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May 15, 2007 05:59 AM

One great dinner in Dublin?

Hello, two American (Washington DC) chowhounds are going to be in Dublin for a few days and looking for a great "date night" dinner (first vacation without our toddler). Love all kinds of food but would love something with an Irish/locally grown emphasis. I stumbled across O'Connell's in the Bewley hotel - the menu looks good - is it as good as it sounds? Other recs welcome.

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    Food great, service even better - relaxed and entertaining. Leave via taxi unless you want to run the gauntlet of O'Connell St (can be a bit boisterous on Fri/Sat night).

    Tough to get a reservation, esp. now they have a star.


    1 Reply
    1. re: lathamjohnp

      I absolutely second the choice of Chapter One. I spend about a month in Irealnd each year and it is one of my Dublin favorites, by far!!!

    2. If you want delicious fresh food with an Irish emphasis, you have to go to Winding Stair. We went to both Chapter One and Winding Stair in March and Winding Stair was much more exciting. Chapter One has a quieter atomosphere and three stars and Winding Stair is more rambunctious and funky, but the food was sooo much more impressive. And the price was much better too!

      4 Replies
        1. re: swarttav

          FWIW, I went to the Winding Stair for lunch on Sunday, and whilst it had good food, pleasant atmosphere and friendly staff, it felt way less accomplished than Chapter One - more quality cafe than decent restaurant. Maybe it's different in the evening. And it wasn't cheap either - over 80 euro for 1 starter, 2 mains, a glass of red and a bottle of mineral water.

          I'm not sure what "three stars" Missmoo refers to w.r.t. Chapter One - they only recently got their first Michelin star.


          1. re: lathamjohnp

            Oops, you're right, I was mixing my restaurants. However, I still preferred the Winding Stair. But, I'm much more interested in friendly staff and good food than elegant atmosphere and formality. So, I guess it depends on what the OP is looking for. And you are correct, it's not cheap, just cheaper than Chapter One. The other place we enjoyed (and it was definately not cheap) was the restaurant at the Dylan, but since I've only been once and it was so pricey, I'd want to hear others opinions before recommending it.

          2. re: swarttav

            Just to make sure my memory is correct, I looked at my bill for my trip, and as a comparison, Chapter One (and this was ordering off the pre-theatre menu) cost 287 US (that did include a bottle of wine). Winding Stair was 94 US and included a beer, glass of wine, 2/3 of a bottle of wine, a starter, two mains and dessert. The Dylan was combined with our stay so I can only say I remember thinkng it was expensive. Hope that helps.

        2. Hello all...thanks for all the recs. I tried for Chapter One but they are closed Sunday and Monday which were our only two possible days for a dinner out. We ended up at O'Connells in the Bewley's hotel in Ballsbridge and it was perfect. It was nice to get out to see another part of town. The hotel is really beautiful and the restaurant space is great. The food was excellent. Our starters were the smoked salmon plate, a black pudding crostini with apples and mustard sauce, and cauliflower soup. I had a chicken and leek pot pie and my spouse had beef - all were exceptional and we enjoyed every bite - including the potatoes and veg that came with it all! The little bites of dessert were also exceptionally good. I also particularly enjoyed the wine list which was rich in detail and well selected.

          We had a marvelous time in the wonderful city of Dublin and can't wait to go back.

          We did also have an excellent lunch at the Mermaid Cafe - wonderful seafood.