The Six Dishes of Peploe’s With Head Chef Graeme Dodrill
Overlooking St.Stephen’s Green in the heart of Dublin City Centre Peploe’s has long been an institution on the city’s dining scene.
Set in a beautiful Georgian building, it mixes a modern New York style brasserie with the charm of an old-school Parisienne bistro.
Passionate about expertly cooked simple dishes that are full of flavour, this Dublin restaurant mixes classic bistro dishes with fine wine and beautiful artwork and a relaxing ambience.
We sat down with Head Chef Graeme Dodrill to find out about Peploe’s six signature dishes beloved by diners.
This starter is an old favourite of Peploe’s influenced by a classic French recipe called “Rognons de Veau”. When sourcing their veal Graeme tells me that “we have a very close relationship with a woman called Sheena from Quantock Foods”
It is a starter beloved by diners as it’s a “big hearty dish with rich jus”. Here the veal kidneys are pan-seared served with balsamic, whole grain mustard sauce and warm toasted brioche.
While staying true to the classic elements of the dish, Graeme has experimented with the dish since joining Peploe’s: “We have played around with it a bit, the customers love it but we try some different sauces sometimes and see what they prefer.”
This dish of jumbo crab claws is served with garlic butter, seasonal tomatoes and homemade sourdough toast. While it is not a regular feature on the menu, it is a recurring special that is quickly snapped up by guests to the restaurant.
“We buy these direct from the boats. Sometimes we get 10 kg, sometimes we get none so it’s just on special”.
Relying on the catch of the day means this popular dish is a real treat for diners: “This sells out every night they’re on! It’s a big winner of a dish”.
This bistro classic of lobster served in a half shell is served with mornay sauce, Dijon mustard and gratinated with Comte cheese.
This dish is a popular order with regulars, with customers preferring fish dishes over anything else: “We sell more shellfish and fish than anything else in Peploe’s. The customers love how we buy fresh every day.”
In days gone by, kitchens rarely made this dish. This luxurious dish was once only reserved for special occasions due to the expensive ingredients required. These days, customers can indulge in this luscious dish dutifully prepared by the staff at Peploe’s
As a nation of carnivores, we have left the old “meat and two veg” mentality behind and have become more discerning with our cuts of beef. Graeme says there is a big demand for beef at Peploe’s, so they ensure they buy only the best prime beef:
“We use different suppliers for different cuts we use Pat Mc Loughlin and Rick Higgins in Sutton”. The beef in Peploe’s is dry aged for five weeks on rotation, so it gets to the restaurant when it is at its peak flavour.
The kitchen at Peploe’s is always striving to bring something new to its customers. They are currently in the process of dry ageing and smoking some speciality cuts of beef, which involves developing and researching new techniques with their local butcher. Graeme notes that “beef needs to be aged – we have been experimenting a lot in this to see which is the optimal time for our needs.”
Definitely one to keep an eye on, the head chefs tells me that they “are in the very early stages of working with an artisan butcher to produce beef signature to us here at Peploe’s. It’s still a way off but it’s a very exciting process.”
This seasonal sweet treat truly reflects the ethos of Peploe’s: fresh, seasonal and delicious. Served with strawberry sorbet and elderflower cream that they forage themselves. “We foraged a whole batch this summer, myself and my poor girlfriend Candice picked a massive amount one weekend”, says the savvy chef.
Using only produce that is in season, Graeme tells me that “different times of the season dictate what we use but currently our strawberries are all Wexford’s finest“. Peploe’s is proudly supporting Irish produce and it seems their customers are just as passionate about this topic: “We have great customers and they love their produce and love to know there supporting Irish farms and producers where possible.”
Commenting on Peploe’s commitment to providing customers with the best produce in Ireland, Graeme says: “We always buy Irish and that’s what we will always do for our customers. They deserve only the best on the plate.”
The much-loved staple of cheese is another firm favourite amongst the Peploe’s clientele. Every two months, Peploe’s change the whole cheese offering to suit the change in season. The tempting delights currently on offer include Brillat Savarin, St Tola Ash, Manchego, Comté, Mossfield Gouda, Pont l’Evêque A.O.C Isigny, Époisses and Cashel Blue Mature Organic.
When I ask Graeme why he feels it’s important to feature Irish cheese in Peploe’s, his passion for supporting Irish is evident:
I don’t see why an Irish restaurant wouldn’t support our producers and farms. They do some great work and we’re very passionate about that here at Peploe’s.
Beautiful cheese deserves beautiful accompaniments, at Peploe’s this includes chutney, fruit and homemade crackers and toasted fruit brioche. Graeme tells me it’s hard to pick out the most popular cheese with diners: “It’s a complete mix – some like strong, some like soft and mild but we choose our current offering as it’s all in season and optimal to be eaten now.”
When Graeme tells me about the tasty tipples served with the cheese plate at Peploe’s, I understand even more so why it’s a diner’s delight: “We have a great selection of ports and wines which we import from Europe direct ourselves so we have a truly unique selection.”
The cheeses are carefully chosen through regular tastings and ongoing training with the front of house staff at Peploe’s. We select all of our cheeses through the guidance of Clifford Webb, the cheese master of Larousse Foods, who ensures that all cheeses are seasonal and ripe.
Sinéad is a Culinary Arts graduate from DIT. She is a passionate cook with a love of fine dining and modern Irish cuisine. A gin lover, Sinéad loves seeking out cosy new pubs and sampling a variety of craft beers.
If she’s not dining out, Sinéad loves travelling the world exploring new cultures and cuisines. Working with TheTaste allows Sinéad to fully immerse herself in the Irish food industry.