A restaurant dedicated solely to the oft forgotten cuts of beef, despite its connections to a certain chicken based eatery, was too interesting of a prospect to pass up.
With the return of my mysterious companion from his travels, a celebration was most certainly in order. So, on an extremely wet, cold, Julember Tuesday, we headed in to sate our curiosity and, hopefully, our raging appetites.
The first thing I noticed, apart from the shared tables, was the fact that one could move easily and freely around the place; a vast improvement on Crackbird. The decor was low key, the atmosphere relaxed and welcoming. I felt like the staff wanted me to be there, as opposed to my presence being an imposition.
We were seated by the window, and began to survey the menu. For starter, I chose ricotta, celery salt with pickled beetroot, and he chose white bean, rosemary and roast chilli oil; both of these came with brown crusty bread, flecked with shiny salt crystals.
Despite having very little knowledge of beetroot, I could tell this was good – great, even. The sharp vinegar complimented the creamy ricotta, and I could’ve eaten a loaf of the bread by itself. His was similar to hummus with a kick of rosemary, chilli and I swear, despite his protests otherwise, orange. But, thankfully, it was equally as good as mine.
Excited by our starters, we awaited our steaks; rosary was my choice, and feather his. Unfamiliar with the cut, I asked the waitress to recommend how it should be cooked. She suggested medium and explained why, which I appreciated, and then we chose smoky BBQ sauce, house gravy and garlic aioli to accompany the steaks, fries and salt & vinegar scallop potatoes.
The almost religious experience I had eating my rosary steak explained the name.
The meat itself was almost sweet in its flavour, and the caramelised, melt in the mouth fat was incredible. Chunks of salt, and a small brush of butter topped the chargrilled to perfection beef. I can only assume there are other herbs involved in the making of this sublime beast, but I was too engrossed to ask. His feather steak was meatier, with a completely different flavour, and absolutely fantastic nonetheless.
I had chosen correctly and my homemade fries were exactly to my taste; skin on, not greasy and the potato inside deliciously fluffy. His salt and vinegar potatoes were neither salty, nor vinegary enough and a bit of a disappointment. Not that we needed the two sides, as after our starters and life changing steaks, our trousers buttons were barely holding on by their last thread. However, I could not resist the garlic aioli, dipping chip after chip into it, and if my lovely companion was not such a polite man, he would’ve drunk the gravy boat dry.
Deciding not to roll out into the flooded street quite yet, we ordered another drink, and sat back looking out at the rain, listening to the surprisingly good music, and savouring our warm happy-tummy feelings.
Too long, didn’t read?
Knowledgeable, friendly staff and one of the best steaks I have ever eaten, even with my predilection for fillet. The unusual starters are a joy, as I can imagine they are all equally as quirky and flavourful, and the shockingly reasonable bill at the end of the meal was the icing on the Bear cake.
2 starters, 2 mains, 2 sides, 3 dips, 3 beers, 1 lemonade €61
Bear 35 South William Street, Dublin 2