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 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 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. 

laya map 2

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.

DD-Dub_HmPg_576x3001

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.

brian friel

 

A French Christmas with Chateau Fongaban and Domaine de l’Hortus

ely has a great selection of French wines and 2 of our domaines, Chateau Fongaban and Domaine de l’Hortus, have kindly sent us in their Christmas Day menus.

Pierre Taix of hateau Fongaban is as follows:

Aperitif
Champagne Egly-Ouriet Blanc de Noirs

Lamproie à la bordelaise (From my mother only)
La Mauriane 2004 –Puisseguin saint-Emilion
Raviole de Fois gras aux cèpes One of the best Bordeaux 2004 dixit Jean-Marc Quarin

Raviole de Fois gras aux cèpes (This year was very good for the cèpes)
Chateau Fongaban 1971 Puisseguin Saint-Emilion–
1971 is certainly the best vintage for the saint-emilion area of the seventies

Pigeonneaux en cocotte with truffes
Château Fongaban 1950 Puisseguin Saint-Emilion
My favorite vintage

Fondant au chocolat – (The recipe of Alain Ducasse in his book “Bistro”)
Banyuls Coume del Mas
The best accord food-wine

Yves Orliac of Domaine de L’Hortus will be having a very Mediterranean Christmas menu which looks absolutely mouth-watering.

Apéritif : There are different toasts.

  • Toast of Black and green “tapenade”.
  • A little bit of “Boutargue” (Mediterranean caviar).
  • Jam and sausage from Corsica.

Starters :

  • Wild smoked salmon (from Ireland) on “tartine” of black bread with butter and a stalk of dill.
  • Oysters from Marennes with a lemon or vinegar sauce with herbs.
  • And of course “Foie Gras” with Guerande’s salt.
  • Green salad (with no eggs).

Main Course :

  • Turbot fish cooked in the beer (It is a “spécialitée” of Sylvie Courselle).

Dessert :

  • Cheese board : Roquefort, goat’s cheese…
  • Chocolat’s cake (Frederique loves chocolate)

Want to learn more about Bordeaux or Southern French wines or  improve your culinary skills with a cookery course: ely has all the answers: click here to see the full range of events and tastings next year.

Christmas Day Suggestions: a selection from our favourite wine-makers

Looking for inspiration for Christmas day dinner? Some of our favourite wine-makers have sent us the tradional dishes from their region with, of course, the best wines to drink with them! Our featured producers come from Rioja, Tuscany and Australia. Out of all the wine-makers who sent us in the Christmas traditions, the Hernaiz brothers who own Bodegas La Emperatriz in Rioja, is a Christmas we’d love to join in!

If you love cooking and want to learn some more why not do our cookery course which includes a wine and food matching lesson with award winning sommelier Ian Brosnan.

Rioja, Spain: Bodegas La Emperatriz
Eduardo Hernáiz, the owner of Bodegas La Emperatriz and his brother Victor recount their typical Christmas eve for us.

Christmas time in Spain is about family. In Spain, most people still live within close proximity of each other so it isn’t unusual to celebrate Christmas eve or Noche Buena as we like to call it, with over 20 family members.  Before settling down for dinner, I like to meet up with my closest friends at a local bar in Cenicero for a Christmas Champagne toast. After this, around 10:30 pm everyone in the family  comes together around the dinner table to eat a traditional home cooked meal.  Our Christmas eve dinner begins with a warm and tasty Consume soup followed by Cardo, which is a type of thistle that resembles a green Rubarb.  After this, we eat chicken that has been raised our own Finca La Emperatriz estate. It is normally stuffed with a meat, truffle and bread stuffing and baked in the oven until golden brown.

After this we eat Besugo, which is Sea Bream that has been cooked in the oven and then a light olive oil cooked with garlic and spicy dried chilies is drizzled on top.   We finish it with Polvorones de Navidad, which are a type of butter cake made with flour, butter and sugar that can be a bit of a powdery mess. We also eat Turron, which is a type of nougat with nuts as well as Marizpan both can be  quite sweet and delicious.  

Christmas eve dinner is all about family and we tend to stay at the dinner table eating until we can´t eat a morsel more.  At this point, usually well into the early hours of the morning, we head to bed, only to eat left overs the next day for Christmas Day.  Merry Christmas!

The 2 brothers and their families toast Christmas with the best wines from their estate Bodegas La Emperatriz, Rioja Alta ‘Pacela No1’ , along with other wines from their range.

Tuscany, Italy: Cantina di Montalcino
One of our favourite Brunello di Montalcinos comes from Cantina di Montalcino. Made exclusively from Sangiovese it is rich, elegant and spicy with cinnamon, figs, cherries and pepper aromas. Although Tuscany is famous for Chianti, Brunello is the certainly the king of the region: made from the best grapes available and aged in Slovenian oak for 3 years followed by 2 years in bottle before release. 2006 vintage is a open and expressive and has a sumptuous silky texture.  The traditional Christmas lunch in Tuscany is a 5 course affair with everything from veal ragu made with home-grown tomatoes, chicken liver pate and roast boar! Giacomo Alari of Cantina di Montalcino is a born and bred Tuscan and below is his typical Christmas dinner menu.

Crostini con Fegato di Pollo – Crostini with Chicken Liver Pate
served with a young Chianti

Maltagliata con Vitello – Ragu of Veal with Maltagliati pasta
served with Chianti Riserva

Capon con Salsa Verde – Chicken with Salsa Verde
Arista con Patate Arrosto – Roast Loin of Pork with Potatoes
served with Brunello di Montalcino

Cantucci con Vin Santo – Almond Biscotti soaked in dessert wine
served with Vin Santo

Giacomo Alari will also be presenting our Italy wine tasting night on the 22nd February. Tickets are limited, please contact wineclub@elywinebar.com for more details.

Bolgheri, Italy: Poggio al Tesoro
Poggio al Tesoro is located in Bolgheri – home of the Super Tuscan. Originally made famous back in the late 1970s with wines such Tignaello and Sassicaia, the area has the ideal soil and climatic conditions to grow international varieties such as Cabernet, Merlot and Shiraz as well as the Italian Sangiovese. ‘Sondraia’ is one of our favourites from Poggio al Tesoro and it easily rivals a top French classic: made from the typical Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc it’s plush, warm and full, with velvety, ripe tannins giving structure to the ripe, plummy fruit on the palate.  Lovely touch of rosemary and eucalyptus on the finish! The head winemaker, Nicola Biasi (pictured below) recommends Wild Boar Stew with Sondraia and has kimdly given us his family recipe!

2007 Poggio al Tesoro ‘Sondraia’ with Spezzatino di Cinghiale – Wild Boar Stew

Ingredients:
800g wild boar (or pork)
500g tomato passata
2 garlic cloves
1 celery stick
1 onion
2 carrots
2 bay leaves
500ml of red wine, preferably young Chianti
Chilli
Salt
New season Tuscan olive oil

Marinate the meat in the red wine, chopped garlic and vegetables, bay leaf and chilli. After 8 hours, remove the meat and vegetables and conserve the marinating juices.  Heat up some olive oil in a pan and sauté the vegetables.  Add the meat, season and brown for a few minutes on a high heat.  Add a ladle of the marinating liquid and let it reduce down. Turn down the heat, add the tomatoes and cook for about two hours, stirring occasionally so the meat doesn’t stick to the pan. If necessary add some water or more of the remaining liquid. Season and serve hot with a glass of Sondraia.

Adelaide Hills, Australia: Shaw and Smith
Shaw and Smith was founded in 1989 by cousins Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith. Martin Shaw is one of the original flying winemakers and Michael Smith is not just Australia’s first Master of Wine, he is also a Cordon Bleu trained chef!

This Christmas Martin Shaw will be having: Snapper Ceviche with mint, watermelon and fetta salad to accompany 2009 M3 Chardonnay. What a delicious dish to have with 2009 M3: it’s one of the most iconic Chardonnays made in Australia and with it’s cool fruit, restrained use of oak and a depth and elegance that is only comparable to a Puligny Montrachet. This skill in wine making perfectly captures the new approach Australia has taken in the last 10 years. If you are looking for a white wine to have this Christmas, we recommend this! 

Thanks to all of our producers for sharing their Christmas traditions with us.

Want some inspiration in the kitchen? Why not do our cookery course? We kick start each lesson with a glass of bubbly and afterwards serve up the dishes alongside a selection of wines whilst award-winning sommelier Ian Brosnan gives a food and wine matching lesson. It’s the perfect Christmas gift for your mom, sister or girlfriend! Please contact wineclub@elywinebar.com for more details or call Michelle Lawlor on 01 676 8986 for more details.

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