Forest & Marcy: local, bold and beautiful
After our amazing experience at Forest Avenue, saying that we were excited to try Forest and Marcy, the sister address, would be an understatement.
We booked a Sunday evening and got to try their Farm to Forest Menu, inspired by Patrick and Jenny Mc Nally’s family run organic farm, located in the north of county Dublin. The menu changes every week and every season.
We sat down at the counter to enjoy our 35 euros four-course menu and ordered a bottle of organic Spanish wine from Celler Masroig. In spite of the beautiful wine glasses, polished setting and elegant atmosphere, the place keeps a casual vibe and the staff does everything in its power to make you feel comfortable.
After a delicious bread course - digression: I still can't get my head around the fact that in Ireland there is a bread course at the beginning of a meal, in France bread is like your forks and knives, on the table all along the way! - the heartstopper of the night came in early under the form of a few young fresh carrots dressed in a foamy hollandaise sauce.
A great example that sometimes, the simplest things can create the best surprise: these carrots were so strong in flavours, perfectly cooked to a slightly crunchy texture and the hollandaise sauce complimented it admirably without making it heavy. I could have had a whole plate of these carrots and my dinner was sorted.
Yet, a few other delicious plates followed. Egg, peas and ham came as a fresh and hearty starter, then the black olive gnocchi with fennel, mussels and crab sauce provided an interesting combination of seafood and Mediterranean flavours, between foamy, crunchy, soft, salty and chewy textures. The flavours worked well together but I might have liked it slightly more simple. When all the products used are such high quality, so flavoursome, the chef’s best craft is probably to let the produce speak for itself.
I might have become picky thought; to be fair, we devoured this dish until the last drop of sauce – hence why the bread is sorely missed during the rest of the meal, it would have come in handy to wipe our plates clean.
A warm salad of artichoke and spring greens, basil, bacon and cockle vinaigrette made the most of the tasty summer garden leaves – which the McNally's are quite famous for – while the dessert, which arrived after a lovely caramelised cannelé, was the most delicious strawberry and cream association, with custard, fresh almond and a crunchy almond biscuit.
For 35 euros, the value of that meal is properly outstanding. While Forest Avenue appears to be the flawless and more mature older sister, Forest and Marcy could play the slightly more whimsical and kooky little sister. Both coming from very talented parents, and both a part of the best of what the Irish food scene has to offer.