Dublin Dishes explores our dining experiences throughout the city.
Who would have thought that a retro arcade/bar in Dublin would serve an impeccable three-course Thanksgiving dinner?
Token was booked solid tonight, and we were lucky enough to snag the last two seats for the evening. We already loved Token for its games, having spent this past Saturday night there. Now we had pretty high expectations for the grub since Food Awards Ireland recently crowned Token as Dublin’s Best Restaurant of the Year.
Tonight’s menu was devised by Irish chef Shane Guilmartin, who we were told had never cooked an American-style Thanksgiving dinner before. Well, he could have fooled us. He hit it out of the ballpark.
We were first served hot fresh-pressed Irish cider with bourbon and vanilla liqueur. It was autumn in a glass, and it was the perfect thing to drink after coming in from the cold.
The first course featured beef pate, grilled sourdough, and pear chutney. Not your typical Thanksgiving fare, but a wonderful starter. It definitely got us more excited for the rest of the meal.
Then the main course. Thick slices of moist turkey, flavorful stuffing, gravy, and five sides. Of course, the chef injected some Irish flair by featuring three types of spuds: sweet potato, mashed, and fried whole potatoes. We loved everything on our plates.
And the dessert. Oh, the dessert. Pumpkin and marshmallow pie with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream. The pie filling was so rich, creamy, and luxurious—it’s the kind of thing you would eat plain by the spoonful in secret.
It was one of the best meals we’ve had so far in Dublin. We also remarked that this was by far the fanciest meal we’ve had served on disposable plates and eaten with plastic utensils. The only thing I really missed was the cranberry sauce; I’m an absolute sucker for that Ocean Spray gelatin. I assume imported canned cranberry sauce would cost some crazy-stupid amount.
We were stuffed silly and could barely get up from our stools, but it was time to play some games. Our meal included five tokens each (plus we bought some more).
We burned off dinner with some intense rounds of Family Guy pinball, X-Men, Point Blank, and The Simpsons.
While we were sad to not be able to spend Thanksgiving back home, it was nice to have businesses like Token catering to Americans living here. And luckily for us, Token is literally a 5-minute walk from our place. I can see it becoming our local because they have 1) Steve’s new favorite beer on draft (YellowBelly’s Are You Not Entertained?); 2) fun old-school arcade games and pinball machines galore; and 3) kick-ass food, based on what we experienced tonight. We can’t wait to try their other menu offerings. We have 43 game tokens to go through, so we’ll be back again soon!