Just across South AnneStreet from Kehoe’s pub (see “Drink Like a Local”), Catch 22 has quickly assumed its spot as one of the top fish restaurants in the city. The breezy dining room is outfitted with maritime ephemer and beadboard walls of bleached timber, for a chic, updated take on a casual seafood joint. But it’s the food that really delivers you to the sea. The trick is to start with pristine, impeccably sourced fish and shellfish, just hours out of the water. Chefs here know to step out of the way and let that flavor shine through with simple preparations, presented on copper, tin, and enamel dishes. An addictive, complimentary amuse-bouche is set down before you’ve even ordered: a mug of crunchy fried whitebait, lightly breaded in polenta, with a tangy aioli fordipping. (Knock back that salty goodness with a Black IPA, crafted especially for Catch 22 by Carrig Brewing Company.) Move on to the plump steamed mussels in a creamy, garlicky stock, with crusty ciabatta for soaking up the broth. The shellfish pot—clams, cockles, prawns, and mussels in a tangy-spicy chorizo-and-tomato broth—is a standout main course, though the cod fish-and-chips (in a crunchy Carrig Pale Ale batter) are as good as any in Dublin. At peak meal times there’s almost always a crowd, an amiable mix of locals and out-of-towners. And while Catch 22 normally doesn’t accept bookings
for less than 5 people, they’ll make an exception for Conrad guests, so ask the concierge to book ahead.