Home » Ireland: Dublin » Cafe Novo, The Westbury Hotel, Grafton Street, Dublin 2, Ireland

Cafe Novo, The Westbury Hotel, Grafton Street, Dublin 2, Ireland

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What: Trying to be chic restaurant with a varied menu.

Prices: Pretty reasonable for Dublin, especially considering that it looks fancier than similarly priced restaurants. On the dinner menu veg mains are around €11, which I struggle to finish. €7 for veg soup is too much, though. Veggie burger with salad and fries for €11. Veggie sides around €4.

Vegetarian menu: A clear attempt to cater to vegetarians has been made here, but it needs some refining. The only two veg starters are goat’s cheese and…a cheese plate . Not good. Goat’s cheese as a veggie option is very common and I take it as a sign that the chef lacks imagination. There are 3 veg mains, 2 of which are pasta and the third is a goat’s cheese tart. There are two veg salads and yet again one consists of goat’s cheese dressing. Spot the vegetarian theme yet? I suspect that they think they do a lot for vegetarians but if you don’t like goat’s cheese (or care for your health) the menu quickly becomes very limited.

Drinks: Full bar.

Service: Okay. Sometimes it’s difficult to catch their attention, but no big complaints.

Comfortable? The music is often too loud and they are pretty reluctant to turn it down. I am baffled by restaurant owners/managers who think that their desire to have loud music playing should have priority over their paying guests desire to dine in peace. It’s also chilly. I always bring an extra layer when planning to eat here. The chairs and tables are comfortable enough, but there are often crumbs on one or both.

Was the food good? It’s pretty hit and miss. Their vegetable tagliatelle should be avoided. It’s very bland. The wild mushroom and spinach tortellini is much better and is the one I’ll be having next time. The polenta fries and veg pakora are also quite good. The falafel burger is boring.

Toilets: Clean. No problems.

My advice to the chef: Drop the goat’s cheese! Why do you reply on it so much for the vegetarian options? I’m vegetarian and I don’t even like goat’s cheese. Also, for a reason that I don’t understand, goat’s cheese is a staple for vegetarians on Dublin menus so I am baffled as to why you would offer it…I can get that just about everywhere else. Try thinking outside the box.

My advice to the manager: Turn up the heat. Turn down the music. Make sure that the chairs aren’t covered in crumbs from the last customers.

Overall: There are a couple of tasty items on this menu to please vegetarians. It is worth a visit. The chef can cook well, but seems a bit lost if the dish does not contain meat, fish or goat’s cheese.

Note: Management were asked to respond to this review.

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2 Comments

  1. Mark Dunne says:

    Dear mailer,

    Thank you for your review and I appreciate your feedback on Cafe Novo.

    I have noted the issues you have raised on your meal experience. Suffice to say your observations are being acted on accordingly.

    I would like to inform you that we will be launching our new Cafe Novo menu in the coming weeks and would be delighted to welcome you back to sample it.

    If I can be of any assistance in the future please feel free to contact myself directly and I look forward to, hopefully, welcoming you back to Cafe Novo.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mark Dunne
    Deputy General Manager
    The Westbury Hotel

  2. Dear Manager,

    Thank you for your reply. We at Dublin Reviewer Team are looking forward to trying the vegetarian items on the new menu.

    Best wishes,
    Dublin Reviewer Team

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