While many crimes against food are committed by pubs claiming the title of 'gastro', it is safe to say that Seven is not counted among them. It has earned its spot on the 'great places to lunch' list through consistently good food, inventive menus, and friendly staff.
Previously, for those old enough to remember, this building housed the Lisheen. It then became the slick and sophisticated Living Room where the team upped the ante with their own gastro pub menu which included a delicious, and much-missed, chicken noodle soup. It was then transformed into Kelly’s, where cosy nooks, massive fry ups, burgers, pints, and football on the telly were the order of the day.
It changed hands once again in 2015 with a complete renovation and a new identity as Seven. The premises have a comfortable feel with different styles of seating areas on the ground floor, from booth to bistro table to large corner sofas. The interior is clean and calm with no trace of the previous incarnations, except for one. Luckily the most important thing remains, the head chef, Leigh Whittington, who came with the building. Although there is no lack of TV screens scattered throughout the pub, this space is now once again very much a gastro pub and its recently refocused menus are assured and confident.
There is a full bar, of course, with some good wines and cocktails also, at keen prices. The hot beverage options are present and refills, as before, are complimentary. The menu is divided into light bites, sandwiched main courses, and salads, with a small choice of sides and desserts also.
There is plenty of choice from the old classics, such as chicken liver pate, BLTs, and steak sandwiches, to more adventurous fare, Vietnamese style crispy duck noodles, open goat's cheese bruschetta, and the atomic burger. It is all far from virtuous, you will be pleased to hear, as the all day breakfast is still here and there are a few quality house made desserts for the sweet toothed. A Belgian chocolate brownie or cheesecake of the day are spot-hitting and at €5.50 they won't break the bank.
More of chef’s former menu remains, like the patatas bravas from the 'sides' menu — lovely roasted spicy tomato sauce, a dollop of tangy sour cream, and lashings of lovely coriander. His salads were always a joy and the current grilled sticky duck or falafel salads are well worth exploring. Alongside these old favourites, there is some real comfort food for the season that's in it — chowder, chilli nachos, or beer battered fish and chips.
Situated at the top of Bridge Street, Seven is well worth making the few extra little steps from the bottom of Mainguard Street. There is good value to be found — if you don't go mad on the sides you need not go too much over a tenner for a lunch that will not disappoint. Currently serving food until 9pm, chef Leigh's credo was always ‘wholesome, filling, tasty and good value food’ and this happily is still the case. The kitchen at Seven is in a safe pair of hands.
Seven Bar, 5 - 7 Bridge Street, Galway. Tel: (091 ) 563 804.