The WSJ's Ray Sokolov reports on his recent visit to high end Dublin restaurants. He enjoyed The Tea Room in Bono's hotel, with its reinterpretation of Irish classics like ham hock.
He likes Guilbaud. He found the $57 lunch to be an exceptional bargain, with pigeon, black pudding, croquette of suckling pig, or chicken crayfish quenelles with curry, etc. With round trip fares to Dublin from NY in December and January as low as $551, it could be worth a trip.
Wicklow lamb and Irish farm rabbit are justly celebrated and appear routinely on menus hereabouts. The Guilbaud preparations bore only tangential connections with the way these meats normally look on a plate. The lamb was a black rectangle, evenly scarlet within and delicious; the rabbit was a yummy boneless cylinder. Here again, the chef offered us the quintessence of the basic meat source, explored its fullest potential and took it as far as possible in a pure visual direction. Was $80 a fair price for such sensually exhilarating if ephemeral artistry? Consider that a single ticket to a Dallas Cowboys home game can easily run $400 online.
He finds the service and timing at Thornton's to be a challenge, with 50 minute breaks in service, customers walking out in frustration, etc. However, he loved the food and the prices.