Fast becoming one of the hottest spots in Dublin, L’Gueuleton is the restaurant à la mode. Certainly, it’s up there with the best, and what makes it so superior is that unlike the majority of Dublin’s most established eateries, it doesn’t try: it is a French restaurant that serves simple, well executed dishes inspired by provençal cuisine.
|Address||No1 Fade Street (just off George’s Street)|
|Phone||((01) 675 3708|
Fast becoming one of the hottest spots in Dublin, L’Gueuleton is the restaurant à la mode. Certainly, it’s up there with the best, and what makes it so superior is that unlike the majority of Dublin’s most established eateries, it doesn’t try: it is a French restaurant that serves simple, well executed dishes inspired by provençal cuisine. It is its simplicity
that makes it so glorious – from the décor to the dishes; it never tries to be too clever, and accordingly the focus is on the most important part: the gueuleton
(nosh up), which is by all means exceptional.
Décor-wise, it is what you could call bistro-chic. The red and white stripped awning outside give it that French feel, as do the blackboard menus and closely set wooden tables and chairs. For dinner,
low lighting and tea lamps scattered among the tables set the mood.
Walking past you might not even notice that such an enterprise existed if it wasn’t for the enormous queue snaking around the block. This is because
L’Gueuleton employs a no booking
policy, meaning that in order to get a table you have to come at 6 o’clock and put your name and number on a list with your preferred time of dining. Then, depending on when the tables become
free, you get a call. Invariably, this means that you cannot ensure exactly what time you will get a table, but it does mean that if you queue early enough you will always get one. And it is definitely worth the wait.
The menu boasts a varied selection
of both rustic and more polished French dishes, teamed with a well chosen,
if rather pricey, wine list. To start, I chose French onion soup, a classic, but definitely not one for a first date, or indeed, a second, third, or thirtieth. In fact, not even marriage could really excuse
what happens once that spoon unknowingly
delves into the bowl of sweet oniony delight, discovers a plateau of gruyere-soaked crouton and naively tries to transfer it to one’s mouth. There is no fathomable way to bring spoon to mouth without cheese being strung around everything and everybody in reaching distance. (In fact, the only way to maintain that your fellow diner does not desert you for a less embarrassing dining companion is if they turn away whilst you attempt to strategically stuff the entire stringy content of your bowl in one greedy mouthful.) Or you could opt for the warm wood pigeon salad with poached pears and toasted almonds- a far more sociable, and equally delicious choice. Both starters were without fault, the former big enough to have just as a main whereas the latter was a perfect and subtle introduction into our delectable
For the main course, I chose steak and chips. Already a match made in heaven, but once it is teamed with a béarnaise sauce and caramelised onion relish, it transcends to a whole other level. Otherworldly
you might say, and arguably the best steak and chips this side of Paris.
We also had a grilled hake fillet with pinto beans, chorizo and baby spinach which was by all means a success- although
the chorizo slightly overpowered
the delicateness of the fish, which was cooked to perfection. The beans were the perfect accompaniment, helping
to balance the dish and exonerate any real complaints. To drink, we chose a Beaujolais blanc to start that was light, dry and exceptionally good, followed by a bottle of Simon Joseph, a more tannic carignan from Languedoc.
The dessert menu is relatively short, but by all means complete. Feeling rather
rotund by this point, we went for what seemed like the lightest option- the crème caramel with biscotti and apricot vodka compote. The biscotti verge on life-changing thanks to the combination of cherries, grapes and pistachio nuts, whereas the crème caramel was good but needed to be a tad sweeter.
On the whole, I can not really fault a single thing- the service was efficient and the food consistently excellent. And due to popular demand, the restaurant has now doubled in size, ensuring that there will always be space to indulge any insatiable appetites. Furthermore, the newly established bar next door, rather conspicuously called “the bar with no name”, is quite possibly the best bar in Dublin with stripped wooden floors dotted
with sofas. Why go anywhere else? Jo Monk