Dinner

A tour and insight into the organic ely family farm from Hugh Robson finished off nicely, what was an extremely special day out for us in the Burren, Co. Clare. We, at ely, were extremely privileged to share with our guests, the passion that our Burren community, friends and family feel about all of the different work that they are engaged in.

To experience ely’s organic family farm in The Burren, Co. Clare, without having to leave Dublin, visit any of our 3 ely venues. 

horses and cattle on the ely family farm

tips, tipples & table talk – Week 11

“Coffee is the new craft beer” a colleague of ours stated matter-of-factly over the weekend, referring to current trends in Dublin. Whether this is true or not, the days of your only coffee options being ‘black’ or ‘white’ are long gone. Conscious of this, we’ve got a few ground rules for making great coffee at home. This week’s tips, tipples & table talk also discusses a mouth watering list of alternative options to the traditional wedding cake (warning: drooling may occur) and we give you a superbly simple lasagne recipe, featuring basil, the ultimate summer herb.

Also, as we’re coming into the last few weeks of summer, we’re offering a complimentary plate of organic smoked meats when you order any bottle of wine over €30 at ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place, Dublin 2. Available until Sept 1st, see the wine list here.

Enjoy everyone!

Table Talk of the Week:  5 Alternatives To The Traditional Wedding Cake

Wedding cakes are the most traditional desserts to serve, but we know as well as you do that wedding and post-nuptial celebrations aren’t always traditional! Sometimes, a wedding cake just isn’t for everyone. As a substitute, couples are choosing to serve unique treats that reflect their taste. Whether you’re skipping the cake completely or searching for an additional dessert option, this week’s Table Talk of the Week will hopefully satisfy any sweet (or savory) tooth.

cake

  1. Say Cheese – Perfect with wine, a cheese wheel wedding cake alternative is a great one for cheese lovers and those who want something savoury. Why not use locally produced artisan cheeses, or perhaps a cheese from that beloved vacation you once took in France?
  2. Cake Pops – Move over cupcakes, these little bite sized pops of icing covered cake balls are becoming increasingly popular with wedding parties. No need to fight over favourite flavours, simply get a bunch made in a variety of flavours to suit your tastes!
  3. Marriage Macarons – Incorporate a little taste of Paris on your special day. Sweet and sophisticated, these little delights can also be tailored to match the colours of your wedding theme.
  4. Holy Crêpe – Layer crêpes/pancakes, cover in syrup or lightly dust with icing sugar for a deliciously indulgent alternative to the classic cake.
  5. Bare All – Step 1, order a classic and plain (nude) wedding cake of your choice. Step 2, pick up some simple or lavish cake decorations from any good cookery supply store. Step 3, go to town and customize away! Why spend hours trying to talk your vision through with a cake designer? Great for a bit of bonding time with your partner (or with family and friends), have fun with your cake and decorate it any wacky way you choose.

Looking for understated elegance? Ask us about holding your special day at ely wine bar or ely bar & brasserie. We also do wedding desserts!  

wedding cake alternatives collage

Tipple Tip of the Week: The Ground Rules of Great Coffee

Bathing in coffee grounds fermented with pineapple pulp is a traditional Japanese therapy for reducing wrinkles and improving the skin. While we don’t suggest that you try this at home, we do believe that a perfect cup of coffee brings great benefits! We also think that the enjoyment of a meal can depend on the quality of the coffee that comes afterwards.coffee

Make Great Coffee at Home:

  • Always start with fresh, cold water.
  • Water should be heated to 92º-96ºC. It should not be boiled.
  • Ensure coffee is fresh. It is a perishable product. Once opened, store in an air-tight container to preserve its freshness.
  • Be generous with coffee. Allow approx 7g (¼ oz) for every 180ml (6fl oz).
  • Serve as soon as possible. Never reheat or leave on a hot surface for too long.
  • No matter which equipment you’re using, keeping it clean – to remove the oily residue left by the coffee – is a key factor in the art of making the perfect cup every time.

Enjoy specialty coffees, organic teas and homemade desserts at ely bar & brasserie, IFSC, Dublin 1. 

ely bar & brasserie.2.

Taste Tip of the Week: Pesto Lasagne

Homemade pasta is easier to make than you think and the lovely, fragrant scent of basil is one of the delights of summertime. This delicious, not just for vegetarians, lasagne makes the most of that favourite herb.

pesto lasagne collageLasagne Sheets

What you need:

  • 350g good Italian flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 eggs and 3 egg yolks (all large)
  • pinch of fine table salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tepid water (or more if needed)

Serves 6

How we do it:

  • Put the flour, eggs and salt into a food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Add the olive oil and blitz again briefly until the dough starts to come together.
  • Add the water, being careful not to add too much – you need to make sure the dough does not become too sticky.
  • Blitz again, then tip into a bowl and knead together for about 2 minutes.
  • Turn on to lightly floured surface, wrap with cling film and leave aside to rest for half an hour in fridge.
  • Then, cut the dough into two pieces and work with one at a time. Roll out the dough thinly on a lightly floured surface and feed through the pasta machine several times until it is about 1mm thick. Store the sheets under a damp cloth while you are working.
  • When ready to use the pasta, cook the sheets in boiling, salted water for about 2 minutes.
  • Drain and use immediately, or put into iced water for 5-10 minutes.

lasagne sheets 2

Pesto Lasagne

What you need:

  • 400g lasagne sheets (see above)
  • 1 quantity pesto (See our pesto recipe here), doubling the quantity of basil to 400g
  • 250g tub ricotta, drained
  • 3 large, ripe tomatoes
  • 50g parmesan cheese, grated
  • 50g pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 bunch of basil, shredded
  • rocket leaves, to serve

Serves 6

How we do it:

  • Make the lasagne sheets. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Put the pesto (recipe: here) in a large mixing bowl and mix in the ricotta. Slice the tomatoes.
  • Arrange the lasagne sheets in an ovenproof dish, and spread with the pesto mix. Follow with a layer of tomatoes. Keep layering the pasta, pesto and tomatoes, finishing with a layer of pesto mix.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cooked through. Meanwhile, preheat the grill.
  • When the lasagne is ready, sprinkle with the parmesan and grill for a few minutes until golden.
  • Cut into wedges, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and basil leaves and serve with rocket salad.

A note for the cook:

The pesto mix can be prepared in advance, but the lasagne sheets should be cooked just before you are about to assemble the lasagne.

For more great recipes, check out our award-winning ely cookbook here.

tips, tipples & table talk – Week 8

What to get the wine or beer lover in your life that has everything? An ely gift card of course! Joking aside, we’ve got some awesome quick and easy DIY gift ideas you can make at home. While we’ve been blessed with sunshine recently, we’ve highlighted a few of the things to do in Dublin when it rains (which it still does, quite a bit). This week’s tips, tipples and table talk also looks at the, now controversial, Poolbeg chimneys of Dublin’s skyline and we get a little bit cheesy with our how-to-guide to serving the perfect cheeseboard.

Travel Tip of the Week: What To Do in Dublin When It Rains

Good aul Irish summers eyh? While the weather has been relatively good of late, us Dubliners have certainly noticed the humidity in the air and with that, the heavy rainfall. When it rains it pours and yes, while we would always advise popping into any of our 3 ely venues, hiding out from the rain and letting us pour you a little glass of wine or craft beer, if you find yourself as a visitor to Dublin during one of these spells or just feel like enjoying your city, don’t worry. We’ve compiled a short list of awesome things to do in Dublin, come hail or high water!

  1. Visit the Little Museum of Dublin. Right in the heart of the city, this little museum is a must visit. Located on 15 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, the Little Museum of Dublin embraces and collects the fun, cute and quirky things that make this fair city brilliant. Super knowledgeable and always eager to know more, their guides tell you true Dubliner stories in a fun and informal manner.
  2. Visit the Science Gallery. With some really cool exhibitions, this is no nerdy spot! Continuously changing, challenging and altering our perception of the normal, this interactive attraction in Trinity College is always fun. The Science Gallery offers events, talks, debates and workshops, giving guests a chance to get involved.
  3. Go vintage clothes shopping. Dublin’s vintage clothing selection is always getting bigger and better and what a good way to spend a rainy day by getting lost in the days of old. Siopaella in Temple Bar, Om Diva on Drury Street and The Harlequin, 13 Castle Market are all close enough to land yourselves triple the amount of bargains in just one trip to the city.
  4. Visit the RHA Gallery. The 184th Annual exhibition runs at the RHA on Ely Place until the 17th August so plenty of time to check out some of the works at Ireland’s largest open submission exhibition. With 567 works by 354 artists, a trip to this fantastic gallery is an ideal way to while away a rainy afternoon.
  5. Relax and unwine-d at an ely wine tasting. Good company combined with wine, food and fun at an ely wine tasting is a nice relaxed yet educational way to spend a rainy evening. Held every fortnight, each with a different theme, the full list of upcoming ely wine tasting evenings can be found here.

rainy day in dublin

Taste Tip of the Week: Say Cheese

“Age is of no importance, unless you are a wine or a cheese.” 

Cheese is perfect for a formal dinner party or equally, for a casual night in with friends, and needs very little preparation.

When you’re putting together a cheeseboard, try to buy where you can taste; your eyes will never tell you as much as your taste buds will. The general idea is to serve a selection of cheeses which will offer you and your guests contrasting flavours and textures.

Our ideal mix would be:

  • A nice soft cheese
  • Blue cheese
  • A hard cheese
  • A washed rind cheese (they’re the smelly ones with the pinkish rinds),
  • If possible, a sheep’s or goat’s milk cheese.

But remember, it’s better to have one ripe and gorgeous cheese than five mediocre pieces.

IMG_5943

After you buy your cheese, be sure to look after it. Cheese is a living, breathing food and needs to be treated with some care to get the best from it. This is particularly true of the softer cheeses. Cheese should always be served at room temperature because serving it cold substantially inhibits the flavour.

Fridges aren’t as bad for cheese as they are sometimes made out to be. The main problem is their dry atmosphere rather than the cold temperature. If you do store your cheese in the fridge, always remove it several hours before serving and make sure your cheese is well wrapped in a breathable covering eg. wax paper.

There are no set rules for the serving time of your cheeses; some people like to have their cheese before dessert and others prefer it after, or instead of, dessert. It’s always good to serve something with the cheese which acts against any richness and clean the palate between cheeses. Fruit is really good for this or if you don’t have any to hand, serving with a chutney or fruit jelly will do.

Enjoy a great glass of wine and a cheeseboard, at ely wine bar.

ely winebar cheese board

Tipple Tip of the Week: DIY Gift Ideas

Do you ever struggle with what gift to get the beer or wine lover in your life? They’ve already got a whole shelf of Riedel, Tipperary or Waterford Crystal wine glasses. The over sized German beer-stein glass has had its fun. When that occasion does come around, this time why not make something yourself?

Heartfelt, personal and usually low cost and simple – As Blue Peter would say, here’s one we made earlier:

Step one, drink wine and craft beer. Not a problem? We thought so. Step two, keep and collect all the bottle caps and corks. We are trying it keep it low cost though, so another idea is to get down to any of the three ely venues (or another good bar) who would be more than happy to give you their excess bottle caps after a night’s shift. Wine corks might be that little bit more difficult to source, but a good wine bar should have a few in stock, otherwise you can buy corks in bulk for relatively low cost online.

You’d be surprised by what you can make – everything from coasters and posters to magnets, picture frames and trays.

See how to make bottle cap gifts here and wine cork gifts here.

Wine corks bottle caps DIY

Table Talk of the Week: The Poolbeg Chimneys – Should They Stay or Should They Go?

The suggestion from ESB that the resources needed to maintain the unused Poolbeg Chimneys could be better spent elsewhere caused some controversy among Dubliners this week. The red and white towers have stood at the Poolbeg area of Dublin Bay since the 1970s and have raised the demand that these chimneys be protected. With many, both domestic and foreign, voices saying that they are an iconic part of the Dublin skyline, others argue that the towers are an “eye sore”, agreeing that the resources to keep them there could indeed be better spent elsewhere.

This is a topic that pretty much all Dubliners will have an opinion on, there is no smoke without fire (as they say), and no doubt will be very keen to share it. At ely, we love them – those red and white striped chimneys are one of the few genuine icons of the Dublin skyline. They are the first thing you see of Dublin when you fly home, or the last bit of Dublin you see before you leave. They are like two ever-present sentries standing guard over our city. Where some might see ugly, we see a certain “industrial charm”.

ESB say that a decision would be made on the future of the Poolbeg chimneys by the end of this year [2014]. Demolition is among the options being considered.

See a collection of images, memories and feelings about Poolbeg chimneys via thejournal.ie here.

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Tailgate party for Notre Dame v Navy football on September 1st 2012

Tailgate party for screening of the Notre Dame Vs Navy game in aid of Jack & Jill

The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation is the recipient charity for a “Tailgate Party” organised by the American Women’s Club of Dublin (AWCD) for the screening of the Notre Dame Vs Navy game in ely bar & brasserie near the IFSC on Saturday 1st September from 12 noon to 6pm, with an admission price of €15 per ticket.
The price includes a barbeque item like chicken or beef burger and a drink of wine/beer, with live music by the Joshua Tree and tickets are available from http://www.awcd.net or may be purchased at the door.
All proceeds for the Tailgate Party are going to the Jack & Jill Foundation which is the AWCD’s designated charity for 2012-2013!
According to the AWCD the Tailgate Party, complete with multiple viewing screens, is designed for all fans – those going to the game (as doors open at noon) and well as those needing a great place to watch the game with other football fans. With over 30,000 US fans travelling to Dublin for this game, which is already SOLD OUT, this is one of the biggest international sporting events to be staged in Ireland in 2012 and the Tailgate Party is the best place to be, outside the AVIVA Stadium.

Tailgate party for screening of the Notre Dame Vs Navy game in aid of Jack & Jill
Date: 1st September 2012, 12:00PM – 6:00PM
Venue: ely bar & brasserie, IFSC (beside George’s Dock luas stop)
Tickets: €15 per person (includes burger, drink, live music) available on:
www.awcd.net

Mathew Jukes 100 best Australian wines for 2012

Influential UK wine writer Mathew Jukes released his 100 best Australian wines for 2012 and, as usual, it features a host of ely restaurants favourites.  The list covers a broad spectrum of prices and styles, from affordable, quality orientated producers such Willunga 100, Innocent Bystander and Pewsey Vale, to world class, highly sought after names such as Cullen, Henschke and Clonakilla.  A new name to that list, and to ours, is Ten Minutes by Tractor. Taking its name from the distances between the three vineyards, TMBT is – as

Matthew Jukes 100 Best Australian Wines List for 2012

Matthew Jukes 100 Best Australian Wines List for 2012

Mathew puts it – “a major force to be reckoned with in the world of global Pinot Noir worship”.

Based in Mornington Peninsula, southeast of Melbourne, they have developed a reputation for sublime, elegant and complex wines from the two grapes that excel in the region, the great Burgundian duo of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  They produce stunning single vineyard wines from the McCutchen, Wallis and Judd vineyards, and the 10X wines, which are blended from the three.  These wines challenge the very best from burgundy and at the same time remain distinctly Australian.

Four of their wines are currently listed in ely winebar 22 Ely Place,  the 10x Chardonnay 2010- fresh pear and white peach on the nose, with a smoky, minerally palate and lovely weight  on the finish. The 2008 Wallis Vineyard Chardonnay is an even more complex affair with stones and stone fruit- peaches and nectarines with a minerality that surges forward on the palate, and the deft use of oak results in an incredible harmony of texture and flavour. It is a stunning wine.

10X PINOT NOIR 2010

TEN MINUTES BY TRACTOR 10X PINOT NOIR 2010

Of the Pinots, the 2010 10X Pinot Noir is soft, ripe and fragrant, with strawberry, cherry and a touch of damson and a remarkable freshness. It would put many a big name Burgundy to shame.

The 2009 McCutchen is among the finest Pinots I’ve ever tasted from Australia- It impresses at first with its vibrant red fruits-  fresh cherry and raspberry,  and a texture so silky it’s almost sinful . But given some time in the glass it develops in to something altogether different, conjuring up savoury, meaty aromas, and a smoky spiciness. Everything comes together seamlessly in a finish that lingers on the palate like a fond memory.

The Ten Minutes by Tractor wines are exclusively available in ely restaurants. Come in and try them for yourself.

making the most of cheese

Cheese and Board‘Finding good quality cheese in Ireland has become easier in recent years, with more and more independent, speciality food shops springing up around the country.’
Kevin Sheridan

making the most of cheese

At ely, we trust our friends and long-time suppliers, Sheridans Cheesemongers, to guide us when it comes to serving a great cheeseboard to our customers.

When you’re putting together a cheeseboard, the general idea is to serve a selection of cheeses which will offer you and your guests contrasting flavours and textures. Try to buy where you can taste; your eyes will never tell you as much as your taste buds.

Ideally, mix a nice soft cheese, a blue cheese, a hard cheese, a washed rind cheese (they’re the smelly ones with the pinkish rinds), and if possible, a sheep’s or goat’s milk cheese. But remember, it’s better to have one ripe and gorgeous cheese than five mediocre pieces.

After you buy your cheese, be sure to look after it. Cheese is a living, breathing food and needs to be treated with some care to get the best from it. This is particularly true of the softer cheeses. Cheese should always be served at room temperature because serving it cold substantially inhibits the flavour.

Ideally, buy your cheese from someone who has cared for it properly, then serve that same evening. Cheese that you can’t use the same day can be stored in an unheated room or garage, though fridges are not as bad for cheese as they are sometimes made out to be. The main problem is their dry atmosphere rather than the cold temperature. If you do store your cheese in the fridge, always remove it several hours before serving.

Make sure your cheese is well wrapped in a breathable covering such as wax paper. This is particularly important for cheeses with mould or culture rinds and fresh goat’s cheeses; plastic will suffocate them and often cause ‘off’ flavours.

There are no set rules for serving your cheeses; some people like to have their cheese before dessert and others prefer it after, or instead of, dessert. I think it is good to serve something with the cheese which will act as a foil against any richness and clean the palate between cheeses. Fruit is really good for this; a fresh pear or apple is ideal. The fruit must be ripe though, so if you don’t have any to hand, serve a chutney, fruit jelly or dried fruit.

Cheese is a wonderful food and needs very little preparation. Everything depends on the quality of the cheese you source. So take your time, seek out the best and enjoy!

This excerpt has being taken from the ely cookbook available for sale on our Facebook Shop for only €20

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