For this month’s Amuse Bouche we caught up with family man and award winning chef, Temple Garner, the man behind San Lorenzo’s
Temple Garner’s reputation for great Italian cooking was forged in the kitchens of the much-missed (and very gay) Mermaid restaurant on Dame Street.
In the late ’90s he won a Bib Gourmand from the Michelin Guide, and his reputation and expertise continued to deliver, firstly as co-owner and founder of Town Bar and Grill from 2004 to 2009, then through the opening of Dillinger’s in Ranelagh for John Farrell.
In 2011, at the depths of the economic crash, he opened San Lorenzo’s, with its modern Italian New York ethos, on South Great George’s Street, just a few doors up from The George.
This December, along with many socially- minded activists, Temple engaged in the Home Sweet Home project at Apollo House by installing and running the kitchens, cooking to feed the residents and others still on the streets.
San Lorenzo’s menus are fairly extensive, offering the chic sophistication of an NYC Italian restaurant right in the heart of Dublin’s city centre.
For Brunch there’s a big range of food from Angus stripling steak and eggs to BBQ chili beef “Super Nachos”, to a glorious ‘Belgian Waffle Sundae’ for the sweet toothed foodies.
For Lunch San Lorenzo’s offer a two-course set menu for €21.95, or a three course menu for an additional €5.
On the set menu there is a choice of delicious food including ‘Pan-Fried Gambas’ and ‘Smoked Salmon & Crab Arrotolato’ to start, an array of coeliac friendly main dishes including ‘Chicken Breast Saltimbocca’ and ‘Roast Wild Wicklow Venison Haunch’, and Tiramisu, a ‘New York Nutella Baked Cheesecake’ or homemade gelato for dessert.
Their à la carte dinner menu looks absolutely decadent, so check it out in all its glory here.
The gayest thing about your restaurant, Temple?
Our customers. We’re practically next door to The George!
Your ideal party of five, living or dead?
My wife and kids, they are what I do everything for.
Your favourite place to eat, other than your own?
Forest Avenue – true excellence without being up themselves; it was bananas of the Michelin Guide to pass them over!
If you weren’t a restaurateur, what would you be doing?
I’d be a gardener – fruit and veg rather than flowers. I have a small garden in the city but like all urban gardeners I dream of more land where I can grow anything and everything.
What/Who or Where is rocking your world in restaurants right now?
It’s the diversity of places to eat in. In Ireland, in the not too distant past, if your restaurant wasn’t aspirational French and aiming for the Michelin Guide, it wasn’t taken seriously. The likes of John Farrell and 777 have really been instrumental in changing all that.
What does the future hold for dining?
There’s never been more interest in food and restaurants. We’ll see an ever expanding variety of places opening, which is great for everybody. Individual expression by restaurant operators is now validated by the food-educated and open-minded restaurant-going public; so anything goes if it has integrity.