Bart’s on South William Street is one of the coolest new places to eat and drink in Dublin. Here, we chat with chef-owner Matt Fuller to find out more about this new eatery.
Matt, who has 25 years of experience as a chef, has worked in some of the best restaurants in Dublin, including l’Ecrivain and Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud. He then lived in Spain for eight years before opening his own restaurant, Boqueria, in Stoneybatter.
Having opened Bart’s in December with his business partner, Matt has focused his food on Irish ingredients and sharing plates, but he doesn’t want to describe what he does as tapas:
“I’m reluctant to use the word tapas, even though I guess that is what we’re doing. People think of tapas as deep-fried prawns and patatas bravas but I want to avoid that image. That’s not what Bart’s is about.
I’ve worked in high-end restaurants for most of my life and I just think that a lot of them are on their last legs at the minute. People don’t want to feel like they have to be formal or dressed up, they want to come out and have a good time in a relaxed atmosphere. Whether they want to have a drink or a couple of bites to eat or a main course meal, people don’t want to feel like they have to behave in a certain way. I’m very passionate about the customer experience which was is a huge part of what we’re doing in Bart’s.”
The menu, which ranges in price from €2 to €16, is an innovative look at Irish ingredients: There are oyster crisps, maple-roasted carrots and duck baos. Two of the dishes that Matt is most proud of are the steak and the deep-fried turbot:
“I love our turbot dish, it’s deep fried! It’s a really great fish but not a lot comes into the country, so most go to the really high-end restaurants and it’s sold at a really high price. I decided to batter and deep fry it, I love the statement it makes! It’s using the best produce I can find in a different way, even my fish supplier gives out to me but that’s what I want it to be; I want it to be really accessible.
I also love our steak dish. It’s basically salt and pepper steak, I’ve been working on it for a few years, so it has a savoury black pepper creme brulee and hazelnut salt. A lot of thought and work has gone into it and I’ve had some lovely feedback from food critics and diners alike. I’m really happy that we’ve hit that middle point between high end and casual.”
Welcoming all types of clientele, and with an accessible menu and a delicious drinks list to boot, Bart’s looks set to become one of the coolest spots in Dublin. We love that you can really enjoy your evening as you please: with drinks, with a glass of wine, a platter of bread and smoked almonds to snack on or order every single dish of the menu and share them with a group. This restaurant aims to please the punters of Dublin that are looking for a casual experience, which is exactly what Matt was hoping to achieve:
“I would like to have a place where one table might have a few drinks and some nibbles but the table beside them is having an eight-course meal, I want there to be no division between these things. I think there’s an appetite for younger people who really want high-end food but don’t want to be in a stuffy restaurant or pay really high prices. For someone in their twenties that can’t afford to pay €150 a head for a meal and a decent bottle of wine, where do they go for great food? The Irish food scene, specifically in Dublin, is so much better than we give ourselves credit for. There was a point where you could only get bacon and cabbage but that’s not true anymore, there has been massive growth lately.”
We can’t wait to see what’s in store for Bart’s over the next year. Check out the restaurant’s website to find out more.