Everyone has that one restaurant that they always look forward to eating in and somehow seems to fit every occasion perfectly.
Quick bite to eat at the bar? Check. Celebratory dinner with the whole fam? Yep. When a restaurant has the ability to morph into any kind of dining style you're in the mood for then you know it's a winner.
My absolute favourite place to go is an unassuming bar and grill, hidden away at the back of a housing estate on the main road into Drogheda, Co. Louth.
The location sounds odd, I know, but this place will blow all your expectations out of the water when it comes to flavoursome food and innovation, and Eastern Seaboard Bar and Grill has long been the go-to spot for my family ever since it opened in 2008 by husband and wife team Jeni Glasgow and Reuven Diaz.
Jeni keeps a keen eye on the interior, which is an Instagrammers dream of bare concrete floor, mismatched furniture, fresh flowers and antique candelabras on each table for some moody atmosphere.
When it comes to food Reuven takes over, and this is where you'll find some of the most seasonal and expertly plated dishes in the entire country.
Fresh seafood and crab come from nearby Clogherhead, while Jeni's mum provides wild garlic, edible flowers and peppery rocket straight from her own garden. There's a full list of local suppliers listed at the back of the menu.
Top quality ingredients are at the forefront of each and every dish here, and the menu (which is great value considering the calibre of the food) changes regularly with weekly specials that are printed alongside a new art illustration - the kind of detail you look forward to when you go again and again.
Whether you want a huge three-course feast or little nibbly bits to tide you over as you sip on a glass of wine, the menu consists of "appetizers, small plates, things to share & good things to eat" - and oh YES are there good things here.
They also own an adorable bakery next door, Brown Hound Bakery, so from Mondays to Saturdays you get a whole loaf of warm (it's always warm and always sinfully good) freshly baked bread on a wooden board and spread-ably soft butter to get your mouth watering once you've ordered.
My fave small plates, which I seem to never be able to resist ordering, include the newly added Crispy Fried Baby Tiger Prawns, which come shell on so you just pop the whole crispy crustacean into you mouth, or a Monkfish Taco with mango salsa (the tortilla is crunchy and adds a bite to the soft monkfish - divine).
The Pork Belly Cos Lettuce Wraps which come with a tangy asian slaw & daikon kimchi are also a surefire pick.
Bigger plates generally include a choice of two sides, so you can change things up here to suit every taste.
I'm already planning my next outing to gorge here because even just looking at the menu online has me feeling ravenous and wanting one of everything.
The menu is basically divided into MEAT - which has finger-lickin' treats such as a Grainfed 10 oz Hanger Steak with Annagassan lobster butter and FISH - you need to try the Grilled Tiger Prawns with chilli, garlic, lemon & herbs or the Garlicky Crab Claws.
There's also a well thought out VEGETARIAN section, where my top choice is the Moroccan Style Chickpea Hot Pot served with herbed bulgar wheat & sour cream. <3
If you're really pigging out then you can do no wrong with the Little Pots of Chocolate Heaven, two jars containing a chocolate mousse and melted chocolate served with homemade pistacchio shortbread biscuits for dipping.
Service is relaxed and friendly, and although every time I've gone in the past six months it's been booked out, you'll usually be able to find a free low table down by the end of the bar which has a walk-in policy.
Eastern Seaboard is the kind of place that once you go you'll want to keep going until you've tasted every. single. thing. on the menu - it's just that good.
How could anyone resist these gorgeous creations?
Food is priced from around €10-€27 for a main, and I guarantee it will be money well spent.
I went a few weeks ago and for three people including a bottle and an extra glass of wine, the bill came to €80.50 not including tip.
A fair price to pay for fine-dining standard cuisine in such a laid back setting.
Eastern Seaboard also do a feckin glorious brunch that puts top Dublin hotspots to shame with its The Whole Hogg dish - blood sausage croquette, black pepper sausage, peat smoked bacon, two fried eggs, potted mushroom & toast. Yum.
If you're looking for a new place to become an old favourite - this is it.
You'll find it at 1 Bryanstown Centre, Drogheda, Co. Louth, and you can book by phoning +353 (0)41 98 02570.