Now I like fine food, just as I like fine wine, but sometimes I just want something a bit more straightforward, basic… gourmand rather than gourmet. And being a carnivorous male of the species that means a big eff-off steak! Vegetarians should look away now…
Francis Xavier Buckley opened a butcher’s in Dublin in 1930, and the group still maintains FX Buckley butchers along with five steakhouses and pubs. They pride themselves on the quality of their meat which they source directly and dry-age wherever possible. For my birthday we chose to visit their Steakhouse on Crow Street in Temple Bar in the heart of Dublin.
We were shown to our table shortly after arrival; but the cramped layout of the place was such that several other diners had to brush past the back of both our chairs to and from their table – quite irritating to be honest!
As the menus are available to browse online I already had a good idea what my food order was going to be, so I glanced at the specials board and checked out the wine list. The Amaretto Sour cocktail caught my eye as I love almond and amaretto flavours – and it was delicious.
However, when we gave our food orders the waiter almost walked away without asking what wine or other drinks we would like with our meal – what sort of place is this? The wine by the glass selection was fairly limited, but at least it appeared appropriate to the food being served. My wife Jess chose Argentinian Malbec (we have both converted from anti- to pro-Malbec!) and I selected a slightly more modest Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon.
As an admitted carnivore I chose Baby Back Pork Ribs, done in a sweet barbecue sauce. Thankfully the sweetness of the Amaretto Sour could handle the sauce as my red wine tasted quite bitter with the ribs.
Jess chose Castlintownbere Mussels – despite having some sort of fish and seafood allergy she seems able to tolerate mussels (and when I say “tolerate” I mean “devour with relish”).
So what does a steak fan order on his birthday? A 22oz Bone-in Rib-Eye, that’s what!
It was amazingly tender and succulent, even better than I’d hoped! And finally the Chilean Cabernet came into its own, a good match for a perfectly medium-rare steak.
My wife is not as greedy as me so she ordered the 10oz 28 day Dry-aged Rib eye, and again it was juicy and flavoursome. She did the taste test against mine (which had the bone in) and narrowly preferred it, but both were excellent. The Malbec was still going well, as you’d expect of a big red wine made in a beef-producing country like Argentina.
After a suitable pause we moved onto the sweet stuff. There didn’t appear to be any dessert wine so I finished my red wine and just drank water with the Double Chocolate Tart. This was fairly, but not overly, sweet and mainly dark chocolate – I find milk chocolate too sickly and don’t even ask me about white “chocolate”.
Jess chose her perennial favourite – Créme Brûlée. This was a success and had a satisfyingly crunchy sugar layer on top.
Once our spoons were down we paid the bill and left – it didn’t seem a venue to linger over coffee.
Great steaks but poor layout and lacking in atmosphere. Not ideal if you are a wine lover.