MV Cill Airne: Dockside Dining in Dublin
Commissioned in 1961 along with sister ship the MV Blarna, the Cill Airne's Dublin birth was driven by the politics of the day. Along with her sister, the Cill Airne was the last of Europe's riveted ships – a style of construction already out of favor and performed in the Liffey Docklands one last time for the final riveting crew still working there.
Following a varied service in Ireland, Canada and the UK, the Cill Airne came back to the Dublin Docklands to stay in 2006. Refitted from luxury liner to restaurant, bistro and bar, the ship relives her glamorous glory days in style in Dublin's revived riverside district.
Meet for drinks on the top deck in the Blue River Bistro Bar, perhaps the only bar in Dublin with views of the shore from the Liffey. Enjoy light snacks and lunch specials every day 'til 3pm, but be mindful of beverage choice. With drink prices in Dublin already higher than anywhere else in the country, it should be no surprise that Blue River Bistro's bar prices are not for the budget conscious.
When it comes to dinner, Cill Airne delivers above and beyond any perceived novelty value. There's just enough seating for 64 guests in the Quay 16 Restaurant, the opulently restored dining room on the main deck. Choose from the a la carte or pre-theatre menus, or if dining with a crowd, the group menu is delightfully diverse. Start a meal with the restaurant's creamy wild mushroom risotto or half-dozen oysters. For sea food lovers, the cod with mustard and oatmeal crust on spinach is hearty and heart warming. For those with a taste for turf, the restaurant offers a rib-eye steak, paired with chunky steak frites, that delivers succulent, flame-broiled flavor.
Diners who enjoy a quiet meal would benefit from earlier seatings, as The White Bar, found just across from the restaurant, transforms into a night club in the evenings. Likewise, those who aren't prepared for the unpredictable Irish weather are advised not to take seating on the upper deck's promenade, as Irish showers do punctuate the stunning deck-level views of the new Samuel Beckett Bridge and skyline sunsets.
Posted on February 20, 2012 by Bridget Reilly