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Go Fork Yourself: La Bodega, Ranelagh

Posted April 15, 2013 by Seán Earley in Restaurant
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Ramp Rating


Where?: Ranelagh, Dublin 6
Value: €55 for two sharing with one glass of wine
Choice: Great variety of tapas dishes for veggie and meat lovers


Ambiance, availability, great service


Fatty lamb, bland black pudding, warm red wine

It’s taken Seán a while to get to La Bodega what with all of the gastro distractions in Ranelagh. But was it worth the wait?

by Seán Earley
Full Article

I’d heard a lot a about La Bodega. It’s a rare occurrence that I’d make it down Ranelagh Main Street past the lure of TriBeCa’s wings or Cinnamon’s breakfast brunch but this time I was firm in my goal: La Bodega or bust.

Nice sign outside welcomed us to the Spanish experience in Ranelagh. In other words – It's poxy freezing.

The ambience was buzzy and busy; it’s tough getting a reservation anywhere in Ranelagh on a Friday. Seats were kind of vintage-style, velvet dinner chairs, and the walls were decked out in Spanish portraits to put us in the med mood. It’s a great location for a date as everyone was chatting away and the mood was casual. The dimmed lighting and Latin feel were definitely perfect for a romantic setting.

We ordered two glasses of Tempranillo and six plates of tapas between us. Forgive the lack of español menu names, but I’ll give them the best description I can!

Plate one: Lamb chops on a bed of spicy couscous. There was plenty of the couscous, and it had a real kick which is a break from usual bland couscous that so many establishments peddle. The lamb chops, however, had very little meat and were for the most part fatty. Ultimately disappointing.

Plate two: Meatballs in a spicy sauce topped with grated Manchego cheese. The meatballs were delicious and tender, the sauce was spicy and robust and thankfully there was plenty to mop up, post-meatballs.


Plate three: Fried black pudding with chickpeas topped with garlic bread. This dish was disappointingly bland and would have greatly benefited from some additional seasoning. A sprinkle of thyme or rosemary would’ve really lifted the flavour. Topped off with a rather tough slice of garlic bread that had the consistency of something microwaved.

Plate four: Creamy mushrooms on country loaf. This was the highlight of the tapas. Pure delicious, full of flavour and the bread was soft and soaked up the mushroom sauce like a dream. The winner for sure.


Plate five: Chorizo and country bread. The fried chorizo was served in a fiery chilli-infused dipping oil accompanied with yet more of their floured rustic bread. It was tasty but the bread started to get a bit boring by this point. The chorizo itself was hot and tender with no fatty interruptions.

Plate six: Creamy cheese and jambon croquettes. Crispy outside and smooth inside. I found these overloaded with a very cheesy flavour that was a bit much. I love my cheese, don’t get me wrong, but this was a faux cheese taste that did nothing for me.

Wine: We opted for a 2007 Temparillo at €7.50 per glass, which came to the table warm. The restaurant was full so maybe room temp was higher than normal but this felt like a glass straight from the dishwasher.


After hearing so much about La Bodega and shelling out a considerable whack already we didn’t feel like hanging around for dessert and left a little crestfallen.

My verdict? If you’re looking for an after work bite or a casual vino with mates and finger food then definitely hit up La Bodega. However if you’re looking for a tasty meal for two at a decent price, La Bodega might have the mood but not the food.

About the Author

Seán Earley

  • http://twitter.com/adrianshanahan Adrian Shanahan

    Like so many places these days it looks like La Bodega has places Style over substance and service.

    • http://twitter.com/seanearley Seán Earley

      Not cheap either Shanners!

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