I moved from Dublin 7 to Dublin 8 at the beginning of this year. Although I love my new area, I welcome any excuse to go visit my old ‘hood, whether it’s a visit to L Mulligan’s Grocers for a scotch egg and a beer or a shopping trip to Little Italy off North King’s Street. Seven Social has been opened on Benburb Street since November of last year and is another reason why you might find yourself heading towards The ‘Batter.
Located along the LUAS lines, this small but welcoming spot serves lunch and dinner. My friend Chelsea lives in the apartment block above Seven Social and so was as eager as I was to check out this couldn’t-be-more-local eatery. We found ourselves there on a Saturday evening, warmly welcomed by two waiters. We were alone in the restaurant, and it remained that way until we said our goodbyes. They told us that though business was great during the day, dinner business was still a bit slow. There is certainly no footfall on Benburb Street and this place needs some good word of mouth to get buzzing, and fast.
The waitress who greeted us sat us in the window seat, a comfortable booth as opposed to the other 5 tables in the joint. We perused our menus as she praised a wine that had just come in that day and was not on the short but enticing wine list. She sold it to us in such a likeable way that we were powerless to refuse.
Chelsea started with the Mozzarella and Aubergine Stack (€5), which she enjoyed even though an over-charred aubergine had made its way to the bottom of the stack and the cook could have been more forthcoming with the dollops of pesto. My Celeriac and Pear Remoulade (€6) was fresh and simple, accompanied adequatly by slices of Parma ham and a subtle chorizo. Sadly, the tartness of mustard dressing overpowered the delicate pear flavour, taking away slightly from the overall enjoyment of the dish.
It was a shame then that Chelsea was underwhelmed by her Rosemary Courgettes with Charred Chicken, Lemon, Feta and Couscous (€15). It was fine, but it lacked the finesse you might expect with a €15 price tag. I, however, would have happily jumped into the bowl of Slow Roasted Rabbit Ragu Linguine (€14) I was served, such a perfectly balanced stew it was. I enjoyed it so much that I forgot to enquire as to why my linguine had been replaced by new potatoes. It really didn’t matter, it was a wonderful combination of comfort and spice, pasta or no pasta.
Our meal ended on a high with a delectable Rooibos Tea Infused Chocolate Brownie (€5), a wonderful combination of chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside, served with some vanilla ice-cream. Chelsea gave it a thumbs up. She is American and, as we all know, Americans are the leading world experts in accomplishing the perfect brownie consistency, so this thumbs up spoke volumes. Our bill came to a very reasonable €63.00.
Seven Social was like eating at a really lovely friend’s house. A friend who also happens to be a decent cook. Although the food had its flaws, it was good, humble fare served with a generous helping of attentive warmth from the staff. I know Chelsea is very pleased to be living above such a sweet little spot. As for me, I’m just glad I have another reason to find myself in Dublin 7.