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“An enjoyable evening” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Chapter One

Chapter One
18-19 Parnell Sq., Dublin, Ireland
01-873-22-66
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Ranked #17 of 1,795 restaurants in Dublin
Price range: $1 - $147
Cuisines: European, French, Irish, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert
Brussels, Belgium
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“An enjoyable evening”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013

I was expecting great things from this restaurant and mostly it achieved. I went to celebrate a special event. The food was excellent. I love dthe burnt onion broth. The waiter was the best I have ever had. But for some reason I left feeling a little disappointed. I think we were unlucky in that the crowd there that night were a bit boisterous and I just wanted a quiet dining experience. But I will try again and I repeat the waiter was the most polite, attentive, unobtrusive waiter I ever had. I made this known to the management, the first time I ever did so.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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765 reviews from our community

87% Recommend
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Amazing Meal!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013

On arrival we were brought to table by Martin who was extremely friendly and knowledgeable. We did feel a bit out of place at first as it was quite posh but were made to feel like the most important table in the restaurant and soon felt completely comfortable. The food was excellent. We had the pre theatre meal so was very good value for money. The mashed potatoes were the best I have ever eaten! We were even taken to have a look at the kitchen after our meal. This is expensive but definitely worth the money for a special occasion!!

Visited May 2013
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Dublin, Ireland
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Excellent pre Theatre dinner”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

I recently had American relations in town and decided to go to Chapter One for the pre-theatre dinner menu. I know I was lucky that tried to get a reservation on a Tuesday - as I don't think there is a snowballs chance in hell getting a table from Wednesday to weekend.

The food was excellent. The service was very good (a bit "in your face" but as have been there before I was not surprised) and dinner was very enjoyable.

Well worth the visit and I keep saying I will organise a table (WELL in advance) for my birthday.

The pre theatre menu also is excellent value and a memorable experience. The relations loved it !

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Dublin Ireland
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
“Food was close to flawless but ...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

I have eaten at Chapter One 5 maybe 6 times in the last 18 months ... sometimes for business, sometimes privately. On every occasion the kitchen has delivered, which after all is what one expects in a restaurants of this standard ... my grumble is (perhaps surprisingly in the context of other reviews) the service ... perhaps part of this is a question of my personal preferences, but some of it is not.

First let me repeat, the food is excellent ... creative, the best ingredients, well executed, beautifully presented. Lots of compliments and no complaints here.

Chapter One is expensive even by Dublin standards and taking into account what it is - if the restaurant was outside of Ireland I suspect competition would not allow them to sustain their pricing policy. The basic menus look reasonably priced but the extras hit hard.

The pre-dinner drinks are overpriced, the margin demanded on wine is higher than I have experienced in other equivalent establishments in Dublin - the extras add up and (even staying away from the tasting menu) it is not difficult to clock up €150 per person. If you push the boat out on wine, add cheese etc it is easy to exceed this.

The main issue we have is the service ... but given other reviews, this may be a question of personal taste. The sense we get is the service is mechanical for most and fawning for others - George Orwell springs to mind: some animals are more equal than others. We usually come away with the sense that the welcome, the interaction is strained and frankly insincere.

On a more quantitative point (which is fundamentally important in a restaurant with a kitchen delivering at a high level), the wait staff struggle to get their timing right. In our most recent visit, this was again evident in the fact that the wine service was consistently 5 minutes or so behind the arrival of the courses at the table. For us this is a serious fail, given how Chapter One positions itself.

Another example (which did not impact on us but suggests the problem is systematic) was when we observed a neighboring table of 4 being served their main courses just as 2 of the party stood up to go to the bathroom - the main courses therefore sat for at least 5 minutes - in a Michelin starred restaurant this level of service does not work (for us anyway).

There is no doubt that Chapter One has an excellent kitchen and is commercially very successful (it is always tough to get a table, other than the pre-theatre sitting), so I imagine there is no immediate business case to address the details. The problem is of course is the way to ensure a long and successful future is to by paying attention to the details ... fashions ebb and flow like the tides ... it would be a pity, were Chapter One slide backwards.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Too busy”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

Food was very nouveau, and whilst the staff tried to be friendly, they seemed to be too busy and rushing to actually stop for a moment and provide a quality experience. Too busy being pretentious I think as a restaurant. Save your money and get a better overall experience elsewhere.

Visited May 2013
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