It’s been a while since I last visited the bars of Greek Street so, having read about the plans to pedestrianise the area again this summer, I decided it was high time for a return.
Once one of the city’s busiest drinking destinations, the area fell out of favour a few years back and a number of its long-established venues vanished.
Happily though, the street has been reinvigorated by the arrival of a host of new restaurants and bars likely to appeal to workers in the financial district as well as those who fancy something a little more refined than Call Lane or Merrion Street.
What was previously the home of La Tasca has been transformed into The Lost and Found, a “botanical Victorian hideaway” with an impressive selection of cocktails alongside its lunch and dinner menus.
The decor was modern with more than a hint of the Victorian, as you might expect, thanks to various touches like steamer trunk tables and silhouette-style paintings.
My friend and I found a spot in the bar area, choosing two of the comfortable grey armchairs as we perused the menu.
This took some careful consideration when there were a total of 34 cocktailsto choose from without even considering the wine, beer or cider or soft drinks on offer.
Had we arrived during the weekday happy hour, which runs between 5pm and 8pm daily, I would almost certainly have limited my choices to the ‘Found’ cocktails at a very reasonably priced £5.
But having missed the boat, I took in the whole menu before selecting the refreshing and subtle Ruby Rose (£8.50) – a combination of rhubarb gin, Briottet rhubarbe, Cointreau, lime juice and rose lemonade.
Finished off with a suitably botanical sprig of thyme and a flower, this was a light and sweet drink as promised by the very handy cocktail map.
Taking up a double page in the menu, the map places each of the 30 alcoholic cocktails on a scale of sweet to dry and light to strong, and even shows the style of glass used to serve it in.
For my second drink, I mixed things up with one of the strong and dry options – The Corpse Reviver No.2 (£7.95).
As the bartender rinsed the glass with absinthe, he chatted with me about the cocktail’s history as a hangover cure before we debated the merits of the ‘hair of the dog’ remedy.
The finished cocktail – a combination of gin, Cointreau, Lillet blanc and and lemon juice – packed a punch but went down suprisingly well.
My friend, who is not one for cocktails, stuck with the beers on draft, beginning with a pint of the Pearl Jet stout (£4.60) following it up with the lighter Camden Hells (£4.95).
Despite it being a Wednesday night, the bar still had a buzz about it with laughter and chatter floating over the music.
All in all, a most enjoyable visit.