22 Castle Street
Phone: 01 285 1890
Phone: 01 210 1000
It’s a strange and indeed perverse thing that this country of ours, with its exceptional seafood which is, literally, the envy of the rest of the world, has so few restaurants specialising in the stuff.
The two Ouzos (Ouzi?) are, in one sense, fine neighbourhood restaurants in well-heeled enclaves of South County Dublin. But they are much more than that in that they steadfastly stick to what they do best – steak and seafood. And, in doing so, they don’t mess about with the excellent raw materials. Raoul Djeffan’s cooking let’s the quality shine through.
Owner, Padraic Hanley is obsessional about his meat and insists that the beef has been aged for a minimum of three weeks. And he is also obsessional about crab and lobster, to the extent that Ouzos have their own boat in Dún Laoghaire to go after these delicious crustaceans. He is also one of the most outspoken restaurateurs and has crossed swords with critics, local authorities and all manner of interests. He writes a highly entertaining blog in which he has railed against the proliferation of plaques outside restaurants and the mushrooming of restaurant “awards”. Despite the sometimes combative manner, he is a great employer and his staff are devoted to him and the customers (service is exceptional in both friendliness and efficiency).
Ouzos also run The Fish Shack on Dún Laoghaire pier (lovely fish and chips, lobster rolls, scampi and the like from a trailer parked right beside the sea) and will soon open a seafood café in Sandycove.
I must declare an interest. I used to do some work for Padraic on the wine side but no longer have a connection.