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.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.