Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud
Eat your heart out one and all. Today WE had the most delectable lunch at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud (@RPGuilbaud). This Two Star Michelin restaurant is both discreet and reserved and ranks as one of the finest in Ireland – an achievement earned and deserved over many years of hard work. I will be honest and say upfront that we were there for two reasons: One celebratory and the other being that ‘himself’ had won a voucher at an event last year. We held off using the voucher until there was a special occasion and let’s face it Guilbauds is a cut above most restaurants.
We were greeted formally in the hall where both of us underwent a temperature test (passed with flying colours). We then met the urbane Stéphane Robin, the Restaurant Manager of RPG, whose presence is an essential element to this food paradise. He recognised us immediately, even with our masks on, and very generously offered us a complimentary coupe de champagne. This definitely set the scene for a memorable lunch. The staff were all most welcoming and it must be difficult for them as the visors they were wearing were a lot more restrictive than most I have encountered. The capacity of the restaurant has been cut, but not by much, as Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud has always been an elegant and spacious restaurant where not a whisper of a nearby conversation can be heard at other tables (hence my description of its discretionary component).
Just after we had ordered from the set Lunch Menu the head waiter appeared with a wallet, which, when opened, showed a note from our eldest daughter offering to pay for the food element – a generous present. I opted for the Warm Octopus Salad, Potato, Chorizo and Datterino Tomato for starters whilst my other half chose a terrine of Wood Pigeon in a pastry. My main course was Brill Cooked on the Bone with Paimpol Beans, Pisquillos Pepper Bergamot. My companion opted for the Quail Roast in Pancetta Artichoke, Leek, Bois Boudran. I shared a half of a slice of Octopus but otherwise we guarded our choices with enthusiasm. I should also mention the choice of breads. One was made with seaweed which proved to be yummy. Letting my hair down I followed up the champagne with two glasses of a delicious house Chablis. I did feel slightly guilty as I was being lazy about choosing wine. The Sommelier, a Dubliner by the name of Joe Scanlon, appeared disappointed at not being given the opportunity to impart some of his extensive knowledge of wine.
We were definitely there for the experience and ambience as much as the food so naturally we enjoyed some dessert. We shared a lavish Tarte Tatin, where the apples had been deliciously caramelised so that they literally melted in the mouth.
One cannot overstate the ambience in Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud. I felt that the Dining Room must have had a feng schui wand waved over it with the energy flow and balance making for a very relaxed experience. When we paid for lunch (i.e. the wine and coffee!), we found we had used only a small portion of the famous voucher. We have now decided to pass it on as a birthday present. We figure at this rate that it will be good for another two lunches and if the two daughters enjoy it as much as we did then we are indeed giving them a real treat and a memory particularly worth savouring in a year when to be frank there hasn’t been much to cheer about.