“ 109 Baggot Street Lower, Dublin 2.Tel:+353-(0)1-661-1919 „
L'Ecrivain has held onto its Michelin star for this year, and rightly so. It's definitely one of the best dining experiences in Ireland.
The restaurant is to be found off a little courtyard on Baggot Street just south of the main part of the city centre. It has a small, well stocked bar where you can meet your friends before being shown to your table.
The restaurant itself is quite small, with limited seating available. Although it's fairly small, it isn't cramped in any way and you'd want to be really trying to be able to eavesdrop on the next tables - which I suspect is one of the reasons it's so popular with Dublin's film and media types. That and the food! There's also a balcony area where you can be seated if you're looking for real privacy
The Chef/Patron Derry Clarke is a wonderful chef, and his lovely wife is herself a vegetarian so vegetarian options are imaginative and well thought out. The emphasis is on local produce in season and cooked to perfection, with careful attention paid to presentation.
As you'd expect, a Michelin-starred restaurant isn't cheap, and if you order from the a la carte menu (from which you might get halibut with gnocchi and braised beef, or venison with pear fondant, red cabbage and celeriac puree) expect to pay around 40 euro for a main course or 20ish for a starter (Dublin Bay prawns, perhaps, or duck liver with spiced chutney). Having said that, you can get the three-course lunch menu for e25 - soup or salad, chicken or fish, and a delectable dark chocolate mousse. You should probably leave room for the cheese plate, which is a frankly astounding collection of the best of Ireland's cheeses.
The wine list is also excellent and not overpriced considering its quality. There's also normally someone on hand to help you make a choice if necessary.
The only downside to L'Ecrivain is its popularity - sometimes you're looking at a three-week or more window for advance booking, which makes it a bit frustrating when you want a bit of an impromptu celebration. Nonetheless, this is worth every penny you'll spend there and a must-visit if you can.
I think that this is one of the best restaurants in the country. The food is absolutely divine and the presentation is as good as you will see anywhere in the world.
I visited there recently and was so impressed that I will be having my family reunion there in 2008 d.v.
The Chef/Patron Derry Clarke is one of the most accomplished chefs I have ever met and I have no doubt that he would accomodate any requests you would desire.
One piece of advice is that you book at least 3 weeks in advance as it is extremely popular with the Dublin business and showbiz clientelle.
Guy Romeo DaSilva