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“A Little Taste of France”
Review of The French Paradox Wine Shop & Wine Bar

53, Shelbourne road | Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland
016604068
Website
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Ranked #119 of 1,752 restaurants in Dublin
Certificate of Excellence 2013
Price range: $18 - $264
Cuisines: French, Mediterranean, Wine Bar
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Restaurant details
Good for: Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Description: Ballsbridge���s The French Paradox is the stuff of food legend. Imagine this ��� you���ve popped in to buy a bottle of wine from the range of more than 150. Hang on a minute, they offer freshly baked bread too... and cigars, cheeses, oils. It���s enough to make your stomach gurgle with longing. And how on earth are you going to choose from those bottles, each one glinting at you cheekily? I suppose you could head for the tasting room and just try a little sip of wine and, seeing as your there, a dish or two from the amazing menu of French tapas-style dishes. A little charcuterie, a few cheeses, perhaps a larger salad or omelette now your stomach���s in the mood. Now, what was it you came out for again?
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81 reviews from our community

91% Recommend
    51
    23
    2
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    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
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Auckland Central, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A Little Taste of France”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013 via mobile

I met one of my friends here for a glass of wine and something to eat. Service was very good and the waiter's were very attentative. We ordered three different dishes which were perfect for sharing; the Mediterranean platter, froie gras (my favourite) and the smoked duck breast salad. We will absolutely be going back again.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
connecticut
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“super little place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

This restaurant has a real neighborhood feel and a fine wine list. My husband & I both ordered a starter and then shared a combination cheese/meat platter, the chicken liver pate was as light as a mousse.

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Galway, Ireland
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Oenophile's dream”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

I'd heard lots of great things about the FP from a fellow (hard-core!) wine lover and they're all true. Where to start?! First, I love that FP offers "miniature" 6.5cl tastings of all their wines-by-the-glass, so you can taste loads without having to order full bottles (thereby protecting both bank account and liver!) Not that we didn't try several full glasses -- to complement the vast meat plate and the tapenade/anchoiade "aperitif" platter, both of which were such a treat. The staff are lovely -- patient, informative, friendly, and rushed to find us extra stools so we could make ourselves comfortable at the bar. Really lovely evening: looking forward to going back.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Dublin
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“Limited food choices - great wine selection.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

Admission; I don't drink wine or eat cheese, ever. So, probably the wrong reviewer for this venue. There is only water or tea and coffee to choose from. This is not great. The next issue is the cheese. There are lots of options with cheese - not that many options don't have cheese as part of the dish. The duck was very nice but the options were very limited.

They seem proud not offer soft drinks - I'd stay clear of it until they include those of us who aren't interested in wine.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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PhAt56, Owner at The French Paradox Wine Shop & Wine Bar, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
Dear Sir,

At the first glance, your comments made us think that both you and us were the victim of a bad joke, similar to the one consisting bringing a vegetarian to a steak house or a meat-only-eater to a fish restaurant. But then, after discussing with our all team about your comments, we realised that even these specialised eateries in meat/fish always leave the door open to guest brought by mistake or open-mind and still offer, as we try to, alternative dishes/ drinks suitable, even in a limited range, to all tastes.
Our frustration is now to find an explanation to how could have we put you in the uncomfortable position to suffer your first experience in The French Paradox and not finding the food and drink that would be suitable to your taste.
This disappointment is compounded by the facts that, after 11 years in operation, including the very difficult last 5 ones for everybody in this country, we thought that, although our establishment was built around the type of drink (wine) and food (cured meat/cheese) that is thoroughly enjoyed on the continent, we succeeded in developing a menu where almost everybody would feel comfortable, to the exception of children (after 6.00pm).
Here are some examples:
- For the vegetarians, we prepare dishes like tapenades, caviar/purée of aubergines,
for the celiac, we always have a loaf of gluten-free bread,
- For the fish lovers, we have a couple of plates prepared with the best Irish salmons available (cold smoked, hot smoked, gravlax)
- The core part of our menu is a range of cured meats and pork pâtés produced in the Basque country
- For the teetotallers, still and sparkling waters are available together with complementary tap water that our guests now wittily call ‘Chateau Dodder’. A range of fruit juices and cordials made in Ireland have recently been tried, and one of the reasons of your feeling of limited drink offer is that we were last week waiting for the delivery of the juices. We also have available some cans of sodas (including the sugar-free option).
All the above points to the direction of a massive misunderstanding, perhaps aggravated by the fact that we are now training new members of our staff that might not have been able to comprehensively explain the menus to you.
We would not like to take too much more of your time, analysing what has obviously been a not convincing experience in our Wine bar, and we graciously thank you for your compliments on our floor staff.
We also thank you to have had the honesty to admit that The French Paradox might not have been the sort of venue you would naturally have chosen, and very much look forward to having a second chance to serve you, if our offering outside the range of wines and cheese is tempting you,

With our Kind Regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Love this place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

I have never eaten the food here but it is definitely on our to do list, but we have come here for some post dinner drinks on two occasions and really loved the place. The staff are very friendly and very knowledgeable about their wines which they had different choices of both times we went. It isn't cheap with the lowest price of a bottle of wine around the €30 mark but their selections are really nice and they allow you to sample some first before making a selection. On the last occasion a lovely French waiter offered some good advice on the French wines and having visited the area ourselves and some of the vineyards it was nice to speak to someone with a bit of knowledge. The place is calm and laid back and although quiet on both occasions it is a much nicer alternative to a pub with good comfortable seats and a nice quiet atmosphere to enjoy a long conversation. Looking forward to returning soon, next time to sample some of the food.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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