I’ll be honest and say before being invited to dinner here by my father in law I had not heard of Pielows. I took a look at their website and they have an interesting story, starting in 2005 when selling their restaurant in Cork, Colin and Teresa Pielow planned to buy a camper van and tour Europe for a few months. Instead they took a holiday in South Africa, in Tulbagh in a friend’s holiday home. They fell in love with the Tulbagh valley and its cape Dutch Architecture in the town, mountains and vineyards. They decided to stay, renting a traditional cape Dutch house on 1.5 hectares with the plan to plant a vineyard there. They opened their new restaurant, Pielow’s, at the De Oude Herberg Guest House, were featured in an RTE documentary (The Great Escape) which showed them setting up and running the Restaurant, the vineyard and producing their wine. They bought 4 tons of Shiraz grapes from a local vineyard to make their first Pielow’s Shiraz. They have now returned to Dublin are you can find them in Cabinteely village.
So that’s the story, now onto our dinner and experience at Pielows. We arrived a little early, so while waiting on the rest of our table to join, we ordered a couple of glasses of the Chenin Blanc, a nice fresh light white, perfect to start the evening. On walking into the restaurant, which is up a flight of stairs next to the Horse & Hound pub, there was a a smell of cleaning products which wasn’t a great start but it seemed to dissipate not long after thankfully. We were dining off the early evening menu, which is priced very reasonably at €18.95 for 2 courses / €22.95 for 3 courses and is available Tuesday –Thursday from 6pm-7pm only.
A plate of bread was brought to the table which was nice to have while we looked at the menus. That;s the problem with 5 people at a table, there’s a lot of chat and drinks ordering but very little menu studying to order the food! We got there in the end and along with 2 others, I ordered the grilled goats cheese with pesto, which was served on leaves, cherry tomatoes and pine nuts. The other starter ordered was the duck liver pate. The pate was good, but ordinary. The goats cheese was excellent – although its hard to do grilled goats cheese wrong really…
Onto the mains, for a change there was quite the variety in the ordering, between the 5 of us there were 4 different dishes, the double was the Roast Belly of Pork, with crackling, apple sauce & red wine jus. I decided on the fish special, pan fried hake with a curried puree squash. There was a breaded chicken breast with asparagus & hollandaise sauce and a steak & mushroom pie.
The vegetables and potatoes arrive in large dishes for the table, a potato gratin (star of the show!) and a big bowl of carrots and courgettes. That gratin… the photograph does not do it justice but it was beautiful melty cheesy potato loveliness…
The main courses were all good, some better than others. Nothing that spectacular though…the pastry on the pie was a particular highlight and the hake was beautiful. The pork belly and chicken were the less preferred mains but we still enjoyed the food. The presentation could be better to take it from something you could make yourself at home to a restaurant. The quality of the food was very good and the place itself was quite busy and is clearly a popular spot with great artwork like the one below!
We of course had Pielow’s own Shiraz, now this was worth coming for! An intense and flavorsome red wine, complex but easy drinking at the same time. I wouldn’t normally tend to pick South African wines so was pleasantly surprised at how good this was and at €26.50 very reasonably priced. One of the dinner guests, who normally only drinks white wine, tried this and converted for the remainder of the evening, it was really that good.
So for the wine and the potato gratin I’d go back… I wonder what they would think of us just ordering one big bowl of gratin and a bottle of wine… that would be perfect!Pielow’s Restaurant – 4 Village Centre, Cabinteely, Dublin 18 – 01 0840914 – firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.pielows.com/ Follow Gin & Griddle on Twitter – @GinandGriddle … and on Facebook