Last Friday night in Dublin was miserable. Cold and raining, it was a night for staying by the fire but, with an impromptu cousin get-together happening, we were all out in town looking for a place to find a bit of food. A booking in Frank’s Bar and Restaurant had to be abandoned when our party acquired another two people so these hungry wanderers made their way to the new food centre of George’s Street. With a variety of restaurants lined up on both sides of the road, there had to be a place willing to take the six of us.
We ended up in Verona, an Italian restaurant long resident on Georges Street but which has undergone a swish new transformation in the last twelve months. Although the room itself was lovely and warm, a nasty draft persisted in following us in from the frequently opened door. But, at that stage in the evening, it really was any port in a storm and sometimes the restaurant doesn’t matter half as much as the company – and there was no denying the quality of that!
The waitstaff were attentive and efficient while the food – pasta and pizzas – was a little pedestrian but where things started to take a turn for the worse was with the presentation of desert menus. The only deserts that they had on offer was that range of frozen ones which, as a teenager I thought was the height of sophistication, but now makes me wonder if the rest of my meal also made its way to the table from the freezer. We decided to pass on desert and went straight for coffee. As soon as my espresso arrived I could smell the burnt coffee beans. It was undrinkable. Not wanting to create a fuss – this seems to happen a lot to me around coffee! – I didn’t, although I should have, mentioned it to the waitstaff. The pair who got regular coffee fared no better but the three who decided on Irish and Baileys coffees were more than happy with their choice, the alcohol masking any burnt flavour. But it was disappointing. In any restaurant, but especially an Italian one, there’s no excuse for bad coffee.
I’ve learned my lesson. Future Friday nights in Dublin will definitely involve being more organised with group numbers and bookings!
Verona, George’s Street, Dublin 2. Phone (01) 6793060