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“Culinary Heaven”

Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud
Ranked #40 of 2,601 Restaurants in Dublin
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, After-hours, Dinner, Reservations
Neighbourhood: South City Centre
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Culinary Heaven”
Reviewed 24 February 2012

Head and tails above competing restaurants in Dublin. Service is outstanding. Food is superb. A must try.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Grapevine865
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Dublin, Ireland
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“A case study in service”
Reviewed 23 February 2012

I was lucky enough to have a lunch arranged for here today, as it was booked a few weeks back it is fair to say that I was looking forward to it with anticipation. In short it was amazing but here is why.

We were met in the reception area by a variety of staff, some who were supposed to be there and some who were just there by chance. From the word go it was clear that they were intent on making it a very personable dining experience as each staff member offered their hand to welcome us to Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud and invite us to enjoy our lunch. From there we were taken to a reception room where up to probably 4 or 5 groups could sit, enjoy a drink and peruse the menu.

As it was a business lunch we were chatting at length about various things when they interrupted to try and take our order, we had hardly checked the menu at this stage but they returned a couple of minutes later to take our orders. I felt as if they were trying to rush us through but in hindsight they stagger the booking times and give (in their own heads) a set time for people to relax there before moving them to their table – there is limited space in the reception room so it is important to push people through. We were almost certainly there more than enough time to check out the menu and place an order but the nature of our lunch (where 2 people were meeting for the first time) meant that we took longer to get to the menu.

So we ordered the food and were then presented with the wine list, it is huge, I could easily drink a full bottle of wine and still wouldn’t have taken in the depth and breath of the wine list in that time. I was mad keen on getting stuck into a bottle but the others were all driving so I declined. The wine list catered for all needs and budgets – It looked liked the average price was €175 or thereabouts which probably isn’t too expensive for the place. I did notice that they had Kanonkop Paul Sauer on the menu at €52, the same bottle will set you back €32 in O’Briens so I don’t think they could be accused of not fitting all budgets and I don’t think they can be accused of price gouging either. There was a sommelier on hand to assist were you to require his assistance.

From here we were taken to our table. You walk through a bar area en route to the table, it isn’t a bar where you can sit but a bar where they prepare all the drinks – looking at it I would have been more than happy to pull up a stool and down a Gin & Tonic at the bar, I doubt that is allowed. As you get to the table there was somebody standing behind all chairs to seat you comfortably.

They started by presenting us with a massive selection of breads – there had to have been 7 or 8 different fresh breads all of which looked amazing and the lads I was with certainly liked them. We were then presented with an appetiser which was not on the menu, it was really just a spoonful of food and it was terrine of ham hock with chilli mustard, some strange mushroom, small onion and cress. It tasted fine by me.

The lunch menu was a limited choice, I had something that was basically salted cod croquettes, bayonne ham, fresh pesto and topped with a fried quail egg. It was damn nice and the pesto had great flavour to it – real fresh pesto is good gear compared to the stuff you buy off the shelf. Two of the lads had cauliflower soup and said it was very good.
For main course I had slow roasted suckling pig, with some delicate carrots, parsnips and onion, it was served with some sauce or puree or similar, it was also accompanied with a small side of jacket potato, broccoli and carrot. Some of the others had Fillet of Seabass, it was a decent looking piece of fish and both said it was top notch.

Desert was a sliver of chocolate torte and home made lemon icecream. There was also a monster cheeseboard, it was huge, easily the biggest cheeseboard I have seen in any restaurant in my life – the next table had the cheese and the waiter was able to talk them through all the cheese and help them pick to their liking. To finish we had coffees and espressos and what not along with petit fours.

The dining room itself is excellent. Very comfortable with lots and lots of space and you never for one moment felt uncomfortable or felt like you couldn’t talk business for fear of being overheard. Whilst all of this was very good the level of service is what set this aside from any other dining experience. The staff were on hand to do whatever they could for you but did it in a very unobtrusive manner. I mean they even walked you to the bathroom to show you the way but it never once felt uncomfortable.

I think I will struggle to do the service justice here but our table of 4 had 2 dedicated waiters. Service was done with perfect symmetry. They would approach the table in unison, stand by the side and then move in perfect motion. They would place a plate in front of you and and the guy sitting across from you would have your plate hit the table at exactly the same time, they would then move anti clockwise and repeat it for the other two diners. This was the same when they were collecting plates or removing the silver domes on the main course. I was observing other tables and you could notice the eye contact between the servers making sure their actions were in harmony.

As you would expect from a 2 Star Michelin Restaurant service was all on trays, every one of the waiters were career waiters, I suspect they were almost exclusively French and in fact I don’t think I heard an Irish accent. They were impeccable. One of the head waiters would explain the content of each course to you as you were preparing to eat. You never had to raise your head for water, they were in as soon as your glass was half way down.

As somebody who is highly critical of service this was faultless, it is a perfect case study on how service should be executed. I mean as a restaurant owner you pay these guys to wait tables so you may as well set a critically high standard and ask them to meet it. Almost every restaurant in Ireland is missing a trick on this front.

Lunch was €50 a head for 3 courses and included all your bottled water and coffees. There was no extra charge for our pre lunch drinks but they were soft so I am not sure if you would be charged for a large XO?

Patrick Guilbaud was himself dining at the table next to us. He was on hand to shake each of our hands on the way out the door. He thanked us for our custom, enquired if everything was up to standard and said he hoped to see us all again soon. To me this is just a nice personal touch and it shows how his customer centric perspective radiates through the experience and his staff.

On balance I cannot wait to get back there. I would recommend it to anybody. €50 might seem a little pricey for lunch but you can pay €30 - €35 pretty much anywhere for comparable Sunday lunch in any old Bistro. This is a special experience though and I can see myself getting back their soon.

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank Noel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
87 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“Expensive, but worth every penny, a wonderful experience in every respect”
Reviewed 22 February 2012

The very best food and service in a beautiful surroundings. You will not be disappointed. I have eaten here many times and I am always delighted. This is expensive but perversely it is very good value, because you get what you pay for! If you love the very best gourmet food served with the full drama of a 2 star Michelin restaurant then you will love Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Lunch is particularly good value. The wines are excellent and there is no need to venture past the very good value house offerings.

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank suitedreamsdublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, England
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Gorgeous Restaurant and beautiful food”
Reviewed 22 February 2012

Fantastic service, Wonderful food and beautifully presented. Staff are lovely and so friendly and welcoming. definitely recommended

Visited February 2012
Thank pussycattz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A little taste of heaven”
Reviewed 20 February 2012

My husband and I went to Guilbaud's for dinner. This is difinitely not an occasion to be repeated on a monthly basis - unless that is of course you inhabit the world of Ross O' Carroll Kelly and his cronies!! It was however a most spectacular experience and I would certainly rate it as an unforgettable experience.
The food was extraordinary, from the mise en bouches - I didn't know they called them that now - I was waiting for the amuse bouches - to the starter of Dublin Bay Prawns to the exquisite sea bass in a turbot reduction(!) to the beautifully cooked venison served with a chicory reduction and horseradish sauce. then came more tasty bites before a deliciously sinful chocolate dessert. If I had one quibble it would be that the dessert was cold - it tasted like it should have been warm - what do I know?!
The service was impeccable and the result was that we felt like royalty when we floated out the door - we paid like royalty too but it was a pleasure to part with the money after the delightful evening we had spent!
don't miss it - put it on the To Do List

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank paddyandorla D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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