Cortina’s Reviews

While there’s no arguing that Dundrum Town Centre has a plethora of restaurants to suit the tastes of any diner, many would agree that – until now – it has been missing a Mexican ‘flavour.’ That’s all changed now that Cortina’s has opened in the Pembroke District (between Harvey Nics and Hamleys). Priding itself on being the only Mexican restaurant in South County Dublin, Cortina’s serve “classic Mexican cuisine, blending rich fl avours, textures and traditions from ancient Aztec and Mayan foods such as chillies and corn with a unique blend of Spanish influences.”

Cortina’s approach to cocktails is much the same as their approach to food – all margaritas are made with freshly squeezed limes and 100% pure tequila. All of the salsas, guacamole, sauces, tortillas, tortilla chips and desserts are freshly prepared every day on the premises. Each dish is made from scratch and uses authentic ingredients. Seating is available for 116 people including a cocktail bar area which would be perfect for a girls night out.

We recently caught up with restaurant owner Terry McVeigh who’s been working in the restaurant industry since the late 1980’s, firstly in London, followed by San Francisco, then Clare, and finally Dublin. Terry tells us that Cortina’s attracts “all types of diners, including lunch-time shoppers, local office workers, after work dinner and drinks, as well as the pre and post movie crowd.”

Cortina’s aim is to create food that is a true homage to authentic Mexican cuisine, but tailored for an Irish palate! Terry says, “by embracing both Mexican tradition and local tastes, Cortina’s offers classic food with its philosophy being fresh, local and sustainable.” The restaurant is really making a name for itself as a highly regarded cocktail bar and Terry informed us that their Silver Tequila is probably the most popular cocktail served at the bar.

To make a Silver Tequila, mix 35.5ml tequila, 20ml triple sec and 70ml sweet and sour mix in a salted glass. Garnish with a lime slice and two short straws. Float Grand Marnier on the cocktail or alternatively, finish it separately afterwards!

Cortina's Metro Herald Review

“What happens in Cortina’s should stay in Cortina’s,’ says the tagline. Uhoh. Then I’m seriously breaking the rules here. What will my punishment be – a one-way ticket to the Sierra Madre? Bludgeoned with maracas? Tortured to death by the Mexican Hat Dance played on a loop? Hopefully none of the above, since my findings are nothing short of bueno. To be fair, I was lucky to have gotten a table. Seriously mismatching a bilious green coat with a yellow bag (so much so I had to run to Penneys afterwards for a more neutral replacement), I thoroughly clashed with the orange and lime upholstery.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of sobering grey and dark wood panelling to temper the bright accents of colour, while breeze blocks double as behind-the-bar storage, and a spray of notepad paper makes for a quirky lampshade. Elsewhere, the repository of cushions beneath the banquettes are also a nice, coccyx-friendly touch. We ordered two margaritas – well, when in Rome and all that. Lip-smackingly tasty – mine with a rim of salt – they proved a perfect foil to the chilli flavours to come, not least the supposedly mild salsa rojo starter which, while far from ‘chunky’ (as per the menu), was hotter than a scene fromY Tu Mamá Tambien; a feisty purée of roasted tomatoes, garlic, coriander, green onions and lime, ideal for the home-cooked tortilla chips.

My Veracruz salad was more serene, though still flavoursome, the huerto of spinach generously drizzled with a mesquite honey and lemon dressing, sweet peppers, red onions, creamy roasted garlic and crispy tortilla ribbons. Likewise, there was a cartel of ingredients in my vegetarian burrito main course – a big fat soft thing, stuffed with courgettes, peppers, onions, salsa and melted Monterey Jack cheese. Nestling beside it was a tricolour of black beans, tomatoey red rice and sweet corn cake, while the ramekins of sour cream and freshly-made guacamole completed the fiesta for the tastebuds. Big sis’s chicken version was equally as yummy and more colourful than a Frida Kahlo painting, although she bemoaned the chicken bits were on the stringy side.

It’s a wonder we could stomach desserts after all that; however, in the interests of our sweet-toothed readers we plumped for the chocolate lava cake with (divine) pistachio ice cream, and cheesecake of the day. The former was the biggest disappointment of the meal. Less Eyjafjallajökull and more sleeping Vesuvius, the thimble-full of hot chocolate magma failed to ooze once when disturbed by my spoon. Also, the sponge was dense when it should’ve been light and fluffy. The cheesecake, though, deserved its own mariachi ditty, the sultana and tequila-infused filling atop a hearty biscuit base.

The bill totalled €84 including two margaritas each, making this top-end mall fare. However, the quality of ingredients, friendly staff, speedy service and fashionable surroundings are not to be sniffed at – and hopefully ripe for a Dublin city centre sibling. Arriba!”

Lucy White

Metro Herald review Tuesday 18th May 2010

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May 25 2010

12 comments on “Cortina’s Reviews”

  • comment silouhette L Lawlor May 26th, 2010 4:45 pm

    Hi, I ate there on the second day Cortina’s was open. I had a problem with my coffee. I mentioned it to the staff whom I thought were very friendly and welcoming. I’m glad to say that a week later the coffee had immensley improved and the staff and I had a good laugh. Problem with new machine,…. and they listened and sorted the problem. Full marks Cortina’s and best of luck

  • comment silouhette Kelly Flanagan August 28th, 2010 5:08 pm

    FABULOUS! So delicious, very flavorful! We moved here from Texas in April and we have been searching for good Mexican Food since. I am so excited to go back!! We ordered the mixed Botana’s Platter with Cadillac Margaritas, and it was perfect for 2! The flavors were amazing, and especially the side of off the menu, VERY HOT salsa our FAB waiter brought us. I’m hard to please, I like off the charts hot, and this hit the spot! GREAT place, I would totally recommend it! Cheers!

  • comment silouhette John February 28th, 2011 10:11 pm

    Nice food, been there a couple of times already. But I can’t help but think that you should’ve changed the menu by now. Any plans for the future…

  • comment silouhette Paul April 3rd, 2011 11:47 am

    had an amazing meal here on Friday we had a group of around 20 and the service was great and the price was really good could not fault anything the nacho chips kept flowing . everyone loved it

  • comment silouhette Sophie April 4th, 2011 3:16 am

    I’m from California where there are Mexican restaurants everywhere and Cortina’s is by far the best mexican food I have ever had. Amazing salsa’s and hot sauces and the food is amazing. Staff are very friendly too. They also offer a dairy and gluten free menu.

  • comment silouhette Tyler April 4th, 2011 3:23 am

    They need to open one up in New York, I miss my favourite restaurant. No one has nicer chips and salsa. The habanero salsa is amazing, as well as the rest of the food. Bring Cortina’s to New York!

  • comment silouhette Swapnali March 1st, 2012 10:45 pm

    Best Mexican in Dublin. Reasonable prices, good cocktail , very tasty food and great service. Couldn’t have asked for more. Will defiantly go back.

  • comment silouhette Nicola August 15th, 2012 8:43 am

    Best hot chocolate I have ever had. The pomegranate guacamole is yum. Will be back.

  • comment silouhette Antonia Lawlor February 28th, 2013 1:01 pm

    Yum Yum yum have yet to find something on the menu I don’t like. Lovely staff, very friendly, seem to appear when you need them but are not tormenting you every few minutes. My kids even love going here. Great prices.

  • comment silouhette owen March 6th, 2013 3:30 pm

    Great burrito today. Had the beef and a pork one.excellent food in cortinas

  • comment silouhette Aleksandras May 8th, 2013 11:00 pm

    Friendly staff , great service :-) thanks for Cortinas

  • comment silouhette Seamus McDonagh June 15th, 2013 5:09 pm

    I have not eaten at Cortina’s yet but having had many a delicious Irish breakfast at Terry’s Irish restaurant in San Francisco, The Chieftain, my first stop in Dublin will be Cortina’s for a couple of burritos!

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