La Caverna a hidden gem in Temple Bar

Since the pandemic hit the country you will have noticed that my reviews had pivoted. I only reviewed restaurants that morphed into takeaways. Thankfully I am able to go out and about again, and I can review restaurants in person. It was great to finally meet my old college friend again as we restarted our Dublin restaurant tour. Earlier this week we had met up for lunch in one of our favourite restaurants The Hungry Mexican. One of Dublin’s great Mexican restaurants that I reviewed way back in February 2020 and the food was just as good.

This week’s restaurant is?

Anyways, I digress, we met up for a meal in a Temple Bar restaurant that we are both familiar with. A restaurant that l last visited four years ago with my family, and my friend William has been here before too.  Earlier this week whilst researching where we would go for lunch, I decided to look on the Groupon app. I soon spotted a Groupon deal for the Italian restaurant La Caverna and my mind was made up. For €24.95 you can get a two-course Italian lunch for two. A deal like this can’t be turned down especially for a restaurant of this standard. However it is worth noting that two dishes on the menu had a supplement which we happily paid.

La Caverna

La Caverna is a family run restaurant that opened in 2006 and can be found on Fownes Street in Temple Bar. It is not easily noticed as it is in between a vintage clothes store and the city sheriff. Across the road from it is Luigi Malones which can be spotted a mile away. That it is not easily spotted is part of its charm and what makes it a hidden gem.

La Caverna reminds me of the Tardis as it is much bigger than it looks. From the outside you see a door and a window showcasing a dining table. Once you go inside there is three areas you can eat in. Upstairs, the ground floor or the 300 year old renovated wine cellar. We were seated in the ground floor, which looked bigger than it was. 

La Caverna inside

As you can see this was down to the mirrors on the left hand side of the ground floor. Some restaurants have music playing in the background and it can be annoying if it is played too loud. Thankfully you don’t have to worry about this in La Caverna, as there was no music playing.

What did I order?

Well there was lots of starter and main course options to choose from, leaving you spoilt for choice. William and I both went for the vegetable soup served with home-made Italian bread. As for my main course I bypassed the steak, the pasta dishes and pizza. There was only one thing I was going to have. The last time I was here, I had an amazing Lamb Shank and that’s what I had. William had the 8oz sirloin served with pepper sauce and fries. 

How was my meal?

Our starters the vegetable soup was absolutely delicious as was the Italian bread it came with. The vegetables in the soup were pureed, which is how I like it as a fussy eater.  I am not fond of eating large chunks of vegetable in a soup. My main course the lamb shank was outstanding, and the best lamb shank that I have ever had.

La Caverna Lamb Shank

The mash potato was nice and creamy and a perfect accompaniment to the lamb shank. There is nothing worse than lumpy mash potato. As you can see it looked as good as it tasted.

Piece of Lamb Shank

William enjoyed his sirloin steak and fries and said it was cooked perfectly. As we were in an Italian restaurant we could have had a glass of wine to go with our meals. Instead we went with Peroni which was refreshing and matched what we were eating.

We both had no deserts and William had 2 coffees but he could not get any lattes. This was because their coffee machine was not able to do this. William mentioned that he had seen this in a few other restaurants too. He ended up having milk on the side.

Our meal was perfect and the service was good. We were not rushed out the door so we could enjoy our meal at our own pace. The next time I get a hankering for a lamb shank, La Caverna will be my port of call. If you fancy a nice Italian meal with a difference, you won’t be disappointed. 

What did my meal cost?

Well, €24.95 was the basic cost of our meal. Before the €5 supplement for my lamb shank and the €4 supplement for William’s steak. With 3 pints of Peroni at €7.50 each and 2 regular coffees at €3 each.  Our bill came to €62.45 before tip.

La Caverna, 12 Fownes Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.

See more reviews here.