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Brighton Road review: Solid cooking and tasty food in the newest incarnation of a much-loved Foxrock restaurant

The menu is unfussy and seeks to please with prawn cocktail, sautéed scallops, sole on the bone and more

Brighton Road
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Address: 3 Brighton Road, Foxrock Village, Dublin D18A97
Telephone: 01 2897711
Cuisine: Modern International
Cost: €€€

It could be that I’ve picked up bad habits from the small plates approach to eating. Or perhaps I’m letting my fondness for how Italians dine influence me. Either way, on a Saturday night, just a week after Brighton Road opened, I am possibly the most awkward customer in the room.

Perhaps some of the blame lies with the fact that the last time I visited this Foxrock restaurant it was Pala, with dozens of small plates, pasta and al taglio pizza. The outside space which served as a terrazzo during the Covid years, and was critical to the pizza business, is once again three parking spaces. A red Ferrari gleams in one of them, and Brighton Road, the restaurant and the leafy street, is very much back to its Bistro One genesis.

I should point out that there was no awkward-customer-eyeroll (indeed, quite the contrary), I just know that asking for our meal to be served as four courses – starters, shared fish, shared meat and dessert – would be a bit tricky for the kitchen. It turns out to be quite the genius plan, one I may be adopting more often. It certainly beats swiping a plate from my husband mid-bite so that I can taste each dish properly.

The menu at Brighton Road is similar to the menu that ran at Bistro One, the pre-Pala restaurant that opened in October 1992. Unfussy, with prawn cocktail, sautéed scallops, sole on the bone, roast duck and steaks, it seeks to please rather than necessitate a quick dive into Google Translate.


Mark Shannon and his wife Vianne have been the owners since day one, and the atmosphere is beyond joyful as he chats to tables of diners who are clearly delighted to have their neighbourhood bistro back. The kitchen has been reconfigured (the pizza kit is gone), the floor is once again cushioned with a light coloured carpet (with a decided improvement in acoustics) and succession plans are in place. As Shannon’s son, Rory, seeks out a new home for his pizza concept in Dublin city centre, chef Alan Wang and his wife Elaine, who both worked in Bistro One for years, will gradually be taking over the running of the restaurant.

We start with chicken liver parfait (€11), a stalwart, I would imagine, which is light and creamy, served with toasted sourdough; and Castletownbere crab (€16), which is piled high on brioche toast with very good pickled cucumber and radish. A 500ml carafe of Ciello Bianco Catarratto (€22), a biodynamic white wine from Sicily, is a refreshing accompaniment from a well-priced wine list which offers most wines by the glass and carafe. Pricing is proportional to the bottle price, which is nice to see.

As requested, our fish comes out as a separate course. The black sole (€48), one of the evening’s specials, is a classic Bistro One dish. Nearly half of the diners order fish for their main course, I later discover. The price is reflected in the size and quality of the fish, which would feed two for a light supper. Beautifully cooked, golden on top and doused in garlic butter, it has been taken off the bone and served on two piping hot plates with wedges of lightly grilled lemon. It is delicious, although a word of warning, if you prefer to pull back on the intensity of the garlic, ask to have the garlic butter on the side so that it doesn’t outshine the delicate flavour of the fish.

The roast crispy duck, another Bistro One classic, is again plated for the two of us. It is a very generous portion, beautifully cooked with burnished, crisp skin, and glorious roast potatoes, apple sauce and stuffing.

We share dessert, just one, a generous serving of marshmallow-y Pavlova (€9) with blackberries and blackcurrants. It could perhaps do with more of a crisp exterior to give a contrasting crunch, but it’s a tasty end to our meal and certainly enough for two people.

Dinner for two with a carafe of wine was €140.

The verdict: The ideal neighbourhood restaurant with solidly good food.

Music: Barely audible if any, it’s all about the chatter of happy customers.

Food provenance: John O’Reilly, Hannan Meats, Wrights, Sheridans, Roundwood Stores, Rings Farm, Little Italy, Artisan Foods, and North Wicklow Eggs.

Vegetarian options: Buffalo mozzarella with peaches, and spinach and ricotta ravioli.

Wheelchair access: No accessible room or toilet.

Corinna Hardgrave

Corinna Hardgrave

Corinna Hardgrave, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes a weekly restaurant column