Our first courses were both beautiful to look at. A Salt Baked Beetroot with Smoked Almonds, Pine & Beetroot Curd was colourful and delicately presented in an almost playful fashion. This dish was a celebration of beetroot where everything on the plate worked to highlight its unique earthy sweetness. The rather sassy pink beetroot curd was made by whipping puréed beetroot with goat’s curd and was an innovative and delicious interpretation of that classic pairing. The unique qualities of this humble vegetable were revealed as the different flavours and textures came into play with each mouthful that we ate.
Moving on my Rabbit Terrine with Fermented Sweet & Sour Pear, Foie Gras Parfait & Pickled Mustard Seeds was another fantastic dish. Rabbit can be tricky to cook as it has a tendency to dry out and it turns grainy if even slightly overcooked. Presenting it as a terrine is always a sensible option as this is much less likely to happen. This terrine was excellent and packed full of the mild-tasting succulent rabbit meat where both the dots of foie gras parfait and the pear accentuated its underlying sweetness. Highly addictive pickled mustard seeds added texture and lent the dish a subtle piquancy.
My sweet tooth is legendary and I am well- known for my love of desserts and all things pastry. If I’m honest I am probably in the latter stages of a severe sugar-addiction so it is somewhat surprising that the thing that I loved most about both the desserts that we ate in Chapter One was their restrained sweetness. I was amazed how the flavours of individual ingredients shone through and how my mouth didn’t feel coated in sugar. The man responsible, Head Pastry Chef Darren Hogarty has a sensitive and thoughtful approach which comes across in the desserts that he creates.
|Dingle Gin Soup|
We decided to forego tea and coffee and after another G&T each, we wandered happily off into the night after our meal.
The food in Chapter One is meticulous in every aspect and it is obvious that a great deal of thought and planning has gone into each dish. Ross Lewis invites you, through the food that he cooks, to view Irish ingredients in new ways. This he does calmly and without the culinary fireworks that so many chefs rely on these days. There is something fundamentally reassuring about the food that he calmly and confidently produces and yet it still manages to feel exciting. I found this hugely appealing and can understand why Chapter One is considered one of the country’s top restaurants.
18-19 Parnell Square North
|Rhubarb & Rose|