It’s bright and chatty, maybe even witty. That’s the service style at ORSO, now into its eighth month on Pembroke Street. No reservations here but turnover at lunchtime is relatively speedy, not that they’ll put you under any pressure (on the contrary) and, if full, don’t run off, they’ll help you get a seat soon enough.
As you pass the counter on the way in, you may study the various salads, usually four of them. Pick one or a bowl with all four. The salads are also used to accompany the main dishes on quite a large menu that is influenced by the Southern Mediterranean and beyond.
Called in for lunch in midweek and the first thing we ordered was one of their famous juices (changes daily). This, a mix of orange and carrot, was fantastic, giving the waiter a chance to crack a joke about glowing in the dark. It is an informal space, so sit back and relax between bites or swallows.
After studying the menu, CL choose the Stuffed roast aubergine (with spiced roast vegetables, yoghurt and hazel nuts) and her salad was the Roast squash and beetroot with smoked bacon, butter beans, lentils and orange zest.
For me it was the Slow cooked lamb and spice potato pie in flaky pastry and my salad was the Cous Cous with coriander, apricots, almonds, roast saffron vegetables and hummus. Each of the mains, including the salad, cost €8.90 and both were excellent.
Something sweet to finish with. Some of the pastries had vanished, they are open from 8.30am, but the Mixed Berry Crumble was still available and we each had one, along with a cup of their special 5 bean blend coffee, roasted for ORSO by Greenbean. A very impressive crumble – loved the oatmeal topping – and a smashing coffee.