So things did not start off auspiciously- despite knowing that the plane (equipment) was due for an X hours of flight time maintenance United chose to act as if there would be no delay for this activity and managed to have everyone sitting around for no less than two and a half hours at the gate... and another 45 minutes on the very hot plane (no auxiliary AC - needed the engines to get us cool air) - congratulations! you have again proven yourselves completely oblivious to customer service United... way to go-
so therefore we arrived more than two and a half hours late - despite flying east we made up ZERO time (again - swift move United) and because we were on the international equivalent of "Barbie Jet" (757 for international service) there were no upgrades available for mileage... boo hiss!
OK - that rant over we arrived - took a cab into town and found our room ready (we had booked for the night before so we could crash upon arrival) and very nice. Here is a photo of the lobby flower arrangement - an oasis compared to the scene at O'Hare - LOL
we took a nap and because we were meeting our cousin the next day - we had made plans for our splurge dinner the first night - with an early reservation to boot - because of the time change... so off we went to the amazing Thornton's overlooking St Stephen's Green in Dublin City center.
here is the menu we had that night - an excellent meal and it remained (despite all very good meals for the entirety of the trip) our favorite and a definite return to place-
we started with an amuse- and then went to the courses outlined above-
a scallop dish to completely WOW you- in three parts-
the cooked scallop with truffle mousse- OH MY!
the sashimi scallop in a petrie dish - the cover of which had the "condiments" on it-
the dining room was moderately sized and nicely decorated (I think these ladies had been here before and dressed accordingly- LOL)
the first of many rounds of fab Irish butter! we never failed to find it enticing-
the next course in several parts- the Sea Trout and broth- with the crunchy skin and a tasty leaf with caviar on the side and then the lemongrass broth (just a hint) poured into the dish table side!
the lamb course- (I am no big fan of lamb but managed to finish the entire course myself)
lamb sausage- air dried for some length of time and then prepared with cold smoking and sliced frozen (or something like that---LOL)
the pigeon course - roasted in hay and then sou vide for some ungodly number of hours and then finished by grilling --- you know - just how you make it at home (yeah sure)
the plate was taken to the kitchen and prep was finished there - and out came these amazing truffled eggs and the rings they sat upon were edible and the little toasts were for dipping- this was to my mind the "to-die-for" dish!
then the pigeon main course-
then the double down desert- strawberry soup with meringue dots and chocolate cake with strawberry sauce and a chocolate cap with gold leaf-
a completely perfect meal! and as we exited the restaurant we saw another incredibly beautiful floral arrangement-
we walked back to the hotel along Grafton Street in the twilight-
and the next morning were up for breakfast (which we usually never do) because of the time change- and hungry for the Full Irish Breakfast - included in the room rate at the lovely and perfectly located Westbury Hotel-
we headed off for an early morning walk but I will leave that for another post.....