The starters set the tone for the very good meal that followed. A light and refreshing salad of a tomato gel, gazpacho and mozzarella tasted like a field on summer's day, light, refreshing and aromatic, it was a truly excellent first course. A moreish dish of egg with peas, pea shoots and mushrooms was also delicious. The seasonality of the starters continued through the mains and the desserts.
The one thing that separates Guilbauds from most, nearly all in fact, other restaurants in Dublin is consistency. Sure they have a large brigade that helps them deliver and maintain this consistency, but that doesn't change the fact that when there are mistakes they are relatively small and never ruin a dish. On our main courses the pigeon would have benefited from being a bit pinker and the halibut may have been the very slightest bit over, but it did it only did a little to detract from the quality of the dishes. The pigeon served with cherries was a very elegant dish. The other main of halibut served with a sort of curried sauce was delicate and well balanced.
Desserts were visually impressive and technical, demonstrating great pasty work, but sadly perhaps a little style over substance. Strawberry tart with lovage ice cream looked like a ‘picnic on a plate’ with the ice-cream being the star, but the tart being a slight let down. "Cosmic apple", an array of apple in many forms was slightly muted on the palette, not delivering a refreshing tartness nor much sweetness, although the addition of pistachio added a nice different dimension to it.
The service was formal, but friendly and engaging, with the sommelier standing out for particular praise, passionately and knowledgeably recommending wines. For this standard of food and service the €55 3 course lunch is one of the best value meals in Dublin.
Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud is serving classical, but not outdated, elegant French food with seasonal Irish produce. Whilst restaurants continue to open in the city, many of them following trend or fashion, or looking for a niche, some will be edgier, more interesting or more progressive, some may even delight, but Guilbauds remains a stalwart and every city needs a restaurant like this. We are often asked to recommend a restaurant in Dublin and Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud is a restaurant we can suggest with confidence.