18/19 Parnell Square
Situated on Parnell Square North in Dublin City.
One of Ireland’s greatest restaurant success stories has to be Chapter One. It was a bit like the way famous movie stars describe themselves as being an “overnight success” after ten years hard slog in fringe theatres. When Ross Lewis and Martin Corbett first opened their restaurant in a basement under the Writers Museum on Parnell Square, many people told them they were out of their minds but they proved beyond all doubt that they knew what they were doing.
With Ross Lewis incredible food and Martin’s inimitable front of house welcome “It’s an honour to have you”, the great and the good were soon beating their way to Parnell Square and Chapter One was awarded a coveted Michelin Star. The thing too that makes Chapter One such a popular dining destination is that it is never overpowering or stuffy and offers very good value for the quality and style of food on offer. The cuisine is very much modern Irish fare with continental twists. They do an excellent value lunch menu Tuesday thru Friday with two courses being €30 and three courses being €37.50. The menu will include dishes such as celeriac remoulade and apple salad with spiced pork belly with a duck jelly; or black pudding and veal sweetbread boudin paired with saute queen scallops and a sauce soubice.
Every night they slow roast shoulder of lamb or maybe pork for the lunch menu, or maybe it might include braised veal breast, risotto Milanese. Desserts of course are elegant and the cheese selection ginormous. Starters on the Dinner ALC are suitably sophisticated and are priced around the €14/€22 mark – the upper price being for Atlantic lobster with potato salad, broad beans, and a vinaigrette of lemongrass, lime and mint. Langoustine and smoked bacon spring roll is with a red pepper Basquaise puree and basil whilst an organic egg is poached in red wine and served with Ferguson’s smoked bacon, watercress and stuffed morels.
ALC mains are around €35. John Dory is with crushed Jerusalem artichoke, Morteau sausage, poached shellfish, preserved lemon butter and tarragon emulsion; loin of rabbit is stuffed with veal and smoked bacon, served with cep puree and glazed carrots, shepherd’s pie of rabbit and polenta, and cep oil. Desserts at dinner include a stunning olive oil and nutmeg tart with dried banana, truffled honey ice cream and toffee sauce; molten apple fondant, Calvados sauce, cinnamon ice cream; and red wine poached pear with liqourice ice cream, sesame tuille with pear and lemon mousse, Arlette biscuit. The wine list at Chapter One, as one might expect, is a enormous and a serious affair but once again, there is something here for every pocket with wines available from €30. Being very close to both the Gate and Abbey Theatres, Chapter One do a legendary pre-Theatre menu at 6 p.m at €37.50 with the table being vacated at 7.45 p.m.