The 15 Series, Week 3: 15 Seasonal Sips For Winter

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 Seasonal Sips For Winter

As winter approaches, tropical fruits, rosés and lighter beers move over for robust reds, fuller whites, apples, cinnamon and warming drinks. Here are 15 craft beers, cocktails and wines to enjoy this season.

1. Pietra 

An intriguing Corsican amber beer with sweet chestnut flavours, this tipple is a nice one for winter as it also has a touch of spice and citrus. These spices, combined with nuttiness and surprising caramel hints, makes Pietra a unique and light choice for that first drink on a cold evening.


2. Spiced Apple Grog
oktoberfest4

Photo credit: ely restaurants

Cocktails featuring spices will be everywhere next season and drinking them hot is one of the best ways to enjoy them. Spiced Apple Grog contains Jameson, Highbank Drivers Cider (N/A, GF and organic), cinnamon shavings and “Ireland’s answer to maple syrup”, Highbank organic orchard syrup. Serve hot and enjoy at home at the end of a long day, or let us make it for you at ely bar & brasserie, (the Chq Building), Dublin 1.


3. John Duval “Plexus” Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre

Winter calls for something warming and decadent and this wine, from the Barossa Valley in Australia, delivers on both counts. Velvety smooth, spicy and lush, think of a glass of this as a hot-water bottle for the soul.


4. Cloughmore Dark Water Stout

Cloughmore Dark Water Stout is brewed in the foothills of the Mourne mountains and draws its main ingredient from  the local water supplied from the reservoir, making this an unfiltered craft Irish Stout. With a body of roasted barley and oats with accompanying light chocolate flavours, this makes a nice change from the usual stout we tend to return to drinking this time of the year.


5. Michael Collins

Photo credit: ely restaurants

Using a whiskey substitute instead of gin in the classic Tom Collins adds a little more winter depth and results in the refreshing and fruity Michael Collins. If making it at home, shake a good Irish whiskey, fresh lemon juice, sugar and strain into a glass. Add ice cubes, carbonated water and stir. Or sit back and enjoy as we rustle one up for you at ely bar & brasserie, (the Chq Building), Dublin 1.


6. Champagne Dravigny Godbillon ‘Cuvee Ambre’ Brut     
Dravigny Godbillon ‘Cuvee Ambre’ Brut

Photo credit: http://www.vivino.com

The festive season rolls around and many of us fill with cheer. If the time does come to break out the bubbles this year, why not try one from a small, virtually unknown Champagne house who make some outstanding wines. Their style is akin to some of the more famous ( and expensive) Grand Marque Houses. A blend of 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier, this is a wonderfully rich and biscuity Champagne.


7. Craigies Dalliance Cider

Lover of wine but not a fan of cider? The folks at Craigies have hit the nail on the head with Dalliance. Not too sweet, Dalliance is dry and made with not one but three Irish apple varieties. This light bodied cider is sure to please many this season.


 8. Cognac Cure
From Rio to paris

Photo credit: instagram.com/aytoxyz

 A warming and comforting drink, Cognac is a perfect tipple for this time of the year. In this cocktail, the sourness of fresh lime juice mixed with the sweet taste of the honey compliments the rich taste of the Cognac. Combine with a splash of  carbonated water and top with ice. DIY or enjoy it at ely bar & brasserie, (the Chq Building), Dublin 1.


9. Kir-Yianni Xinomavro “Ramnista”

A revelation and certainly one to enjoy during these darker days with dimmed lights. Produced from the Xinomavro grape, this Greek wine, with its hints of dark fruits, is a vinous superstar waiting to be discovered. Best described as combining the seductive qualities of Pinot with the structure of Nebbiolo.


10. Pauwel Kwak

With one of the coolest glasses out there, you might be led to thinking that this Belgian strong ale is all hat and no cattle. However, Kwak is all substance! Rich and velvety with subtle hints of caramel and spice, this is probably our top choice of winter craft brew.


11. Hot Wine Lemonade
hot wine lemonade

Photo credit: ely restaurants

Hot wine? Wine lemonade? Surprisingly, all of the ingredients to this winter warming cocktail do work really well together. We use a splash of Bordeaux, fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup and hot water. Don’t knock it ’til you try it, available at ely bar & brasserie, (the Chq Building), Dublin 1.


12. Domaine Alary “La Brunotte” Cairanne Côte du Rhône

A perennial favourite at ely over the years, this is a classic of its kind. Perfect for these months with its dark berry fruit, white pepper and Christmas spice, along with fantastic length. This is the type of wine that makes us happy, every time.


13. Williams Brothers Joker IPA

This nice and fruity IPA is probably one of Williams Brothers’ best. Joker IPA offers a lovely  hop taste along with fresh and light citrus notes. Not to be mistaken for a summer beer, this easy-going, drinkable IPA can be enjoyed right into the winter months.


14. Winter Berry Cosmo
winter berry cosmo

Photo credit: ely restaurants

Autumn brought the best of the seasonal berries and we don’t know about you but there’s only so much jam we can enjoy! We’re taking those frozen berries and putting them to use for the winter months. For a Winter Berry Cosmo, include the berries in with the usual mix of vodka, fresh cranberry & lime juice and orange liqueur or fine blend the berries as a delicious replacement for the cranberry juice.


15. Les Hauts de Montforts Minervois
Les Hautes

Photo credit: http://www.vivino.com

Predominantly made from old vine Grenache, this is full-bodied perfect red for the winter months. With woody herbs, dark fruit and soft tannins this is the wine of choice for sitting by the fire.


All of the wines mentioned above are available to enjoy at ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place, Dublin 2 and ely bar & brasserie, IFSC, Dublin 1

All of the cocktails & craft beers mentioned above are available to enjoy at ely bar & brasserie, IFSC, Dublin 1.

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 12

We’ve got two amazing recipes for you in this week’s tips, tipples and table talk. One is a scrumptious Strawberry & Citrus Sangria, which some do say is the wine lover’s answer to strawberry daiquiris and the other, features the 200-year-classic Pernod adding a delicious twist to the classic mussels accompaniment. We also give you a little insight into our old friends and “Craggy Island” neighbouring farm, The Mc Cormacks who now run “Tea at Father Teds”. Up with that sort of thing.

Tipple Tip of the Week: Strawberry & Citrus Sangria

Although we’re reaching the end of the sunshine season, we’ve still got one or two summery drinks recipes up our sleeve! Some of you may have had the pleasure of visiting Spain this year but for those of you who haven’t, enjoy this fruity and sweet taste of Spanish Sangria, in only 4 steps and all without having to leave your house.

strawberry sangria summer fruits

What You Need:

  • 1 btl Rioja
  • ½ measure of Cognac/Brandy
  • 1 measure of triple sec
  • 1 ½ measures of fresh orange juice
  • 6 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Soda water
  • 1 punnet of strawberries
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 10 slices of lime, 10 slices of lemon, 10 slices of orange

How We Do It:

  • Cut the strawberries, mix with sugar and let sit for 4 hours.
  • Mix all other ingredients in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours.
  • Mix the strawberries with the refrigerated mixture
  • Add ice and fruit, serve and enjoy.

Enjoy specialty cocktails at ely bar & brasserie, IFSC, Dublin 1. 

dsc_2086

Table Talk of the Week: Father Ted’s Farm

Father Ted’s house is an organic farm neighbouring the ely family farm  in national landmark, The Burren, Co. Clare. Long time friends of ely, Patrick & Cheryl Mc Cormack supply each of the 3 ely restaurants with their suberb organic Burren lamb. Fans will recognise the house as the location for the extremely popular “Father Ted” television series.

lamb

Joe Mardis, the location manager for the series, has family connections in the area and while having a drink with friends from the locality they came up with the idea of setting the series in the Burren. The experience was a very positive one for the Mc Cormack family, the show brought a lot of fun and income to the area and many locals featured in the series.

FthTed3

You can now enjoy ‘Tea at Father Teds, which includes all home baking using only organic ingredients. Patrick Mc Cormack, a wonderful speaker, tells the story of the family’s Fr. Ted experience, the history of the house, providing guided walks of the farm and recommend other places to visit and things to do in the locality.

Learn more about the Burren, Co. Clare and the organic ely family farm here.

craggy island lamb

 

Taste Tip of the Week: Mussels with Fennel & Pernod

Adding Pernod, the French liqueur, to traditional steamed mussels gives them a deliciously gentle sweet flavour. This recipe offers a refreshing alternative to the popular dish of mussels with white wine and cream sauce.

A Note For The Cook:

Scrub the mussels first in clean water to remove the barnacles and pull off any beards. It’s much easier to do this if you take 2 mussels and use the pointed end of one to clean the other. Check if an open mussel is safe to eat by tapping it gently on a counter top. If it closes easily, it’s ok to eat. If it remains open, discard.

ely card musselsWhat You Need:

  • 1 fennel bulb with leaves, diced
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 800g-1kg fresh mussels
  • 100ml pernod
  • 150ml cream
  • ½ lemon, sliced, to garnish
  • flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

Serves 4

pernodHow We Do It:

  • Prepare the mussels (see note for the cook, above).
  • Sauté the fennel and shallot in a small amount of oil over a medium heat.
  • When they have softened slightly, add the mussels and leave for 1 minute, then add the pernod.
  • Flambé the pernod, then allow the alcohol to reduce. Add the cream and reduce again until the mussels are just coated.
  • Serve in a large bowl garnished with lemon slices, fennel leaves, sprigs of flat-leaf parsley  if  you like.

Enjoy fresh delicious seafood in Dublin’s iconic wine bar, ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place, Dublin 2.

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 10

Is the phrase ‘leftover wine’ an oxymoron? We know a few friends and colleagues that might think so! Nonetheless, this week’s tips, tipples and table talk has a few ideas on what to do with that leftover wine. We also have an easy, simple risotto recipe for you to try, and we introduce you to the newest, hairiest member of the ely family – and no it’s not our new sous chef Steve (kidding)!

In case you missed it last week, don’t forget that we’re giving 10% back to you, our fantastic ely customers, all summer when you use your ely loyalty card. Don’t have one yet? And if not, why not? Sign up here

Taste Tip of the Week: Simple Risotto 

This popular dish is perfect for serving at a dinner party but equally so, easy enough to make for a delicious dinner at home for one. Light enough to eat during the summer heat, you can also include almost any ingredients to adapt to your tastes. Here’s a simple risotto recipe for you to try.

What you need:

  • 1.75 litres vegetable or chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 350g risotto rice
  • 85g butter
  • 6 tbsp grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • rock salt, black pepper

How we do it:

  • Bring the stock to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently.
  • In a separate pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat.
  • Add the onion and, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon, cook until it softens and becomes translucent.
  • Add the rice and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, making sure that every grain is coated with oil.
  • Add 1 cup (250ml) of the stock and stir until absorbed.
  • Continue adding the stock, about ½ cup (125ml) at a time, stirring frequently and making sure all the liquid is absorbed before adding more.
  • When most of the stock has been added – this should take about 15-20 minutes – test a grain of rice.
  • The risotto is ready when the rice is just tender and creamy, but still ‘al dente’, with a little bite to it.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir vigorously for about 30 seconds to give a creamy, glossy finish to the risotto
  • Add in mushrooms, asparagus, butternut squash, prawns etc. Whatever you fancy – get creative!

You can now enjoy our great value early-bird menu all evening, Mon – Sat at ely bar & brasserie, IFSC. 

risotto collage

Tipple Tip of the Week: What To Do With Leftover Wine

As our executive wine manager Ian Brosnan would argue, leftover wine is somewhat of a myth. However, we do know that sometimes you are faced with some leftover wine and the thought of throwing it down the sink (we can’t watch!) pains you. Therefore, we’ve put together a few useful tips, cooking being the most obvious (great for also popping a good splash of white in when making the above risotto recipe!), on what to do with the remains from the bottom of the bottle.

ely empty wine glass

  1. Freeze Please – First things first, fill an ice cube tray with your leftover wine and pop it straight in the freezer. Now you can use a cube or two for cooking whenever you need to.
  2. Wine Syrup – This rich syrup a bit tangy, similar to Balsamic vinegar but simmering the syrup with cinnamon or vanilla makes it sweet and delicious enough to use on pancakes or with ice cream. In a wide saucepan, combine red wine with sugar (3 cups wine to 1 cup sugar), bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until syrupy and reduced to about a third of the volume. Let cool, bottle, and refrigerate.
  3. Save For Mulled Wine Season – Put leftover red wine into a freezable container and for use in the winter months. Empty the frozen wine into a large pot; add spices such as cinnamon sticks and a spoonful of whole cloves. Melt wine over medium heat, then sweeten to taste with honey, sugar, or apple juice. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve in glasses with a citrus slice.
  4. Poaching – Soft foods taste amazing when poached  in wine flavored with aromatics and spices. White wine for eggs and fish, and sweetened red wine is perfect for poaching fruit.
  5. Salad Dressing – Leftover white wine makes for a flavoursome, fresh-tasting salad dressing. Blend wine, lemon juice, honey (if wine is sweet, leave out the honey) salt, and pepper in a bowl. Still blending (either with a fork, whisk, or the blender), slowly add olive oil. Voilà!

Learn more about wine in a fun and informal setting at an ely wine tasting evening. 

Table Talk of the Week: New Addition To The ely Family Farm

Well well, who do we have here? These magnificent creatures, and the newest additions to the ely organic family farm, are Highland cattle descendants from Scotland. These cattle are extremely adept at grazing on steep, mountainous lands which makes the limestone rocky slopes in The Burren, Co. Clare, an ideal place for them to rest.

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Natural born survivors, the Highland cattle’s long horns were developed to protect themselves and their flowing locks grown to shelter them from harsh, cold winters – which makes us think they must be a little warm at the moment! Their short, stumpy legs provide them with excellent balance and surprisingly, Highland cattle can be found up to 10,000 feet high up in the Andes.

Welcome to the farm guys!

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

 

 

ely wines for Summer #007

All French this week, and we’ve gone for two old favourites. Sancerre might seem a little obvious, but there is nothing common about the quality of this one (it’s practically perfect!). We are also all too aware that this weather can’t last forever, so it’s time to get your rosé on before it’s too late! Enjoy.

Lucien Crochet ‘Le Chene’ Sancerre 2012

Usually for our ‘Wines of Summer’ series we choose some of the more unusual, or less well known wines from our list. SancerreBut exceptions have to be made, especially with a wine as exceptional as this! Sourced from a vineyard of south-facing slopes and shallow limestone soil, this is as perfect an expression of sauvignon Blanc as you are ever likely to find! Pure, intense citrus and wet chalk on the nose, crisp grapefruit flavours on the palate and a long minerally finish. Where other sauvignons are pungent, tropical and often over the top, this it taut and precise, with incredible purity of flavour. Forget what you think you know about modern Sauvignon Blanc, go back to where it started and see how it can be done!

With food… The classic pairing is goats cheese, and it is fantastic with the Fivemiletown goats cheese salad. But it also works with simple fish or shellfish dishes, or try it with our heirloom tomato and peach salad!

 

Domaine de Millet rosé Cotes de Gascogne 2013

milletWhen the conversation turns to the “my favourite grape” discussion, Egiodola rarely gets a mention!! Not surprising really, very few of us have ever heard of it. This Domaine in the Cotes de Gascogne use this little know grape to make their wonderful rosé. In the glass it is a delicate, pink-salmon colour, with aromas of ripe strawberry and raspberry. The palate is fresh, fruity but refreshingly dry, making this a great wine to have with or without food. As we all know, our rosé season here in Ireland is frustratingly short, so grab a seat on the terrace and enjoy!

With food…. There is a very simple but effective guide for this- pink wines are great with pink food. So, in summertime, try it with Salmon, either grilled or cold in a salad, prawns simply cooked or even paella.

Check out ely wines for Summer 2014:

ely wines for Summer #001

ely wines for Summer #002

ely wines for Summer #003

ely wines for Summer #004

ely wines for Summer #005

ely wines for Summer #006

ely wines for Summer #007

ely wines for Summer #008

Join us for an ely wine tasting evening and learn more about wines.
Each week a guest speaker will present a selection of wines from the given region and we’ll serve up a supper dish to match. All wine tastings take place at ely bar & brasserie and start at 7pm. See more at http://www.elywinebar.ie/about/wine-apreciation/ely-wine-tastings

 

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