7 Castle House
South Great George’s Street
Phone: 01 425 4052
So cool yet understated, you could walk past without knowing that 777 is actually there, or that it’s Ireland’s only truly modern Mexican. restaurant. It’s as much about the margaritas as the food and there are some very attractive offers to entice us in.
It’s “triple seven” to the initiated, by the way. You could easily miss it because 777 is quite self-effacing on the outside. In fact, there’s very little to indicate what lies behind the rather sober façade. And what does lie within is a very cool establishment that, like all but one of John Farrell’s restaurants (Luna, Dillingers, The Butcher Grill), defies strict categorization.
It’s essentially about contemporary Mexican food; we are most definitely not talking about the usual Dublin city burritos and tacos here (although elaborate, authentic versions feature from time to time). And at the same time, one of my favourite, most crazy puds is to be found here, the distinctly multi-cultural bread and butter pudding with dulce de leche and vanilla ice cream. See what I’m getting at? 777 refuses to be pigeon-holed.
For a lot of its regular customers (and the most regular of all are people from the restaurant trade who flock there on Sunday nights), the award-winning cocktails are as much of a draw as the food. I’m reliably informed that the margaritas here are the best in the country; the website is candid enough to admit that the distinctive atmosphere of 777 is “fuelled” by these estimable cocktails. There’s also a big list of 100% blue agave tequilas, as you would expect of what has to be Ireland’s only truly serious Mexican restaurant and bar.
But of course, it’s not all Mexican, just as good restaurants in Mexico City itself look beyond the confines of the endemic cuisine. So here we have grilled figs with prosciutto and the divine barbecued Iberico pork with peach mustard. There’s a USDA barbecued sirloin with Manchego fondue and red mole and pig’s head carnitas for sharing. All the tortillas, tostados and chips are made from Masa flour which is more than reassuring if you’re concerned about nixtamalisation, and just an indication of quality if you’re not into that kind of detail.
Operating at this kind of level, 777 cannot afford to be cheap; there are plenty of cheap vaguely Mexican places around town. But there are ways of accessing the 777 experience for less. For example, who can argue with Margarita Mondays (every Monday, actually) when you can get two for €14. Or Taco Tuesdays (again, every week) where two taco dishes are a mere €6, and the Seventh Day, every Sunday, when all dishes cost €7.77. That’s my idea of a day of rest.