52 Ranelagh
Dublin 6
Phone: 01 498 1805

In Ranelagh stands perhaps our finest temple to carnivorous pursuits, an establishment where beef is chosen with meticulous care and venerated as the best of it should be. The Butcher Grill may be in the suburbs but it’s much more than a neighbourhood restaurant.

In Ireland, we produce some of the best beef and lamb in the world. It’s the mild, moist climate and the riches of our grass that does it and the only wonder is why such achievements are not properly showcased. The problem is that most of the temples to carnivorous feasting that we have are aimed at the kind of people who could be eating cardboard provided the bill is suitably big and wine is plentiful.

And that’s the difference with The Butcher Grill. Yes, it’s a temple to meat eating, but it’s also a temple of gastronomy. The meat is chosen with the utmost care and appropriately aged. There’s no point in buying grass-fed beef if it has not been hung long enough to realise the full potential of its inherent flavour.

Not content with that, The Butcher Grill gives you a vast choice of cuts of beef – it’s the only Irish restaurant in which I have seen the decadent chateaubriand flaunting itself (at a price, of course) and a choice of origins. You can have a steak from the United States (and homesick Americans often repair here), a huge range from one of Ireland’s premium beef suppliers, John Stone, and even from Uruguay, the land of the gauchos.

And no, I don’t think there’s a vegetarian option. I may be wrong but I mean why would anyone who doesn’t eat meat enter a place called The Butcher Grill?

Not that it’s all meat, of course. There are scallops (with suckling pork belly, to take the harm out of them) and oysters and bouillabaisse, the yin to the yan of steak, including what seems to be the most popular cut, the Cote de Boeuf for two (which can be had on Mondays and Tuesdays for a bargain price).

Amongst the sides, mashed potato with bone marrow butter has a kind of siren call to it that, just contemplating the words, acts as a stupendously effective aperitif.

The Butcher Grill is very focused, as all of John Farrell’s restaurants are. He has an exceptionally clear sense of mission for each. There’s a cosiness to this Ranelagh restaurant that, combined with the glorious aromas wafting from the grill in the open kitchen, the tiled walls and the murmur of happy diners that makes it irresistible to those of us who not just love meat but understand how it should be cooked and served.

Brunch here is the stuff of legend, even beyond the generous confines of Dublin 6 and children (over seven) are welcome during those hours (noon to 3.30pm) while they “will be grilled after 6pm”!