Sole Seafood & Grill, on Dublin’s South William Street, is relatively in its infancy just opened its doors this past March, but is now offering customers a pre-theatre menu. The menu will run from Monday to Thursday from 5pm - 6.15pm and Friday and Saturday 12pm – 6.15pm, charging a remarkable €30 for two courses or €36 for three.
According to Executive Chef Richie Wilson, the origin of produce, be it from the sea or the soil, is a key factor for the business and the ethos under which the restaurant operates. “We take great care and time to select the best quality produce, locally-sourced where possible, and to grow a trusting relationship with our suppliers in order to guarantee the best and to follow through the sea-to-Sole experience,” he stated. Richie works with Kish Fish, Keelings and Pallas Foods as they share the same passion for their products as he himself does.
Certainly, Sole's new pre-theatre menu is reflective of this and caters for a wide variety of palates, ranging from a traditional seafood chowder with Irish fish and shellfish in a creamed broth, rock oysters sourced from Irish coastal waters, tempura-coated octopus, to chilli and wild garlic pasta with crisp shallots.
“Inspiration for our dishes comes from all around us,” Richie explained. “We begin with what the sea provides us and develop a dish from there. At times it’s inspired by my childhood memories of sucking on mussel shells in Clare or the catch just landed while camping with family, simply barbecued and drizzled with lemon.”
Other factors that contribute to deciding on what goes on the menu involve knowing what elements work together and whether their availability is in sync, before working hard to create new dishes.
The reaction since the restaurant’s opening has been 'enormous' according to Richie, who attributes its success to the fact that Sole is a niche restaurant, in that customers come in predominantly expecting seafood.
“People coming to dine with us know exactly what they are looking for when booking,” he said, “And this in turn means those joining us for dinner make the dining experience so much more pleasant for all involved as they are not looking to get something that isn’t on our menu.”
The restaurant already has regulars, some of which just come in to have the 'normally-difficult-to-find' king crab legs. Dishes such as the sole meuniere and coquille St Jacque specifically have had a fantastic reaction from customers also.
“When you have guests who know what they are eating and who appreciate the lengths to which fishermen have gone to bring to us what the sea provides our lives are made so much easier,” Richie said.