I had a fun time running around Ireland; seeing different things, eating different things and finding a million different ways to make myself look like a fool, but I could never quite get the timing right. Jet lag was part of the problem, but once that faded away and I was waking up with the sun and going to bed when it was dark out, it became clear there was another issue. Culture. My boyfriend and I would head out of our place at 8 p.m. looking for a meal and some drinks. By the time we made it to that restaurant I’d read about online, the kitchen was closing or they were booked up for the rest of the night. Same with bars. We’d hit a couple of spots trying out different beers and cocktails, but by our third bar, they’d all be closing up for the night. It got easier when we left Dublin and started traveling to smaller cities and towns, but the only night we really got right was the night we spent at Delahunt.
To be clear, Delahunt itself is a full-on restaurant complete with deconstructed desserts and modernist riffs off of classic Irish cuisine. It’s delicious and if you’re in Dublin and you can get a reservation, I highly recommend it, but we’re not here to talk about great restaurants. Right next door to Delahunt is a door with a small sign that says The Sitting Room. Open it, go up the stairs and you’ll find yourself in one of the best cocktail bars in Ireland. The decor is posh grandma. Not your actual grandma, but if your grandma owned an estate in the countryside where she summered. It’s small, with a tiny bar tucked away in the corner and a handful of high tops that lead into (surprise!) a cozy sitting room.
Like, the space itself, the cocktail list is small, but well thought out and includes a drink for each type of drinker. If you’re a lightweight, they have something refreshing. If you’re a weirdo, go for one of their more complex and “experimental” drinks. If you like citrusy or smoky or spicy or after-dinner-y drinks, they have all of those bases covered too. On top of that, the service was some of the best I’ve ever experienced in my life. Not only did the single server have a sixth sense ability to tell when we were about to be done with our drinks, but they also offered to move us to better seats (from a hightop to some luxurious chairs right in front of the fireplace) as soon as they were available. It sounds simple, but I’ve never had that happen at a bar.
The best part about drinking at The Sitting Room is you don’t really have to think about anything. The small room, the small menu and the excellent staff take all of the decision making out of your hands. The only thing left for you to do is sip your drink and enjoy some quiet conversation. You can’t get this wrong.
The Sitting Room at Delahunt, 39 Camden Street Lwr, Dublin 2, Ireland, is open Tuesday through Saturday 6 p.m. to midnight
More Bars Worth Traveling To:
- The Bar at Hotel Particulier – Paris, France
- Alfredo’s Cantina – Monterey, California
- Container Bar – Austin, Texas
- Bellwoods Brewery – Toronto, Canada
- The Neighber’s – Omaha, Nebraska
- Maps – Portland, Maine
- Melvyn’s Restaurant & Lounge – Palm Springs, California
- Dino’s – Nashville, Tennessee
- Mikkeller & Friends – Reykjavík, Iceland
- Nice Guys Pizza and Beer – Cape Coral, Florida
- Zeitgest – San Francisco, California
- Tlachiquero – Mexico City, Mexico
- The Country Club – New Orleans, Louisiana