Saturday, October 17, 2020

Michelin Stars and Cocktail Bars in Dublin, Ireland

Trip date: September 2019

There is a lot to see and do in Dublin, but there are also a lot of top-notch eating and drinking experiences. On my first full day I kicked it off properly with an over-the-top lunch at Michelin 2-star Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud which is housed in a beautiful brick townhouse between St Stephen's Green and Merrion Square. 

I was welcomed inside and led into a very bright and modern sitting room. I was surprised by the decor as it was very different than many high-end restaurants. A champagne trolly arrived, which is really the best way to start anything, and I browsed the various menus for lunch.

I was then ushered into the main dining room which couldn't have looked more different. The entire room was done in shades of beige and white. The tables were set with gorgeous porcelain and heavy silver. In the center of the ceiling was a large mobile that resembled a Calder. Each table was far enough away from the rest so that diners had privacy. It was beautiful and relaxing. 

Ravioli of Blue Lobster, Lobster Coconut Cream, Toasted Almond, Split Curry Dressing

I decided on the 3-course lunch menu. I asked the somm to feel free to pair wines which he thought would go best with the dishes as I wasn't privy to the courses being served. 

As with most Michelin starred meals, on top of the number of courses that I ordered I was also presented with an amuse, a palate cleanser, and petit fours. So really it was 7-courses. And every dish was lovely. 

Butter Roast Veal Sweetbreads, Coffee, Parsnip, Mimolette and Girolles

I thought it very sweet of one of my servers, to bring me the coffee table book about the restaurant to page through during my lunch. I also was a bit tickled when Mr Guilbaud himself stopped by my table to inquire about my lunch. And I enjoyed moving outside to their covered patio to enjoy my petit fours with a cup of coffee.

My lunch was €65 + wine + champagne, extremely reasonable, some might say a steal for this level of meal. I'd absolutely recommend dining at Patrick Guilbaud, reservations are essentional!

That evening I did a little cocktail crawl before having a late dinner. I started at Bow Lane Social Club which isn't a club at all (thankfully!) but there is popular music and dancing later. The bar feels a little divey, but the cocktails are interesting. I did notice that all of them, when I was there, were on the rocks. The bartender was super friendly and went out of his way to find me a charger when I realized I'd left mine at the hotel. He also gave me a few other bar recommendations. I wouldn't go out of my way to go here, but if you are in the area, they are open early and my drink was solid. 

My next stop was just two blocks away. The Lucky Duck is a traditional pub on the ground floor while the next two floors play host to separate cozy cocktail spaces. My drink in The Digges Room was delicious and the surroundings were super cute. They have a nice menu of small plates here too. Highly recommend.

I had about a 15 minute walk to my dinner destination. Bastible is a tad out of the way but that should not deter you from making a reservation here. And since the restaurant is on the small side reservations are recommended. 

I had requested to sit at the counter which gave me a full view of the kitchen (and the handsome chef Cúán Greene!) But he's not just a pretty face, the food is absolutely delicious! And fun!

I was still feeling a bit full from my decadent lunch so I ordered the 2-course option for €40. The kitchen then sent out 2 amuse bouches, a gorgeous salad, and bread with butter before my braised lamb dish which came with flatbread and various condiments!

I chose cheese in place of dessert and had 3 lovely Irish cheeses to finish. Then they sent out a little sweet also. This is such an excellent casual restaurant, I'd tell everyone to go here!

Lunch the next day was pretty much the exact opposite atmosphere of my Michelin-star restaurant from the day before. Klaw is a tiny hole in the wall near Temple Bar with barely 3 tables. They only serve sustainable fresh seafood from reliable fisherman around Ireland. 

I was excited to try a few of the Irish oysters, so I got 2 each of the Waterford and the Flaggy Shore. Delicious. I also had a lobster roll that came with homemade yuzu mayo, chervil, chive, and a "secret ingredient". Everything was really flavorful and I'd absolutely go back!

My last night in Dublin I started with a martini at the historic No.27 Shelbourne Bar at the hotel of the same name. The space was busy with locals and out of towners enjoying drinks and conversation; I was lucky to get a seat at the bar. This was a lovely stop if you (like me) enjoy a great hotel bar. 

It was a quick walk to The Greenhouse for my 8pm dinner reservation. The decor is very simple and modern, spotlighting the absolutely beautiful food. 

I chose 4 courses for €110 and added wine pairings (there was also an option for 6). This was a great choice for me as dinner started with four separate amuse bites before the main menu set in.

Everything was absolutely delicious, and the service could not have been better. My main of Roast Yorkshire Grouse, Beetroot & Blackberry, Coffee, and Sauce Grand Veneur was truly spectacular. Even with beets in the sauce! 

Dining at The Greenhouse was one of my favorite meals in Ireland. The restaurant had 1-Michelin star when I visited and it is no surprise to me that they have been awarded their second now. 

Obviously there were a few other cocktail bar visits, as well as a nightly night cap in my hotel bar.

Ireland isn't all chippy's and pubs (not that I wasn't excited to hit those up too!). I was very impressed with the fine dining and top-notch cocktails in Dublin!

**As I visited all of these places before the COVID-19 pandemic, please double check on opening hours. And fingers crossed these businesses all stay in business!**

All photos from Dublin here.

Other posts from this trip:

Country Count #50: Ireland

Out and About in Dublin Town

24 Hours in Belfast

Ireland Road Trip: County Kilkenny

Ireland Road Trip: County Cork

Ireland Road Trip: Kenmare and the Ring of Kerry

Ireland Road Trip: Dingle Town

Dingle Peninsula Archeology Tour

Ireland Road Trip: Cliffs of Moher and Galway

Aran Islands Day Trip

Ireland Road Trip: County Mayo

Ireland Road Trip: End of the Road; Sligo to Dublin

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