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November 14, 2022
  • 57 The Headline, 
  • 56-57 Clanbrassil Street Lower, Dublin 8, D08HC79, 
  • Tel: 01-5320279; 0872380032
  • Monday: Closed; Tuesday-Thursday: 3-10.30pm; Friday-Saturday: 3-11.30pm; Sunday: 1.30-9pm

I know how Pavlov’s dog must have felt, the ring of that bell causing salivation and hunger, but with no dinner anywhere to be seen. The jingle for the RTÉ Radio 1 programme ‘This Week’ hasn’t changed in decades, and when I hear it I too begin to salivate, and I can’t help but be transported back to my mother’s kitchen. I can feel the warmth from the oven, I can see the red formica table, and inevitably I can smell the joint of roast beef and the Bisto gravy.

More usually we had roast chicken, but there was roast lamb and roast beef often enough that the pavlovian smells that haunt my brain at 1pm on a Sunday seem to be a mix of all three, with thyme-scented stuffing somewhere in the background.

I still regularly cook a roast on Sundays but we serve it at 7 or 8pm, so if I want old-fashioned Sunday Lunch at the old-fashioned time, then that means going to somewhere like the Old Spot in Dublin 4, or The Exchequer in Ranelagh. Recently, however, I’ve been hearing great things about No. 57 The Headline on Leonard’s Corner so off we went.

57 offers three courses for €29 per person which has to be one of the best-value Sunday lunches in the city. Run by Geoff Carty and his partner Máire Ní Mhaoile, the pub is light and bright inside, while still retaining many of the features of the traditional Irish pub. One thing that is not so traditional (thank goodness) is the extensive beer list which contains around 25 craft beers and changes regularly.

We began with pints of beer – an appropriately named ‘Day Drinkin’ IPA from Third Barrel Brewing (€6.50) which was fruity and satisfying despite being just 4% ABV. A ‘Stairway to Helles’ Lager from Two Sides Brewing (€6.30) for The Physicist meanwhile had a touch of creamy texture, good noble hop aromas, and was still refreshing and clean. These two beers worked brilliantly with our starters of Crispy Salt and Chilli Calamari (€9) and House cooked Chicken Wings (€8).

Calamari at 57 the headline
Calamari at 57 the Headline

The Calamari were properly crispy thanks to a light crumb coating and the tangy lime yoghurt dressing on the side offered some good contrast without adding too much weight (and calories). The Chicken Wings were tender and juicy and Frank’s Hot Sauce was serviceable – the Smoky BBQ Sauce also offered likely to have been the better option.

Duck Spring Rolls had a decent ratio of sweet duck to crispy pastry and matched The Engineer’s choice of wine – Maretti Langhe Rosso Nebbiolo-Barbera for a mere €36. This wine is usually priced around €42, and I’ve even seen it for €52, so this was a bargain.

57’s wine list has around 24 wines includes a number of wines I love – I could also have opted for Enrique Mendoza Monastrell, the Wellanschitz Blaufränkisch or the Quinta das Maias Dão. White choices include Gavi, Grüner-Veltliner and good Soave – if only other pubs put as much thought into their wines.

Roast beef at 57 the headline
Roast Beef at 57 the Headline

The Main Course you need to order is the Sunday Roast (€19) which is Dry Aged Black Angus Beef with roast potatoes, honey carrots, greens, herb stuffing and house gravy. The Engineer bagged it first and it was excellent – rare tender beef, meaty gravy, thyme scented stuffing like my mother used to make and sweet carrots. My Pork Chop was solid, if drier than I like, but the Physicist’s Double Smash Burger was excellent with extra cheese and good quality meat.

Desserts cost €7.50 with the best of the three options being the light and airy Chocolate Mousse. Sticky Toffee Pudding could have been a touch stickier and toffier and the Raspberry Cheesecake was perhaps a little heavy on the Raspberry for my taste but they all got eaten.

I’ve quibbled a little about some of the courses above but please ignore me, just settle yourself into this pub some Sunday, order the Roast Beef, and bring back some memories.

The Tab:

Sunday Dinner for Three including three starters, mains and desserts plus a bottle of wine and four pints of Craft Beer cost just €148.60.

The Verdict:

  • Food: 7.5/10
  • Drink 9/10
  • Service: 9/10
  • Ambience: 9/10
  • Value: 9.5/10

In a Sentence: Excellent value Sunday lunch with a top-notch drinks list, in a charming and welcoming pub.

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