Uno Mas : How could you not want some more?
While our little 3-month-old baba has accompanied us to a few restaurants so far - he went to Bastible when he was two weeks old, and since then went to Assassination Custard, Pi, Bastion, Forno 500 - we managed to get a bit of time for ourselves and leave him for a night during the Christmas break. With plenty of family members to mind him, we could go for proper dinner with a couple of friends for the first time since he was born.
And believe me, when you wait that long to get some time “alone”, it has to be worth it. As the most exciting opening of the year in Dublin, Uno Mas seemed like the perfect place for a grown-up-only catch-up.
Being a big fan of Etto, I was eager to discover what Liz Matthews and Simon Barrett had in mind for their new Spanish-influenced eatery. The reviews have been glorious, and it is already hard to get a table so we could only expect to be impressed. Sorry for killing the suspense at such an early point in the review, but we really did.
At the top of Aungier Street, the restaurant enjoys a very central location. Its cool and contemporary setting, with bistro-style tables aligned along a wine-filled wall, is simple and elegant.
The decor doesn’t lie: the wine list is impressive and the waiter was able to advise us wisely according to our taste and order of the night.
The menu offers a list of small nibbles which we shamelessly indulged in. The canned octopus served with thinly sliced and toasted bread felt like a Mediterranean summer meal, but it was the delicious paper-thin Jamón ibérico (Spanish ham) that truly stole the show.
The entrees all sounded terribly tempting and we ended up ordering most of them: some beautiful cockles gained some depth thanks to a delicious vinegary broth, the potato and onion tortilla was served almost runny, the venison carpaccio was given a fresh twist thanks to the Treviso and horseradish, while some raw sea bream came with some small cubes of potato, celery and roast garlic leaves, offering a delightful combination of flavour and texture - my favourite plate of the course.
After this impressive start, the pièce de résistance came under the form of a dry aged côte de boeuf, served with a creamy béarnaise, roast potatoes and tasty broccoli a la plancha.
The meat melted in the mouth and would give shivers of pleasure to the most demanding carnivores.
While you could hear sighs of contentment coming from our table during the whole meal, one dish created a moment of silence: the flan de queso, which is like an extra creamy crème caramel, this got everyone’s stamp of approval.
As a huge flan lover (it’s my favourite treat to get in a French bakery) I could only be won over by this incredible dessert. The Milhoja (a Spanish millefeuille) was also very satisfying and ended this gorgeous meal on a high note.
The price reflects the quality of the meal, and with two bottles of wine and some cocktails, the bill came to about €300, which is to be expected for a good dining experience in Dublin. With such talent in the kitchen, no doubt that Uno Mas will get the attention and the success it deserves.