Irish Examiner: Woodruff is a restaurant everyone in Ireland needs to know about

Leslie Williams – Irish Examiner

It’s hard to keep up. I’d heard Woodruff in Stepaside was good and that chef Simon Williams and manager Colm Maguire had ambitions, but I had clearly not been paying enough attention. Woodruff is not just ‘good’ — it is a restaurant everyone in Ireland needs to know about.

In case you are unfamiliar, Stepaside is a suburb in the foothills of the Dublin mountains that most people breeze through on the way to Enniskerry. A taxi from Dublin city centre would probably cost around €20, but the 44 bus stops outside, and it is just off the M50, so no excuses please.

“The philosophy of the restaurant is pleasingly direct but verging on the provocative: “Cook with the seasons, sustainably source direct from farms, ferment, forage and cure while minimising waste”. This is the kind of cooking ethos we should all aspire to, not just chefs with ambition.”

A food friend was also anxious to visit Woodruff and as the lunch menu is the same as the dinner menu we finally got around to it just last week. Lunch is a full à-la-carte menu that changes regularly with a good choice of snacks, starters, mains and side dishes — the only problem was that every single dish sounded creative, tasty and thought-provoking, how to choose?