It’s approaching that time of year again where students, parents and teachers alike are waiting with bated breath for Leaving Cert results and offers of college places. Whether you happen to be awaiting this news or have another special occasion that deserves to be marked, a meal in any of these restaurants will ensure it is a celebration to remember. Champagne is optional but highly recommended.
The Wild Goose Grill, Ranelagh
There is something wonderfully old school about The Wild Goose Grill above McSorley’s pub in Ranelagh. The starched linens, the classic decor and the general atmosphere evoke memories of dining rooms of another era when Sundays were all about lunch, not brunch. The ‘early goose’ menu is excellent value at €29.95 and many of the dishes on the menu wreak of nostalgia in a positive way. Kilkeel crab, saddle of rabbit and roasted rack of Wicklow lamb all make an appearance along with a generous cheeseboard, perfect to finish the celebrations in style. www.thewildgoosegrill.ie
Glas, Chatham Street, Dublin 2
Vegetarian and plant based fine dining can be rare to unearth in Dublin but Glas restaurant plans to change this. Jerusalem artichoke croquettas or courgette carpaccio will keep vegetarians and meat eaters alike happy, and for mains, options include charred runner bean with sweetcorn succotash, tequila & chipotle jam and smoked almond cracker or white asparagus with elderflower cucumber, charcoal potato croquettes with egg yolk sauce. Vegetarian food of this calibre is reminiscent of Dennis Cotters Café Paradiso in Cork and is wonderful to see – the fact that its vegetarian or plant based really is incidental. This is just excellent food, plain and simple. www.glasrestaurant.ie
China Sichuan, Sandyford
Due to reopen this month for indoor dining, China Sichuan currently has five tables available on their much sought after terrace. If you manage to snag a booking for one of these coveted tables, you will be rewarded with stunning dishes such as spicy “man and wife” beef slices or the ever enduring bon bon chicken. For main course, the fish fragrance shredded pork with hot ginger and garlic is always a success and indeed the beef with black pepper and merlot never disappoints. The dining room is bright and airy and the cocktails turn any occasion into a celebration. www.china-sichuan.ie
I Monelli, Portobello
Celebrating with food is as old as time, and nobody does it better than the Italians. Located in the heart of Portobello, I Monelli is something of an institution. This is old world Italian dining at its best. Starters such as vitello tonnato and arancini with tomato sauce are popular and there is a good selection of pasta dishes to follow. Mains include monkfish in a poppy seed crust or the trattoria staple, melanzane alla parmigiana. For dessert there is ice cream, cannolo, tiramisu and an Italian cheese board. www.imonelli.ie
Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, The Merrion Hotel
Quite possibly the pinnacle of fine dining in Ireland, Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud is a very special place to mark an achievement or a celebration. As a child, I was consumed with envy when my parents announced their intention to dine at Guilbauds while I was dropped off to my grandmothers with a greasy bag of McDonalds. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated the novelty of being allowed McDonalds but I knew deep down that they were getting the better deal. Today, as grown up as I am, I still feel envious of those who visit Guilbauds. Yes, it’s an extravagance but if the last year has taught us anything it’s to enjoy the excellent food and to drink the fine wine. At least that has been my take away and I can think of no better place to do it. restaurantpatrickguilbaud.ie
Main featured image: The dining room at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud
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