The four course tasting menu started with two excellent servings. A well balanced tartare of beef skirt with walnut, lovage and pickles was pleasing and elegantly presented. The other starter was the best dish of the meal. Moist chicken with celeriac, wild garlic and cabbage was served in a warming and very moreish morel veloute. Morels are in season now, but the celeriac and black garlic gave the dish a slight autumnal/winter feel to it, which fit the terrible early summer weather that Dublin was experiencing that day, but this dish may not suit warmer weather.
The mains were a huge improvement on our last visit. A dish of tender lamb was served with asparagus, wild garlic, gnocchi, Caesar salad and a shallot. Everything was cooked well and very nice in its right, but the dish was a bit too busy - the shallot didn't feel like it was needed. The other main of turbot, olive, courgette and lobster creme fraiche was more concise. The turbot was perfectly cooked and its accompaniments worked extremely well with it.
The dessert, whilst not being too memorable, was a more sophisticated offering this time around too. Poached apricots, ricotta, honey financier and almond ice cream had a lovely freshness and lightness and just the right amount of sweetness to end a meal.
Chef John Wyer's cooking is accomplished and since opening Forest Avenue the food has developed considerably and Forest Avenue is now a very good restaurant. However there is still something missing, something that is hard to articulate. If asked to describe the style of food that Wyer is cooking in Forest Avenue it would be difficult. It seems to lack it's own identity, instead feeling like it is borrowing ideas here and there from other restaurants. There is a lot to like about this restaurant, but it doesn't feel original yet.
The service was also a big improvement and the Maître d in particular is a good addition to the front of house. Value wise €49 is a decent price when you consider the numerous appetizers that prelude the 4 courses.
Forest Avenue is a fun restaurant, serving very good food, in a lively yet comfortable dining room. Maybe there is more improvement to come.
See Forest Avenue on our list of restaurant ratings