Dublin report- Chapter One and Pichet
Quick two night stay in Dublin in late June on way to/from Istanbul. First visit to Ireland and thoroughly enjoyed Dublin and most of all the people we met.
Two meals to report on:
We were warmly welcomed when we arrived for our reservation and quickly shown to the lounge. We ordered aperitifs and immediately felt comfortable. The restaurant had a nice, convivial atmosphere and we were enjoying ourselves despite being sleep deprived from the trip to Ireland.
Maybe it’s common at Chapter One, but for whatever reason the Maitre ‘D took interest in my wife and I and volunteered a kitchen tour and we talked about the history of the restaurant and the chef. I’m not usually a huge fan of kitchen tours, but they certainly made us feel at home and made the night memorable for us.
Shortly after the tour we were led to our table. My wife and I both ordered the 4-course menu. She had the vegetarian menu- pea soup, goat cheese parfait, ravioli and then a strawberry dessert. I had a few bites of her courses and all were enjoyable, but not especially notable.
I had the following:
Ravioli of 36 month parmesan, organic egg poached in red wine with watercress
Langoustine, smoked bacon and basil spring roll, red pepper basquaise and basil cress
Dombes duck breast with fried cabbage and smoked potato, carrot and black cumin puree,
duck sauce sharpened with apple balsamic vinegar
Warm chocolate mousse, caramel jelly, espresso mousse, lime ice cream and honeycomb
The duck course was the highlight for me with the duck being cooked nicely complemented well by the other elements of the dish. The other courses were good, but as with my wife’s menu didn’t weren’t great or memorable.
Service was excellent throughout and we were able to talk with several members of the staff during our meal. The chef came to the dining room at the end of service to chat with the remaining tables and he was very friendly and a pleasure to speak with. Overall, a really enjoyable meal and a place I’d definitely return to even if the food itself didn’t wow us and did not live up to our past experience with 1* restaurants.
We wanted a more casual meal for our last night in Europe after returning from Istanbul and Pichet fit the bill well. We liked the design and layout of the restaurant and the service team was friendly and took good care of us.
We each had three courses with my wife having the potato gnocchi with mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, a summer vegetable risotto and a blueberry dessert. I had the crispy hens egg, pork belly and a strawberry meringue dessert. Unlike at Chapter One, the food at Pichet was really impressive with memorable, assertive flavors. The crispy hen’s egg was perfectly cooked and was delicious with its accompanying black pudding. My wife’s gnocchi and risotto were both light, seasonal dishes that I enjoyed stealing bites of between my heavier dishes. I loved each of my courses and we thoroughly enjoyed our meal. Overall, I have to say Pichet was the better meal compared to Chapter One when considering just the food (especially so after taking the price difference of the meals into account).
A much too short visit to Ireland, but we really enjoyed our time there and look forward to returning.