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“Great Wine, Food and Service”

The French Paradox Wine Shop & Wine Bar
Ranked #280 of 2,807 Restaurants in Dublin
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$12 - US$58
Cuisines: Wine Bar
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Description: Ballsbridge's The French Paradox is the stuff of food legend. Imagine this, you have popped in to buy a bottle of wine from the range of more than 150. Hang on a minute, they offer freshly baked bread too... And cigars, cheeses, oils. It is enough to make your stomach gurgle with longing. And how on earth are you going to choose from those bottles, each one glinting at you cheekily? I suppose you could head for the tasting room and just try a little sip of wine and, seeing as your there, a dish or two from the amazing menu of French tapas-style dishes. A little charcuterie, a few cheeses, perhaps a larger salad or omelette now your stomach is in the mood. Now, what was it you came out for again?
Reviewed 18 September 2017

This family-owned restaurant has become my "go to" spot when visiting Dublin. The selection of wines and the expertise of the staff about those wines is exceptional. Start by selecting a wine and then match up a charcuterie to go along with the wine. If you are unsure about what pairs well, let the staff make a recommendation for you. Trust them - they know what they are doing - and will see to it that you have an enjoyable experience.

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Thank Tom M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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19 - 23 of 191 reviews

Reviewed 6 September 2017

Great for a social evening meeting. Either pre or post event meals in an intimate surrounding. Staff have super knowledge of food and wine.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 September 2017

They know their food here. Reasonably priced but the true secret is the wine. Great for a post even meal in the Lansdowne Road/ Ballsbridge Area.

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Thank Fosterbrook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2017

My husband and I had dinner at this wonderful Wine Bar last week. First of all, the wines on the wine list have all been carefully selected by the owners, Pierre & Tanya. They are all from family owned wineries with a keen emphasis on quality rather than quantity.

This place reminds me of my times spent on lazing around on Rue de Seine in Paris. You sit down, enjoy beautiful wine, a relaxed ambiance & some great french boards.

We had a table on the ground floor, past the wine shop, surrounded by wine bottles (Heaven !). We decided to go for a beautiful bottle of red from the Languedoc Roussillon area, Chateau de Jonquieres. Our waiter, Jacques (which we were told was the VERY handsome son of the owners) explained the background of this Chateau, the winemakers & the area. What an experience to actually have a story behind the wine you are drinking. Also, the amazing plus was that as it is also a Wine Shop, we were actually able to buy a couple of bottles for us to bring home & enjoy on another occasion.

For food, we decided to share a few plates as we always love tasting different things & we generally don't like being constrained to one dish. We got the Camembert Fondue, Le Fond de Barrique and the Caviar d'Aubergine. What a delight, yet again, we are transported back to Paris. The food is simple, of great quality & tastes AMAZING. We were absolutely stuffed after all these plates & the delicious bread but we couldn't resist sharing one of the homemade Creme Brulée's..divine !

We had one of the best evenings in The French Paradox. What a breath of fresh air ! It's safe to say that we will definitely be returning here.
If you love great wine & quality unassuming french food, do yourself a favour & visit this place.

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Thank mauddevilsange
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2017

We appeared to be having a superb evening at the wine class in the French Paradox until the bill arrived, which left a sour taste in our mouths (no sour wines were served).

We had booked a private wine class for 6 people a few days previous and were quoted €35 a head as is also quoted on the website and which includes a small tasting plate of bread, cheese and ham (In fact we confirmed this price 3 times in separate phone calls). We had a great time tasting wines with our french wine instructor (not sure if we got his name or if it slipped the memory after the 4th wine). Anyhow, we proceeded to order a number of other tasting dishes to share and ordered another bottle of wine, all the while chatting away to our friendly and informative wine instructor.

At the point the food was finished and the wine bottles empty we asked for the bill only to find an extra €50 plopped on for the 'wine tasting fee' (on top of the €35 per head, plus extra food, plus 12% service charge for parties of 6 or more). Slightly confused, we enquired about this extra charge and were informed that this was the rental fee for the room (we were in the bar area where there were other diners not taking the wine class). Now we were never told about this extra fee and it is mentioned nowhere on the website (They tried to claim they mentioned it in an email but we had booked over the phone). Also intriguingly, it was charged as two charges of €25. Our instructor told us that he would not have spent 2-3 hours with us without charging this fee. We mentioned the 12% service charge but this was dismissed. Furthermore, a few of us had gift cards to pay. After the curfuffle they tried to claim they could only take 1 gift card, we didn't attempt to argue and politely declined this rule after which they conceded.

Anyhow, it seems to me that if you book a set menu in a restaurant or even just order off a menu, you are not charged extra for occupying the space that you are sitting in. If this was mentioned to us when we booked, we would still have considered it a sneaky add-on but still may have accepted it, but the fact it was slapped on at the end without comment seemed like a stab in the back of 6 friendly yet amateurish wine-tasters.

In defence of the staff they removed the charge after an awkward exchange yet the experience left a sour note on the evening, so much so that we probably wont go back. The wines were delicious though.

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2  Thank Jamesstephensxcv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pierre C, Owner at The French Paradox Wine Shop & Wine Bar, responded to this reviewResponded 19 August 2017

Dear James Stephens,

We thank you for your review just published.
We cannot tell you how much we are sorry for the massive misunderstanding we created by our own fault that damaged an otherwise 'superb evening', when 'you had great time tasting wines', described as 'delicious wines' with 'your friendly and informative wine instructor'. You fairly noted that, after an 'awkward exchange', this misunderstanding was finally solved, and we thank you for this.
We have been enjoying for the last 15 years organizing such A la Carte/ personalized private wine class you ordered, made possible with our well trained wine tutors, our directly imported wines always praised for their value for money and our Wine Keeping equipment. Your first review is actually the first negative review we got on our Tasting evenings.
On a pure operational front, these evenings create some challenges, require the presence of a specially trained Wine instructor, requires an extra person to serve other tables while his colleague is conducting the tasting. In order to be able to continue offering this kind of events, we need to find a balanced and competitive pricing, that reflects the nature of expenses involved and still makes it attractive to get the interest of wine lovers.
Despite that, we do not charge any room rental.
We always accept gift cards as form of payment (although our Epos system can only accept one at a time, making the processing of several cards for 1 unique transaction a tricky experience).
The basic charge of € 35 correspond to a full sharing plate and 4 wines, shortly introduced by a wine waiter. When the tasting is required to be a bit more personalized (basically the type of full show you benefited of), we add a flat €50.- charge, shared by all members of the tasting (except on Tuesday, which is Tasting night). The 12% Service charge distributed among the whole staff is applied when the group is more than 5, as it is printed on our menus. Yet, when these charges above are added, we defy anybody to find a better value for money for such a great evening, a professional, fun, informative, and personalized wine tasting, in the country.
That is leaving us with the root of the misunderstanding that we claim responsibility for, due to:
- a quick and only verbal booking 'contract' without written confirmation
- a couple of important points not explained to you on the phone
- a failure to pass on details of the invoicing between staff members
- an overzealous cash register manager (who could blame him?), not properly briefed (and certainly intrigued by such the extreme good value of the tasting evening)
- a Web site that had not been updated to reflect what such ‘great evenings’ private wine classes should be worth.
Every cloud has a silver lining. This mishap made us realized how painful miscommunication mistakes can be, without mentioning the 'sour notes in the customer’s mouth' it can leave. A simple rephrasing of our Tasting offers on our Web site (with the small prints) will make it clear for all our future or existing individual customers. This is something we should have done sometime ago when we wrote our personalized offers to Sport & Social clubs and other Corporate entities that we are proud to be so successful.

Renewing our thanks for your review,

With our Kind Regards,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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