What can I say here like so many before me have already said. I will attempt to give you an insight in to why Chapter One was so special for me. On Tuesday evening for my birthday Joanne took me to Chapter One for my first ever visit and first Michelin experience in Ireland. Tuesday was our 3rd attempt at finally going so I was so excited and to be honest a little nervous strangely. I say nervous because I wanted Chapter One to live up to my highest expectations, I wanted it to be exactly what everyone had told me and I had read. Reservations were for 7pm but we were a little early, 45 mins too early so having parked in Clery's Car Park we decided not to go for a drink but rather a pop in to Dr Quirkey's Amusement Arcade on O'Connell Street. Yes we are big kids really, I still think I am even though I am 1 year off my 30th birthday. Joanne played on her favourite 20 cent slots and I had a couple of games of "Who wants to be a millionaire", great fun altogether. Just before 7 we strolled up past the Gate Theatre and Garden of Remembrance arriving at Chapter One. We were greeted with the warmest welcome by the Maitre D for the even, who showed us to the bar area where we ordered a drink and perused the menu.
Our drinks order was taken by a lovely barman, this would be my only drink all night as I was driving so I went with an Albarino white wine and Joanne had a rosé. Happy days drinking lovely wine and knocking back the most yummiest olives ever dressed in a red wine vinegar, well I knocked all the olives back as Joanne hates them. Then all of a sudden Ross Lewis appeared from nowhere, I thought he was coming out just to greet guests etc and schmooze but to my utter amazement " Joanne how are you, Will happy birthday, would you like to come and have a look around the kitchen" my jaw dropped to the ground, this was mega! I mean come on its not often you get to meet someone you admire so much aswell getting to view their kitchen and also have a conversation with them. Ross showed us both around we had the chats and like a friend said to me today it was my equivalent of getting a tour of the cockpit. Ross is an extremely friendly guy and this set the evening up for something special. Still reeling somewhat from how cool it was to see the kitchen and how immaculate it was we were shown to our seats.
Having already decided on what we wanted we were able to order almost immediatly. As ever I will only detail my meal here so here is what I decided upon:
First Course: Creamed tapioca with Knockdrinna cheese, Irish peas and black garlic
I decided on this as a first course because of a few things really, I have never eaten tapioca or black garlic so I was intrigued by these ingredients. Also I loved the idea of the Knockdrinna cheese as its from literally a stone's throw away from our favourite place to stay in Stonyford, Lawcus House. This was a lovely first course, very risotto like and was so tasty. The black garlic gave the dish a finish of a sweet garlic flavor.
Second Course: Ravioli of 36 month aged Parmesan with braised celery, pickled new season celeriac and roasted garlic crumb
This dish was visually stunning, and also delivered on flavour, the ravioli was wonderful. I loved the crunch of the celeriac against the braised celery, agh! two dishes down and its been incredible so far.
Third Course: Rabbit stuffed with a light Parma ham farce, broad beans, wilted lettuce filled with rabbit liver parfait and smoked bacon cooked in yeast, toasted seeds.
I love rabbit and whenever I see it on a menu, I am going to get it. I have been eating rabbit since I was a child in my grandmother's house in the Netherlands. It's truly beautiful and this dish was gorgeous. So well conceived, and I especially loved the farce, oh and not forgetting the yummy rabbit liver parfait.
Dessert: Millefeuille of Arlette biscuits with black sugar mousse, crushed raspberries with elder-flower and espresso jelly
We are coming to the end and I picked a winner with this dessert. The Arlette biscuits were beautiful as was the mousse with the fabulous sharpness of the raspberries, the perfect way to end a fantastic meal.
That it was, a fantastic meal, everything from the moment we walked in the door till when we left, an exceptional experience. The staff are beyond nice, helpful and attentive, we came away so happy with Chapter One. It was an excellent birthday night so yet again like Le Gavroche I thank Joanne for making this such an excellent night, she knows me so well. Oh before I go I forgot to mention the breads, we had wholemeal, sourdough and brioche, all of which were marvelous.
Thanks alot for reading, if you ever get a chance to go to Chapter One grasp that chance.
PS: I forgot to mention I had an excellent coffee and some lovely chocolates and macaron.