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AA rating

About this rating

Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

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Outstanding French cooking at the pre-eminent Dublin address

AA Inspector

At a glance

Vegetarian menu
Tasting menu
Private dining
Wines by the glass
Wheelchair access
Credit cards accepted

Paris-born Monsieur Guilbaud's mission to serve up haute cuisine in the city began back in 1981 at a different address, but the luxe Merrion Hotel – an elegant Georgian townhouse – has been home to this bastion of the Dublin fine dining scene since the late 1990s. Now that’s what you call staying power, and more remarkable still is that the winning team of Patrick and his head chef, Guillaume Lebrun, have been at the helm since day one. Restaurant manager Stéphane Robin has been here since 1986. This dedication and consistency is reflected in every element of this business, from the supply lines bringing the country's best produce to the doorstep, the professionalism and charm of the service, and the pin-sharp contemporary French cooking on offer. There's nothing stuffy about the place, with a bright, contemporary finish that combines colourful artworks with soothingly neutral tones, a vibrant carpet which is a work of art itself, and it’s all kept ticking over smoothly by a switched-on service team who know their onions. French culinary traditions lie at the heart of the menu, but this is modern stuff, too, with creativity running through from top to bottom, and Irish produce getting a good turnout. The technical skill in the kitchen is evident from the off, with dishes delivering interesting combinations, compelling flavours, and visual impact. Take a first-course dish of suckling pig croquettes, for example, which comes with fried quail's egg, foie gras and red pepper mostarda, or another where blue lobster ravioli arrives in a coconut-scented lobster cream with toasted almonds and a split curry dressing. The thrills, technical virtuosity and pretty-looking plates continue into main courses, with the likes of lacquered Challand duck brought into focus with a supporting cast of orange miso, iodized pink onions and toasted buckwheat, or the solidly classical inspiration that serves fillet of Irish beef and roast foie gras with Madeira and truffle jus. The kitchen brings the same thoughtful approach and pin-sharp skills to fish dishes – perhaps Atlantic turbot served meunière style alongside spelt, sunflower seeds, and celeriac, all pointed up with an astringent sauce of Arbois vin jaune. Ingredients are impeccable every step of the way through to dessert, which might be a suitably Gallic Grand Marnier soufflé, or an indulgent plate of Guanaja chocolate and peanut parfait with popcorn ice cream and salted caramel. The wine list covers the whole world while ensuring that France stays centre stage.

Also at this location

Opening hours

  • Closed: 25 December, 1st week in January
  • Days closed: Sunday to Monday
  • Lunch served from: 12.30
  • Lunch served until: 2.15
  • Dinner served from: 7.30
  • Dinner served until: 10.15

Chef

  • Chef: Guillaume Lebrun

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: Modern French
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Wines over £30: 1200
  • Wines by the glass: 20

Price guide

  • Tasting menu from120
  • Credit cards accepted

Accessibility

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Accessible toilets
  • Assist dogs welcome

Facilities

  • Seats: 80
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 25
  • Off-site parking available: Merrion Square

Additional information

  • Seats: 80
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 25

Getting here

Opposite government buildings, next to Merrion Hotel

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Nearest train station

Pearse Street
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