Bearing in mind that this restaurant is tucked away in a basement in Parnell Square, it was surprisingly light and airy in both decor and ambience. The walls were white, the table settings white and the walls were clad in tinted glass and mirrors to reflect the maximum amount of light into the dining room. The halogen spot downlighters provided even more light, and the walls were a blend of natural stone and pristine painted plasterwork, giving a very clean, contemporary feel. We could tell immediately that this was a place we wanted to spend some time.
Lunch and pre theatre menus were in the region of 37 Euros per person, which we thought was very reasonable, but obviously depending on your choice of drinks it can work out to considerably more!
It's not surprising then that this place is very busy! Unfortunately, although we tried to book well over a month in advance, we were only able to secure a midweek lunch reservation. We were advised that there are now no evening tables available for the next three months.
Our reservation was for 1pm. We arrived about 20 minutes early, but this didn't present a problem. We were greeted warmly and shown straight to our table. We were determined to make the most of our reservation, so we ordered a decent bottle of wine and settled in for the afternoon. We didn't leave again until gone 3.30pm and at no point did we feel rushed as the restaurant only takes one sitting for lunch, and one for dinner, with a pre theatre early menu from 6pm (the pre theatre tables are time restricted however.)
At lunch, we were advised of a last minute cancellation for the next evening, so we took the opportunity to return for the pre theatre sitting the following evening where we had the chance to experience the restaurant's unusual Irish Coffee technique.
The staff in the restaurant were the friendliest we found anywhere in Dublin, and they helpfully guided us to all the best bars for that evening.
Favorite Dish: I had cauliflower soup with blue cheese and creamy potato topping, which was heaven! The main course was stuffed rabbit with creamed pototo, peas and fine green beans. Dessert was a warm chocolate mousse with orange and Campari jelly and ice cream: irrisistibly childish but with a grown up twist!
The portions looked a little small, especially as we'd been used to Dublin pub portions, but as I have found with restaurants of this calibre, the chef usually knows exactly how much to serve to make your meal a perfect experience, and this time was no exception. I left feeling full, but not uncomfortable. Couldn't fault it!
Do you want fine dining, genuine Irish hospitality, in a non-pretentious atmosphere? Then Chapter One is for you. It was awarded it's first Michelin star in January of 2007., making it one of only 3 restaurants in Dublin to herald the Michelin accolade. According to Ernie Whalley of 'Food and Wine' magazine: 'The food was impressive without being pretentious, the service was spot-on and the setting as elegant as ever. Chapter One is really a story that needs no glowing tyre company twinkler to extol its merits - the quality speaks for itself.'
I honestly have to say that my experience here was probably the second best experience I've ever had in my quest for the perfect culinary experience (second to Daniel in NYC). I started with the Foie Gras and chicken liver parfait, followed up with the Guinea Hen topped with creamed onion and sage compot, and finished with the Lime Parfait and Mango Mouse. Everything was perfectly proportioned and delivery of dishes was perfectly timed.
As I said before, the service was superbly unpretentious. Why do I say that? Because I was wearing jeans--albeit designer jeans--and sneakers! At first I was worried if I was under dressed, which perhaps I was a bit, but that didn't make a difference to the attention the staff gave my table while dining.
Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys fine dining. I wonder how much increased business their new Micheline Star will give them? Perhaps reservations will be required for future visits.
Chapter One is another restaurant that does a very good pre-theatre dinner. They will also pick up your theatre tickets for you! A three-course dinner (without wine) costs just €31 per person and it's the same quality food (although a smaller selection) as on the a la carte menu, which is delicious.
Favorite Dish: "Rhubarb Financier" - because the name was so good! It's like a warm rhubarb muffin with vanilla icecream with it.
Chaper one have a wonderful reputation for using food in season. Situated between the Dublin Writers Museum and the Municpal Gallery, 2 minutes walk from O'Connell Street and about 10 minutes from Temple Bar and Dame Street. In beautiful surroundings, the interior is stunning. The menu is very expensive and l would only come here on very special occassions.
Favorite Dish: Starters range from 8 Euro for the soup to around 25 Euro for a dozen oysters. Also on the menu you have a choice of fish, salads, scallops, and haddock. Main course from 35 Euro for the Aberdeen Steak, or chicken, beal, fish. Prices go up to about 55 Euro. They do a lunch special for which costs between 26 and 28 Euro for a three course meal, plus the 10% service charge.