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Purple Ocean, Dun Laoghaire

St. Michael's Pier
Dun Laoghaire
Tel: 353 1 284 5590's insider take:

Follow the purple glow atop the St. Michael's Pier ferry terminal to find this aptly named squat glass lighthouse of a place, then mount the metal violet-lit stairs into the mauve-toned room with its navy and eggplant chairs and wooden tables set with cobalt-blue wineglasses and votives in amethyst holders. The look may be gimmicky, but luckily the food isn't. It's solid, satisfying, and large, with a lot of trendy dishes—trendy from the 1980s or '90s, that is. You might accuse a chef who writes a menu that includes tandoori chicken, warm goat-cheese tart, deep-fried Brie with berry compote, blackened Cajun chicken, steak au poivre, and tournedos Rossini of being retro-ironic, but Paul Lewis is not. He just likes that food—and so will you. He includes some innovative dishes too, like scallops and black pudding with Pommery mustard sauce or crisp-roasted Barbary duck with black-cherry-brandy sauce. There's a plate-glass window for taking advantage of the glorious view of the marina, and, better still, outside tables. Best of all, a glass tower with a 360-degree view over Dublin Bay is perched above it all. Reserve ahead for those tables, especially in summer.

Closed Mondays.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.