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.

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tips, tipples & table talk – Week 16

Slight warning folks, our dessert recipe in this week’s tips, tipples & table talk is sure to have your mouth watering so reader discretion (during work hours or you know, on a public bus…) is advised! We’ve also got some Bavarian beverages you might like to enjoy during Oktoberfest Dublin and we discuss what makes farming in the Burren, Co. Clare so very special.

Enjoy!

Tipple Tip(s) of the Week: Oktoberfest Dublin

In excitement of Oktoberfest arriving to George’s Dock (Dublin 1) this Thursday 18th, we’re getting our Bavarian dirndl dress and lederhosen together, and planning which German tipples we’ll be enjoying this week (and no, not all at the same time).

Oktoberfest-Dublin

  1. Erdinger Weissbier – From one of the world’s largest wheat beer breweries and the official sponsor of this year’s Oktoberfest Dublin, is one of the most famous weissbiers. While it is fruity, what we enjoy is that it isn’t too sweet either. Light and easily drinkable, this is a great thirst quenching beer.
  2. Paulaner Hefe-Weissbier – A well balanced wheat beer, you can certainly taste the yeast and banana, without it being too overpowering. Quite sweet which compliments the light bitterness, this medium bodied Weizen is fresh and flavoursome.
  3. Krombacher Pils This German Pilsner has nearly an all grain flavour with a minimal hop taste. This is a crisp and light bodied beer, best enjoyed on a warmer Autumn’s day. Brewed with natural spring water, this provides its refreshing taste.
  4. Wagner Stempel Spätburgunder – A German Pinot Noir, from the Wagner-Stempel winery encapsulates all that is great about Pinot as a variety, and Germany as a wine producer. This softly perfumed wine is delicate but beautifully flavoured, with raspberry, cherry and redcurrant flavours.

Pop in and enjoy ely bar & brasserie, IFSC, Dublin 1, when visiting Oktoberfest Dublin.

Oktoberfest Dublin Tipples

Taste Tip of the Week: Jamaican Coffee Pecan Brownies

As the days get cooler, we step away from lighter desserts and enjoy heartwarming indulgent classics. These gorgeous brownies are heavenly served with ice-cream and also ideal for storing as treats for your coffee break – if you can resist them for that long!

jamaican brownie collage

What you need:

  • 400g caster sugar
  • 375g unsalted butter
  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp finely ground Jamaican blue mountain (or your favourite) coffee beans
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 150g plain flour
  • 100g pecan halves
  • 6 tbsp freshly brewed Jamaican coffee
  • 100g dark chocolate,
  • 70% cocoa solids, chopped (Valrhona is ideal)
  • 30 thin strips crystallised ginger, or candied orange peel
  • icing sugar, for dusting

Makes 15

How we do it:

  • Line a baking tray, measuring approx 38 x 26cm, with greaseproof paper, or lightly grease a glass ovenproof dish. A lasagne dish is ideal. The tray or dish should be 2cm minimum in depth.
  • Combine the sugar, butter, cocoa, ground coffee and salt in a metal or heatproof bowl.
  • Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and leave until the butter melts, stirring occasionally to help blend the ingredients – the texture will be grainy.
  • Remove the bowl from the water and allow the mixture to cool to lukewarm.
  • Whisk in the eggs and vanilla
  • Sieve the flour over and fold in.
  • Take three-quarters of the pecan halves and roll up inside a clean tea towel. Bash lightly with a rolling pin to break up. Stir the pieces into the mix.
  • Pour the freshly brewed coffee over the mixture with the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared dish or tray and spread evenly.
  • Allow to cool and thicken for approximately 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the brownies comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and cut into squares.

Dress the brownies with the reserved pecans and ginger or candied orange peel. Dust with icing sugar. Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream.

Or, let us do the work for you! Homemade desserts by ely’s executive pastry chef available at ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place.

Pecan Jamaican Coffee Brownies

Table Talk of the Week: What Makes Farming in The Burren So Special?

For those of you who aren’t aware, the ely organic family farm is located in the Burren, Co. Clare (refresher here). Often people have asked us why we have chosen to keep our farm there and what makes farming in the Burren so special.

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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. This way of farming, where your animals are up on the hills in the winter months, is unique only to the Burren, Co. Clare. Due to its limestone structure, the Burren landscape acts almost as a storage heater. The land receives heat from the Atlantic drift in the summer and it stores that heat for the winter as the soil depths are so shallow. Gentle heat releases from the limestone all winter making for very little frost, and allowing the animals to be happier and warmer on the hill (also called the winterage) than in the valley. The animals then come down to the valley for the spring and summer months.

Burren Farmland.

Also unique to the Burren is the way in which land is distributed. Land in The Burren is sold, not by the area, but by the numbers of animals you keep or feed. Summer land is matched with the winter land and you always have enough winter land to maintain the animals you keep on the summer land. Many of the cattle farmers in the Burren might produce calves in the spring, feed them on the rich pastures of the valley in the summer, sell the calves in the autumn and put the cattle back up on the winterage in the winter.

Life in the Burren always works as a balance.

We source all of our grass fed beef, pork and lamb through our organic family farm in The Burren, Co. Clare. 

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Craft beers and cocktails @ ely – Part 4

by Barry Rowan

This week I was going to take a look at some of the stouts/porters. Guinness, one of the most influential and iconic brands within the vintners industry, is something we will not be discussing! We will be looking at some of the other lesser known but, IMO, far superio r stouts that appear on our list. These stouts have far more flavour and complexity in comparison to Guinness and should definitely be explored and discussed.

Ohara_stoutO Hara’s Celtic stout
4.3% abv

This stout has a robust flavour with a full bodied and smooth mouth feel.
The roast flavours lead to a dry espresso like finish. A generous addition of fuggles hops lead to a tart bitterness which mingles with the roast espresso flavours on the tongue.

Try this for a more authentic stout taste.

 

 

 

 

 

old_engineOld Engine Oil
ABV6%

This beer from the Harviston brewery in the Uk is a real winner.
Probably the first “other” stout that I really appreciated. This pens its name from the consistency of the beer. Thick, rich and dense in appearance and taste, this stout has it all. Lush sweetness carries chocolate and coffee flavours to the beholder and the punchy alcohol and subtle bitterness cleans your mouth out and leaves you wanting more.

 

 

 

 

tavernTavern porter
ABV 4.7%

Made in the UK by the Thwaites brewery, this is a medium bodied porter.
It has all the usual stuff that is associated with porter; coffee, liquorice and chocolate but it has a good carbonation to it, which makes it light and drinkable. I always find with this beer, that it’s best enjoyed when it begins to come to room temperature.

Definitely a beer to have in front of the fire or enjoyed while reading a book

 

 

 

OharaO hara’s Leann Follain
ABV6%

This is a double stout, which means that it has a higher percentage of alcohol and a bit more body. However, this is certainly a diferrent beer to the celtic stout that O’Hara’s brews. This is higher in alcohol and does have more body, but it’s also sweeter and far more balanced than it’s little brother. It’s like the recipe has been reduced down to be made more concentraded. This is much better enjoyed slightly below room temperature to allow it’s flavours to open up and be appreciated.

 

 

 

StPetersburgSt Petersburg Russian Imperial Stout
7.4%ABV

This is an excellent beer and excellent style of beer. There aren’t many of these around and you should always make sure to try a Russian Imperial Stout at some point. The Thornbridge brewery has become one of the most awarded brewery’s in the UK. This stout doesn’t disappoint either. It’s power may put some of you off in terms of its potency, but it actually is a flavoursome, round beer which can be good for just sipping on, but as a beer “enthusiast” this holds its own in terms of complexity.

ely tips, tipples & table talk 15

In this week’s tips, tipples & table talk, we’re getting ready for that fabulously cultural time of the year again that is Culture Night 2014. We also take a look at your granny’s favourite wine and why it’s so misunderstood – The Fantastic World of Sherry and enjoy a brilliantly simple salmon tartare recipe that you can whip up in seconds, but shhh, who needs to know, and looks seriously impressive.

Enjoy folks!

Table Talk of the Week: Culture Night 

Set to be biggest ever with more outdoor events, this year’s Culture Night will see locals and visitors across the island of Ireland enjoy the unique experience of Culture Night, a free night of entertainment, discovery and adventure taking place in a record 28 towns, cities, counties and islands in Ireland. Museums, galleries, churches, historic houses, artists’ studios and cultural centres will open their doors late into the evening welcoming people of all ages to taste and sample their cultural delights for free on the evening.

Culture Night 2014 will take place on Friday September 19th from 5pm-11pm.

Watch out for Cultural Quarters:

Greater Dublin
Heuston / Museum Quarter
Historic Quarter
North Georgian Quarter
South Georgian Quarter
Temple Bar & North of Liffey
Trinity College/Docklands

Tipple Tip of the Week: The Fantastic World of Sherry 

Is it still the most misunderstood of all wines? We’re inclined to think so.
Even now, despite Sherry being loved and lauded in the wine press for years, we still meet people who think of is just as a “granny drink”– their words, not ours.

So let’s set a few things straight- Sherry is one of the most wonderful and varied of all wine styles, and there is a style one for everyone. From bone-dry, tangy Manzanilla, nutty, caramelised Amontillado or for the truly decadent, try a Moscatel of PX.
Secondly, these wines are often remarkable value for money. A glass of Fino or Manzanilla – perfect aperitif- will usually cost about half what you would pay for a decent glass of white. The sweeter wines, such as those mentioned above, are not just ridiculously good value next to more familiar dessert wines, they are also incredibly versatile – try them with, dark chocolate, caramel, nuts, figs, cheese and much more.

The problem we have with Sherry is simply perception, or mis-perception, and the best way to fix that is education. So, to do our bit in the struggle to reinstate Sherry to its rightful, lofty position we have arranged a Sherry tasting masterclass with none other than César Saldaña. When it comes to Sherry, this guy is THE MAN!
He’s like the Godfather of the entire Sherry industry, and he’s making one visit to Ireland this year – just to talk to you!
The tasting will be held in ely bar & brasserie on Wednesday 17th at 7pm. We will be having some wonderful tapas-style dishes to accompany the tastings. Tickets are €20 and are very strictly limited. This is a one-time only opportunity to learn from the very best, and sample some wonderful wines in the process.

Hey, bring your granny- because she’s known this all along…..
Tickets can be purchased online www.elywinebar.com/tastings or by calling Ian Brosnan on (01) 6787867.

3_level_ely_bloody_mary

Taste Tip of the Week: Salmon Tartare with Watercress & Cucumber Ribbons

salmon

What you need:

  • What you need
  • 1 cucumber
  • 200g fresh, organic,
  • Irish farmed salmon
  • small bunch dill
  • 2 small shallots
  • 50g crème fraîche
  • juice of ¼ lemon
  • rock salt, black pepper
  • 50g watercress
  • mixed leaves and
  • brown bread, to serve
    Serves 4

How We Do It:

  • Take a peeler and run it from the top to the tail of the whole, unpeeled cucumber to create 4 long strips – these will be used to wrap the salmon. You should end up with long, translucent strips with dark green borders on either side. The borders will help the strips hold their shape.
  • Dice the salmon, dill and shallots. Reserve 4 tsp crème fraîche. Place the salmon, dill and shallots
    in a bowl with the remaining crème fraîche and lemon juice, mixing well to ensure all ingredients
    are coated. Season to taste.
  • Divide the salmon mix into 4 and place each portion in the centre of a plate in a cylindrical shape.
    Wrap each one with a cucumber strip. Place 1 tsp crème fraîche on top of each portion. Pick and
    wash the watercress and place a few leaves on top of each bundle of salmon. Sprinkle with rock salt.
  • Serve with mixed leaves and traditional brown bread, if liked.
  • A note for the cook
    You want to make sure the taste of the fresh dill comes through; half of one of the packets you can
    buy at the supermarket should be about right.

Enjoy alternative twists to classic dishes at ely bar & brasserie.

salmon

 

tips, tipples & table talk – Week 13

We are thrilled to kick off this week’s tips, tipples & table talk with some great news! As well as this, we have a heartwarming-ly delicious brekkie recipe for that brunch dish with a difference. People often ask us about decanting wine, whether it’s worth the time and effort so this week we’ve got a few tips for you on when you decan… and when you decant (sorry).

Enjoy!

Table Talk of the Week: Food & Wine Magazine Awards

“This year’s winner was one of the first places in Ireland to take wine by the glass seriously and still manages to lead in this area, most notably this year, for the stand it has taken on wine pricing. A leader rather than a follower.” – Food & Wine Magazine, Restaurant of the Year Awards 2014

food and wine awards 2014

We, at ely, are delighted to have been awarded Best Wine Experience in Ireland at the Food & Wine Magazine Awards on Sunday. The award was in recognition, not just of our wine tasting education and wine lists, but also our extensive selection of wines by the glass and “inspirational” pricing.

We would like to take this time to say a massive thank you to everyone at Food & Wine Magazine for the much appreciated recognition, to all of our staff for their incredible hard work, and a special thank you to all of our amazing customers for their continued support.

To see more on ely’s wine value price promise (as covered by Forbes) click here.

ely erik&michelle

Tipple Tip of the Week: Decan or Decant?

In our opinion, it’s always worth decanting a wine, irrespective of the cost and there is actually, quite little effort involved! You don’t actually need any special equipment to decant. The only exception is when it comes to a very old wine – its delicate structure may disintegrate when exposed to too much air, so it’s best served straight from the bottle (and poured slowly).

Decanting Wine 3

Follow the guidelines below to make the most of your wine:

  • Leave your bottle standing for at least an hour before you open it, it helps the sediment fall to the bottom of the bottle.
  • Decant your wine – even if you just have 10 minutes before your pizza’s ready, it’s still worthwhile.
  • Either buy a decanter (you don’t have to spend too much), or use any good-sized glass container – a jug or a vase works fine.
  • Pour gently and steadily down one side.
  • Leave to sit somewhere cool until you’re ready to drink it.
  • Remember you can a decant full-bodied white wine, too – especially if it has spent a long time in the fridge.

Learn more about wine in a fun and informal way at an ely wine tasting experience

decanting wine

Taste Tip of the Week: Eggy Bread with Strawberry Jam & Clotted Cream

Growing tired of the usual breakfast fry (“never!” we hear some of you cry) or just fancy a change? Sometimes the simplest dishes create the fondest memories. An unbelievably simple, yet great, Sunday brunch favourite from us here at ely.

eggy bread 1

What you need:

  • 4 organic eggs (yolks only of 3, and 1 whole)
  • 250ml milk
  • 8 slices bread (a doughy white bread works well here)
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 200g strawberries
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 tub clotted cream, to serve
    Serves 4

How We Do It:

  • Whisk 3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg together with the milk.
  • Soak the bread in this mixture for a few seconds, then fry in butter until golden brown, allowing 10g butter per 2 slices bread.
  • Ensure you wipe the pan clean each time to avoid burning the butter.
  • To make the jam, wash the strawberries and remove the stalks. Cut into quarters.
  • Place the sugar in a pot with 3-4 tsp water.
  • Heat gently until the sugar dissolves, then add the strawberries.
  • Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Mash lightly with a fork and leave to cool.
  • Serve the fried bread with the cream and jam on the side, and a pot of your favourite coffee.

Enjoy alternative twists to classic heartwarming dishes at ely bar & brasserie.

eggy bread collage

 

 

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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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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