Dublin Restaurants & Dining
Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud
21 Upper Merrion Street
Tel 01 676 4192
Dining at Guilbaud restored our faith in Michelin's star rating system. The two that this restaurant within
the Merrion Hotel has earned from that famous red guide are deserved. More than any one thing, it is the orchestration
of the dining experience that puts Guilbaud way ahead of the crowd.
Portion size is extremely small, even by French haute restaurant standards; the extremely pretty and generally well-prepared
food lacked the pizazz we craved. However, service, ambiance, presentation, the wine list, and the warm, attentive presence
of both owner Patrick Guilbaud and chef Guillaume LeBrun themselves made for a near perfect meal.
Signature dishes include Lobster
Ravioli, Roast Challans Duck, and Assiette Gourmande au Chocolat. We enjoyed the cheese course, though it fell behind
the standard set by te nearby Bentley's. A sort of croquette filled with pork, goat cheese ravioli, grilled sea bass
atop saffron mashed potatoes, and rabbit wrapped in savoy cabbage all proved more than satisfactory.
There is an excellent, though not vast selection of wines
by the glass, and for lunch we sampled an Italian Rosso Piceno and a Macon Lugny that greatluy complimented the meal.
The extremely elegant restaurant lies to one side of the Merrion,
and has its own covered outside dining area with a fireplace. Stylish, carpeted, well lit, charmingly laid out, and with some
of the hotel's renowned art collection on the walls, inside Guildbaud's you have succesfully escaped from the outside world.
You may pause in the comfy bar before or after your meal.
Young, thin, and generally tall, black clad waiters & wine stewards (we saw
just one female back waitress) provide exemplary service, describing each dish, answering all questions, and performing
each table ritual with aplumb.
22 St. Stephens Green
Tel 1 638 3939
Chef Richard Corrigan's Irish venture, which includes a 10-room inn, provided one of the most pleasant and
memorable of our Dublin dinners. We had perused the menu a couple of times while walking by St. Stephens Green, and inquired
about reservations for that evening only to be told they were full.
By hazard, we passed again around supper time and they had a few places at the oyster bar available. Service
at the bar was excellent since we essentially had the bar tender/waiter at our disposal the entire time. A charming conversationalist,
skilled oyster barmen, and full of at-you-disposal waiterly skills, we could not have desired more superior accommodation.
The restaurant's ambience: charmingly upscale but without pretension, with lots of mirrors and soft lighting
right out of an F. Scott Fitgerald novel.
The food: tempura of oysters; stuffed baby squid; cod with lentils; fish & chips; Irish cheeses; and
a blood-orange pudding.
The oysters came perfectly cooked in a light batter, full of delcicate sea flavours; the stuffed squid--recommended
by the barman--exploded with the rich combination of chorizo and feta. Of the main dishes, the fish & chips--made with
fresh haddock--was a unique take on traditional fare and a huge portion. The coating on the fish could have been a bit lighter,
but the fish itself was perfect. The cod served on a bed of lentils: scrumptous and elegant.
The cheese plate was the best, most well stored and served cheese course we tried in Dublin; and the pudding
more than satisfying if not overwhelming.
We will return!
Recommended Dublin Hotels for the Epicurean
The Merrion Hotel
The Merrion has established itself as the epitome of relaxed elegance, welcoming Dubliners and visitors
to the city with stunningly appointed rooms, crackling turf fires and a host of facilities, including a delightful indoor
swimming pool and spa.
Service is impeccable, though a bit reserved, with concierge, front desk, and housekeeping
staff always on their toes. Twice-daily room cleanings, elaborate turn down service, and charming staff in the public areas
leave no room for complaint. A social gathering place for Dubliners, guests can ease into the elegance of the spacious rooms
and extensive public areas with aplumb.
The Merrion offers its guests a choice of two restaurants for eating
out in Dublin, The Cellar Restaurant and the renowned Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, Irelandâ€™s only Two-Star
Michelin Restaurant. Bars include The Cellar Bar set in the original wine vaults and the intimate cocktail bar, No. 23.
For those truly seeking a characterful stay, rooms in one of three joined Georgin masions--the main house--are preferrable
to those in the "Garden Wing"
Upon returning to Dublin for business, our choice is The Clarence.
stylish boutique hotel located in the heart of the city on the famous River Liffey. Owned by Bono & The Edge of Irish
rock group U2, The Clarence is very much a reflection
of 21st century Ireland. Simple but elegant, timeless but yet of its time, contemporary but embodies the best of Irish hospitality.
hotel re-opened in 1996 after an extensive facelift that transformed it from 2-star dreariness to 4-star restrained elegance.
The hotel first opened in 1852, was bought by Bono and The Edge in 1992, and went through a complete re-design respecting
Ireland's quintessential heritage, with an inventive interplay of elements contrasting the spartan with the sybaritic, the
hip with the historical, and the old with the new. Inside, guests find sturdy, high quality finishes--white oak, limestone,
leather and velvet using rich cardinal colors like crimson, royal blue, amethyst, gold, and chocolate.
hotel's best-kept secret is Room 508--a large room done in royal blue and gold opening onto a huge terrace with panoramic
views of Dublin. A wooden dining table invits al fresco meals while decks chairs provide for a chance at respite
from the city's bustle.
We found the staff friendly and efficient, the rooms comfortable--if a bit small--the beds restful, and
the overall stay quiet and relaxing.