Roll on ROLYS Bistro
Starved of Date Night’s during Lockdown, it was pure heaven to get invited to a top restaurant ahead of the country reopening.
Step up Roly’s Bistro in Ballsbridge, where myself and my partner John got to sample a romantic night out.
The first thing I noticed when I walked into the haunt that Bono likes to frequent was the space.
The two metre’s between each table means you feel like you’re dining in a private dining room, adding to the romantic vibe.
We were advised to read the menu online before arriving to save time.
Head chef Paul Cartwright greeted us on our way in, he’s been running the legendary Roly’s for 24 years with partners John and Angela O’Sullivan.
Excited about reopening his “baby” as he calls the restaurant, Dublin Native Paul told us: “We’re opening everything on Monday, cafe, breakfast, lunch and dinner, take away and the restaurant for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.”
Reopening will be challenging, he explains: “We’ve so many bookings already, upstairs we’re going to go from having 125 seats to having 62 seats upstairs.
“So that’s a massive difference, the same downstairs 55 seats to having 27 seats.
“I’m excited to get back open again, we’re cautiously optimistic, but it’s going to be tough.
“There’ll be new measures on cleanliness and hygiene, the face visors mean we can still have the interaction with our dear customers.”
The seasoned chef added: “Roly’s has been an institution in Dublin, Famous artists have always dined here, ACDC played in the Arena for three nights and the band were all in here eating and Bono is a regular enough customer.”
Paul said he wants to keep the buzzy atmosphere as much as possible: “With six boothes and a screen going down the middle of the restaurant, we have natural screenage.
“Hand sanitizers are dotted discreetly around so we’re keeping a lovely atmosphere.
“All staff have done a course in extra hygiene practices and you have to do an exam at the end of it, it goes through everything from washing hands to new sanitation practices.
We had one hour and 45 minutes to enjoy our evening at Roly’s which was simply divine.
Our Waiter Adi came to our table handing us our laminated menus which will be used once and then stored for cleaning overnight.
Adi was wearing a visor so we could chat comfortably and you feel very secure and safe at your table.
Yes the waiter or waitress must place the food on the table and it’s impossible to keep the two metre distance for this step, but with hand hygiene a must and the staff wearing face coverings, everyone feels safe.
We went for the starters, Dublin Bay prawn cocktail and duck parcels followed by the signature Roly’s dish, the delectable, Fresh Dublin Bay prawns with garlic, chilli and ginger butter with coriander scented rice and a rib eye steak.
Being served five star cuisine was like being in heaven, a glass of red wine to top off the night felt like a real treat.
Dining at a top restaurant is still alluring.