Dining in Dublin with kids: The Odeon

I’ve decided to get all service-y, and add a new section to the blog for those of you who may be visiting Dublin, or those who may happen upon my blog and be less interested in my nostalgia and more interested in information.  Sascha and I eat out a fair bit, at least once a week for a date night and with the kids frequently on the weekends during our explorations. The wave of immigration to the country during the boom years means there is a lot more to dining here than stew and potatoes and veg soup, but almost all of it is extremely expensive, so hopefully this will help you decide what’s worth your euros and what isn’t. For those brave souls who may be traveling with young children, this may guide you where to eat with them without getting dirty looks for daring to reproduce and take a night off from the kitchen, which some city-dwellers seem to treat as a crime against humanity.

There will be two versions: DiD (Dining in Dublin) with kids and just plain DiD (Dining in Dublin). If you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Housed in an old railway station, The Odeon is a grand building with Art Deco flourishes. If you are traveling with kids, you probably don’t care about that, but what you will care about is the fact that the LUAS stops right outside its door. The LUAS is the Dublin tram and perhaps the easiest method of public transportation for strollers/buggies. It’s easy wheel on/wheel off, unlike the DART, with its treacherous gap between train and platform.

The Odeon

On Sundays, The Odeon features a family brunch club from 12-6. Children under 3 eat free (we didn’t know this ahead of time and were quite happily surprised.) The kids menu features goujons, chicken nuggets, and sausage–all with chips (fries), as well as penne pasta with chicken, char-grilled vegetables, and tomatoes that run from €5-5.95 if your child is 3+.  At 2pm, a big screen plays a kids’ film (this Sunday, 4 December, The Odeon will screen “Muppet Christmas Carol”).

I got this off The Odeon's website. I did not take this photo.

The good: There are comfy chairs and roomy banquettes and a full bar. I had a goat cheese spinach frittata, which was yummy, though my margarita was weak and not salted. The service was a bit  s – l – o – w, but considering there were kids everywhere, rolling around on the floor, shrieking and running through the cavernous space, climbing up on the banquettes to watch the trains coming and going, you might imagine it’s the waitstaff’s least favorite shift. Crayons and paper are provided, and for parents, there’s free wi-fi and a full bar.

The boys and Gramby check out the rugby match

As the afternoons get darker and the wind lashes out, this is a great weekend option because you can spend a few hours there and children certainly aren’t restrained from moving around the space, which as any parent knows, can drastically shorten one’s eating out time. The Odeon has a range of other events outside its family-friendly Sunday brunch.  A Spanish woman who had arrived early for the salsa night directly following the family brunch noticed C dancing and came over to chat him up. Though normally a flirt, he ran for his life.

Tram-watching

The Odeon Sunday Times Brunch Club, 12-6, with screenings at 2pm. 57 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2. LUAS stop: Harcourt

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