Wine Dine and Play: January 2014

Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud

A perfection in Taste and Quality
Dublin, Ireland
Cuisine Style: French, Haute, Contemporary Irish
Average Price: $$$$$ / €€€€€
Overall Rating: 5/5
Dined in: December 2013
By Sean Overpeck (CFE)
**A full article and index glossary of restaurants, wines, recipes and travel for 
Wine Dine and Play are in the pages section above, or by following these links:

Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud - The Merrion Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Executive Chef:
Guillaume Lebrun

Patrick Guilbaud

I had just arrived in Dublin after spending two weeks on a food wine, and safari tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe, and I wanted to keep up the gastric adventure as I had three days in Ireland to kill. After careful research and menu study, I decided on Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud at the Merrion Hotel in the Dublin City Center. Normally when I visit a country I focus only on the cuisine that the specific country offers, in this case, Irish. Patrick Guilbaud was more of a French infusion but had some Irish dishes. The main reason I chose them is that they were listed in the top 10 restaurants in Dublin, and Elite Traveler had them listed as number 80 in the top 100 restaurants of the world (2013 rating). For the  2017 rating, they are now at #75. Considering one of my many bucket lists includes visiting the top 100 in both the Elite Traveler and San Pellegrino lists, I added Patrick Guilbaud to my list based solely on that merit alone.

    • Starters
    • Main Courses:
    • Fish
    • Meat
    • Desserts
    • Cheese
    • 4 Course Degustation Menu 
    • 8 Course Tasting Menu
Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud Opened on December 9, 1981, and over time has become Ireland’s only two-star Michelin restaurant. The cuisine is contemporary Irish with classical roots, mixed with modern French. They have been featured in everything from the Irish Times to the New York Times, it is renowned as one of the best restaurants in Ireland and is also internationally acclaimed. Their philosophy is simple: it is about delivering impeccable dining experiences. 

It was a typical cold and rainy winter day in Dublin as I arrived. From my hotel, it was a casual 2 km (1 mile) walk from my hotel to the restaurant. After dressing in the proper attire, and began my causal walk, I passed by the St. Stephens Green Park and the Huguenot Cemetery from 1693. Though the cemetery was small it had reminded me of the Huguenot memorial I had seen a week before in Franschhoek, South Africa. When I arrived at the Restaurant the Maître d confirmed my reservation, took my jacket, and then escorted me to the lounge where I could enjoy an apéritif, and review the menu.

The service staff was dressed in tuxedos, with both Captain or main server and back waiter assistant. A gentleman approached and took my drink order, as well as presented me with the menus. The restaurant offered assorted à la carte options from two to four courses and a four or eight-course degustation menu. Their wine list was one of the most impressive that I have seen in a restaurant since dining at The French Laundry in Napa Valley, consisting of over 25,000 worldwide selections. As I reviewed the menu selections, the Captain waiter on more than one occasion would push the 8-course degustation menu. I understood mentioning it once, but in a fifteen minute period bringing it up three times, with the third time being almost rude about it, was not selling me on that menu, but irritating me. I made my selection of the four-course à la carte with appetizer, meat, fish, and dessert selection. The funny thing is that I was ready to choose the 8-course if it weren’t for the waiter arrogantly trying to push it on me. I was escorted into the dining room and seated at my table.

Dining room

The dining room was extremely elegant, plush, with tables set for fine dining service, and all china labeled with the restaurants signature. My wine selection for the evening was presented by the Sommelier, which was a 2008 Château Soleil Promesse Puisseguin St Emilion. The winemaker notes that the red-berry fruit aromas and floral nuances extend to the smooth texture on the palate, and soft, silky tannins. As they age, Merlot wines develop leather, moss, or meaty aromas, as well as toasty nuances. This was a very soft Merlot that I thought would pair perfectly with the beef and fish dishes that I would be having. The bread was presented, freshly made consisting of a baguette and a bacon onion roll.
Bread starter

The amuse course was four round potato foams perfumed with a vanilla Mimolette cheese, which was a very nice treat since the FDA in the United States has banned Mimolette cheese, so we can’t enjoy it like the rest of the world does.
The amuse course

The appetizer course consisted of two potato croquettes of suckling pig, one topped with a fried quail egg, and the second topped with foie gras accompanied on a garnie of four red pepper mostardos and pancetta.

Croquettes of suckling pig

At this time the Proprietor, Mr. Patrick Guilbaud came by the table to greet me, chatted for a few moments, then continued to the other tables in the restaurant. My next course, the fish was a poached blue lobster fished off the coast of the Irish City of Annagassan with South American sweet tonka beans and a lobster jus. The plate presentation was the most outstanding of the entire meal.

Poached blue lobster

The next course was a fillet of ICSA certified Irish beef topped with fried potato, foie gras, Madeira wine, and a truffle jus, cooked to a perfect medium-rare. The meat cuts with pure ease of the knife and each mouthwatering bite was pure pleasure and brought sadness when finished.

Irish beef dish

I was now about a good hour and a half into my tasting, enjoying every bit of the experience, when the first of two desserts were presented. The first being a coconut and tapioca jelly with diced pineapple shards, and pineapple foam served in a small digestif glass, which was a wonderful palate cleanser ridding me of the beef flavor, in preparation for the main dessert course.

Wine regulatory’s for the tastings in this article:


The main dessert course was a contemporary dark Valrhona chocolate tart, with the geometric edges garnish with gold dust, topped with a bourbon vanilla ice cream. The chocolate was a strong flavor with slight bitterness, but the bourbon flavor in the ice cream cut through that bitterness perfectly.

Chocolate Tart

I enjoyed some coffee as the petit fours were presented consisting of separate treats from a mandarin jelly perfumed with winter spice, canelé, a lemon financier with meringue, coconut and lime lollipop, and a caramel tartlet. As I got ready to leave I was also presented with two chocolate and caramel truffles. The coffee would continue to keep me warm on the cold walk back to my hotel. 
Petit fours
Please see these guidelines for Tipping in Restaurants and on following proper etiquette, customs, cultures, and avoiding assumptions when you dine out.

Other Noteworthy French and Irish Articles & Restaurants:
O’Brein’s Irish Pub Convivial sports bar with Irish pub grub in Brandon, Florida
O’Maddy’s Bar and Grille Waterfront American Eats and drinks in Gulfport, Florida
Aria Restaurant Modern Australian haute cuisine in Sydney, Australia
Bistrot La Minette Charming French Bistro with movie filmed terrace in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
BLT Restaurants Swanky French-American Steakhouse chain (now called Laurent Torendal)
Bordeaux - A Sip and Taste Wine tours and restaurants in Bordeaux, France 
Chef Bernard Loiseau Is Michelin at fault?
Fleur de Lys Lavish French-Californian by Hubert Keller in San Francisco, California
HobNob Restaurant French & Canadian cuisine at The Charles Hotel, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada
La Colombe Country-style local ingredients w/French flair in Cape Town, South Africa
La Cote Basque Winehouse French & continental cuisine in Gulfport, Florida
La Petite Maison Relaxed French-Italian Restaurant at the DFIC in Dubai, UAE
La TABLE de Joël Robuchon Haute French Restaurant in Paris, France (now L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon)
Le Grand Chancelier Countryside French Bistro in Cheverny, Loire Valley, France
Restaurant Le Gabriel Haute Gastronomique French restaurant & bistro in Bordeaux, France
Rostang, The French Brasserie Contemporary Parisian cuisine at Atlantis in Dubai, UAE
Slightly North of Broad (S.N.O.B) Bistro w/Southern & Lowcountry cuisine in Charleston, S. Carolina
Tetsuya’s Eclectic French-Asian Tasting Menu restaurant in Sydney, Australia
The Brasserie at the Café de Paris A Parisian style bistro rendez-vous in Monte-Carlo, Monaco
The Dutch Kitchen Buffet of Dutch and French cuisine at the Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam 
The French Laundry French-American fine dining restaurant in Yountville, California
The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français African-French tasting menu in Franschhoek, SA
The Test Kitchen Modern eclectic and Nouvelle Latin cuisine in Cape Town, South Africa

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary

Eclectic Irish cuisine 
Dublin, Ireland
(Now Called The Coburg Brasserie)
Seasonal Irish with modern French gastronomic dining
Dublin, Ireland
A top 20 on Wine Dine and Play
Irish Bistro at the Guinness Storehouse 
Dublin, Ireland

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary by country

Final notes, review basics, observations and more pictures:

Most reviews are subjective, depending on the writer; but they should also be responsible, and respectfully written, upholding the truth, and accurately conveying the experience to the best of the writer's knowledge, even if it includes metaphors the restaurant may not like to read about. My ratings are by the stars I award (from 0 to 5). The rating is calculated on a point accumulation of six separate factors based on individual experience. They include wine and other beverage selections, plate presentation, customer service, restaurant or café ambiance, food quality, and wow factor. To see more details of this rating list, read this article:

Overall from this experience and the score factors outlined in the ‘about page’ section, based on my individual experience and rating, I give Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud a 5 out of 5 stars, meaning that they not only exceeded my expectations and were far above the average dining experience of most restaurants, but they surpassed outstanding and were extraordinary.
Scores are detailed in the factor chart below:

Formula Factor Conclusions and Overall Ratings
Max Points Possible:
Total Points Awarded:
Total Points deducted:
Food quality
Plate presentation
Customer service
Alcohol and other beverages
Total regular points awarded
Total percentage Before Bonus


“Wow” factor BONUS
Total bonus percentage


Total percentage with a bonus for the final star rating


Stars Awarded (see chart below)
             0 - 5

**A full break down and explanation of the observations and point disbursement is available in the linked article above. To receive a detailed copy of your score, feel free to contact me at any time and I will provide it to you.**


Overall Star Rating:
5 of 5 Stars: 
95% Rating with a 2 point “wow” bonus
An Extraordinary Dining Experience
Wine List:
Wine rating:
10 of 10
Old World selections: 
Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Israel, Portugal, Sicily, Spain

New World selections: 
Argentina, Australia, California, Canada, Chile, India, Jordan, New York, New Zealand, Oregon, South Africa, Washington State
Corkage fee’s:
This Restaurant does not list any corkage fee’s however, most American restaurants charge 
$25.00 per bottle
Restaurant style:
Formal dining
Cuisine style:
French, Haute, Irish
Allergen or dietary accommodations: 
Farm to Fork, Gluten Free, Grass Fed, Low Carb, Organic, Pescatarian, Sustainable, Vegetarian Options
Not accepted
Dress code:
Formal attire
Gentleman – Dress Coats, Dinner Jackets, or Smart Business Attire
  Ladies – Semi Formals, Cocktail Dresses, or Formal Gowns
Child policy:

The Restaurants reviewed on this site may have a kids menu or cater to them; however, for full enjoyment of food and wine, it is recommended that kids not to be in attendance, unless they have been trained in proper etiquette. 
If not then:
Hire a Babysitter! 
Place for foodies, Contemporary, Lounge, Hotspot, Great bar, Good for special occasions, Beautiful décor, Intimate, Classy, Upscale, and a Neighborhood Gem.
Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Valet or Street meter parking

The restaurants reviewed on this site may have Wi-Fi, but do not require you to go online, because the excitement of the food and wine alone will keep you too entertained instead of checking your social media and emails.
Noise level:
Nonsmoking restaurant
Patio or terrace:

Food Prices 
(excludes, alcohol, taxes & 20% gratuity’s)

$£€¥ -                Under 50.00 (inexpensive)
$£€¥ x 2 -          51.00- 99.00 (moderate)
$£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 (pricey)
$£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 (expensive)
$£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 (very expensive)

**Currencies reflect the world’s major travelers, restaurant, or wine connoisseur’s**

European Union (EUR)
United States Dollar (USD)
Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
Canadian Dollar (CAN)
Chinese Yuan (CNY)  
European Union (EUR)

Alcohol prices:

-Appetizer + Fish or Meat                     €90
-Appetizer + Fish or Meat + Dessert     €105
-Appetizer + Fish + Meat + Dessert      €130
-4 Course Degustation Menu                 €90
 (Available Tues - Fri only)
-8 Course Degustation Menu €180

Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud:

Merrion Hotel
21 Upper Merrion St
Dublin 2

Contact Information: 
Restaurant website:
Maître d or host:
+353 1 676 4192
Online reservations
Email Contact:
Serving hours:
Greenwich Mean Time or
Ireland Summer Time
(GMT, Zulu, or UTC - BST Offset 0:00)

Lunch: Mon-Sun
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Dinner: Mon-Sun
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Social Media 
Facebook link                

The worlds best restaurants is a subjective list of who is writing it and changes on a regular basis. The Wine Dine and Play best experiences are based on my highest rated stared restaurants, meaning that the visit was an outstanding or extraordinary experience. From cafés, chains, mom + pops, hole in the walls, to fine dining including a few Michelin spots. Visit the Top 100 page to see the entire list.

A few to tease you with…

Fine Indian and Pakistani Cuisine at the Burj Khalifa
Armani Hotel, Dubai, UAE
Fine dining Italian classics 
Niagara, Canada
Contemporary Japanese restaurant, sushi, & cocktail mixology
DIFC, Dubai, UAE

Other Pictures:

The RPG lounge

Butter with the bread course
Coconut and tapioca jelly
Kitchen tour with chef Guillaume Lebrun

“Culinary perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, 
But in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”

-Angelique Arnauld (1591-1661)

Who is John Galt?


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