tips, tipples & table talk – Week 7

In this week’s tips, tipples & table talk we reminisce about the fruit & veg wars we had at home when we were younger – and how those who still feel the same can tackle the problem today. We also look through the glass and discuss how you can make an average wine taste better and our what’s on this week includes babies carrying watermelons, fire breathers in Dublin city centre and 1970’s aristocratic Ireland.

Tipple tip of the Week: Through the Looking Glass – Why that wine glass really matters.

In our opinion, Riedel has perfected the art of making the right glass for the right wine. However, that said, you don’t need to spend a fortune on wine glasses for use at home. Here are some quick tips in choosing a glass for your wine.

Hang on, does it actually matter?

Yes it does! Did you know that you can turn a great wine into an average wine by serving it in the wrong glass – and make an average wine taste better by using the correct glass. Curiouser and curiouser, as Alice would say.

Hmmmm, tell me more.

The bottom of the glass should be bowl-shaped, with the rim of the glass sloping inwards to capture and concentrate the aromas.
The bowl of the glass should be wider for red wines, which benefits from a little swirling around. On that swirling note, a good solid stem is always always important, nobody wants a broken glass! A more subtle light and delicate white wine will concentrate better in a tall glass with a tapered rim. Always use a tall, slim flute glass for your sparkling wine and champagne. This will keep the bubbles flowing and help keep its sparkle!

In an ideal world, we’d all wash our wine glasses by hand but we know as well as you do that this quite tedious. Most good glassware is dishwasher safe, just make sure to check before purchasing (or before you pop it in the dishwasher!).

More on ely’s wine appreciation classes here.

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Taste tip(s) of the Week: How to Eat Healthier – Even when you hate fruit & veg

We remember it like it was yesterday. Seven years old and sitting at the dinner table having a stand off with the ‘rents. Surely, they have to give in first. Surely, they couldn’t leave me to starve? Surely, if I could just get them to look away for a minute I can easily hide them in my lap. Or in my pocket. Or maybe in my Velcro runners. Give peas a chance? Not a hope. This was full blown veggie war, with only one winner.

Now-a-days, while we’ve out grown out of table tantrums, there are still many of  you who are just plain adverse to certain (or many!) fruits and vegetables. You know the advantages, you know it’s good for you and you know you should be eating more of it, but sometimes… y’ just don’t want to. Our taste tip of the week, here are a few easy ways to include more fruit and vegetables into your diet.

  1. Replace today’s soft drink or coffee for fruit juice – There are now some top class juice joints in Dublin city, Staple Foods and Green Beards Juicery to name only a few, so why not replace your sugary soft drink or coffee at least once a week with some fresh fruity goodness. Alternatively, head to the fruit aisle, grab a blender and make some yourself at home.
  2. Add a new vegetable to your regular meals – Take a staple dish that you love, like pizza or pasta, and try to add a different vegetable to it, at least once a week. Whether it’s adding peppers to your usual margherita pizza or mushrooms to your creamy chicken sauce, why not be brave and try it. 9 times out of 10 you’ll find you might actually like the flavour.
  3. Replace dessert with sweet fruits  If you’re used to eating something sweet after every meal, try sweet fruits like mangoes or strawberries for dessert instead. Similarly, frozen yoghurt with fresh berries, is basically ice cream… right? As featured on our blog a few weeks back, you can check out the recipe here.
  4. Dunk ’em & stuff ’em Like breads and crisps, sliced vegetables like carrots and celery also taste great dipped into humous or a (light) sour cream dip. Peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms can all be stuffed with pesto, cheeses and more, not only complimenting but enhancing the flavours.
  5. Vegucate yourself – Sure, we all know that fruit and vegetables are good for us but how many of us actually know the specifics? Particular fruits can help with everything from anxiety to acne and certain vegetables can cure ailments along with boosting energy, endorphins, stamina and much more. Read up, vegucate yourself and maybe it’ll tempt you to try something new.

Try new healthy, seasonal summer menus at ely wine bar.

fruit and veg collage

What’s on this Week

A big one on Merrion Square this weekend folks and so much happening at this year’s Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular, formerly the Street Performance World Championship. The very best in family fun and entertainment, the event itself will be held July 11th – 13th but will also spread across Dublin city with concerts, family picnics, artisan food events and outdoor screenings until July 27th. The event map can be enlarged by clicking the image below and the full Dublin line up can be found here.

Just up the road from Merrion Square, ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place is open for Saturday lunch + dinner. 

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The hugely popular Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story On Stage was put in the corner (of Grand Canal Square) last night and will run until the 26th July at The Bord Gais Energy Theatre. Featuring all the best bits from the film and more, this fantastic show still has some tickets left and can be purchased here.

Book pre-theatre at ely gastro bar, Grand Canal Square.

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One of Brian Friel’s finest plays, The Aristocrats, runs in The Abbey Theatre until August 2nd. A moving drama about a wealthy Catholic family in 1970’s Ireland, it surprisingly relates extremely well to current and modern times. With a fine cast executing Friel’s fantastic script with haunting undertones, this play is a must see for any theatre lover. Tickets are still available, to purchase click here.

Enjoy pre-theatre dining at ely bar & brasserie, IFSC.

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tips, tipples & table talk – Week 6

In honour of this Friday, the 4th of July, we reviewed some un-brew-lievable (sorry) American craft beers along with one for you to enjoy in the summer sunshine, the easiest fro-yo recipe ever, in this week’s tips, tipples & table talk. We also look at 50 Shades of Grey in Ireland and no, not the book: Why you you should be visiting the uniquely stunning Burren, Co. Clare this summer.

Craft Beer(s) of the Week: Red, White and Brew  

Independence day is upon us this Friday 4th of July,  so we thought it only fitting to put our star spangled banner of approval on our favourite American craft beers. There are now over 2,700 craft breweries operating in the U.S, the highest total since the 1880s according to the Brewers Association, which made our decision a tough one, but here it goes: Our top American craft beers of the week.

  1. Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout – Which is the stout that us Irish folks love to drink? Just can’t quite think of the name right now but it is because of our love for this stout that makes it difficult for others to get a look in. However, this Californian stout is seriously interesting with a thick, rich and full body along with hints of chocolate and coffee. When the waiter offers us the dessert menu, we simply say we’ll have another one of these.
  2. Brooklyn Lager – Some might argue that, hang on, this isn’t really a craft beer anymore but that’s where some might respond that hey, this is the original craft beer… of New York anyway. According to Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn Lager is New York’s “hometown” beer, brewed to a pre-Prohibition recipe that dates back to the days when Brooklyn was the brewing capital of the East Coast. Light bodied, this craft beer is easy, drinkable and can be enjoyed at any time of the year.
  3. Flying Dog Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale – The team at ely are huge fans of the Flying Dog Brewery and their classic pale ale is still one of our favourite craft beers out there. Fantastic summer drinking, its floral citrus aroma runs all the way through and can also be found in its well balanced taste. 5 out of 5, wonderful stuff!
  4. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale – This beer from the folks at Lexing Brewing Co. (Alltech) is a whopping 8% but what we like about it is that it’s surprisingly drinkable and smooth, despite its high alcohol volume. True to its name, you can certainly taste the bourbon but it’s accompanied by a lovely, nutty oak taste along with dark fruits, figs perhaps. Not a beer for a big night out but for a relaxing, much like the beer, well balanced evening.

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WIN an Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling craft beer & bourbon hamper worth €250 at ely bar & brasserie’s 4th July BBQ this Friday. Click here for details.

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Taste tip of the Week: Frozen Yoghurt Berry Cup

Fresh, fruity and good for you – this quick ‘n’ easy frozen treat offers delicious and guilt-free indulgence this Summer.

What you need:

  • 200g mixed nuts (e.g. pecans, walnuts, almonds)
  • 500g mixed berries (fresh or frozen) plus a few fresh berries to serve
  • 500g organic plain yogurt, chilled
  • 2 tbsp good quality honey
  • mint leaves, to serve

How we do it:

  • Toast the nuts by placing in a frying pan over a medium heat and tossing until golden brown – take care not to burn.
  • Put three-quarters of the fruit in a food processor and blend for 30 seconds.
  • Add the yogurt and honey and blend for 1 minute until smooth.
  • Taste for sweetness and add more honey if necessary.
  • Layer the yogurt with the remaining berries in tall glasses, bowls or cups and freeze for a minimum of 2 hours.
  • To serve, top with toasted nuts and some mint leaves.

For more recipes, see ely’s award-winning cookbook here.

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Travel tip of the Week: The Burren, Co. Clare

“The Burren? Sure that’s only rock, there’s nothing there!”

We still remember when we first advised one of our overseas customers to go and visit The Burren, Co. Clare during their round trip of Ireland, and the quote above that somebody quipped in with. Now, while the person did have a point about the rocks (The Burren takes its name from the Irish word ‘Boíreann’, meaning a rocky place), they were wrong about the ‘only’ part. When you think of Irish landscapes, you picture every shade of green while in the Burren, you find 50 shades of grey with only a bit of green thrown in. This strange beauty is what makes the Burren so uniquely stunning and gets our recommendation for Travel tip of the Week.

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The Burren’s unusual landscape, created by limestone erosion from the rain, plays host to a truly unique ecosystem of alpine, arctic and Mediterranean plants, see Burren Beo for moreDue to this rich wildlife, the area allows for some of the best farming in Ireland along with delicious seafood (à la Burren Smokehouse) and proudly, The Burren is home to the ely organic family farm. The area’s large amount of butterflies, animals, flora and fauna wonderfully and amazingly all survive in a land that appears to be composed entirely of rock.ely family farm_Burren farmland_low res

The Burren, also rich with historical and archaeological sites, is an ideal location to combine a trip with the nearby Cliffs of Moher or perhaps, for a stop off along the way. Colours of the Burren change with the light, weather and season, making it a fantastic place for the many artists who visit to set up their easels for the day.

To learn more about visiting The Burren, Co. Clare visit: www.burrennationalpark.ie 

ely family farm_Burren farmland_collage

 

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