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“Very disappointing, not Michelin Star standard.”
Review of L'Ecrivain

L'Ecrivain
Ranked #218 of 2,558 Restaurants in Dublin
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: French, European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Full Bar, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
117 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Very disappointing, not Michelin Star standard.”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

My husband and I ate here last Friday night, having made the reservation 4 months ago. It was a special occasion, so we were really looking forward to it, but unfortunately we were left a little disappointed by both the food and service.
We started off the evening with a drink in the bar which was lovely, the bar man was charming, and it was nice to listen to the pianist as we looked through the menu. We were then brought upstairs to our table. We were seated on the mezzanine level, which I much prefer to the main room; however our table was seated right beside the area where the waiting staff came to get menus and cutlery, so we felt a bit disturbed by this, as cutlery was dropped a few times. I guess even when you book four months in advance it doesn’t guarantee one of the better tables! However, the restaurant wasn’t full on this Friday night. When we sat down we had to wait a few minutes for menus to be brought to us again and our order to be taken. Now while this isn’t a huge problem as we didn’t want to be rushed and were quite happy to take our time, but we actually felt that they may have forgotten about us as it took so long. We had also already ordered our wine in the bar and were told that it would be ready for us when we got to our table. Our waitress was lovely, very friendly and checked on us plenty throughout the meal, without being overbearing.
The food was good, but definitely not as good as expected. This was our first time in a 1 star restaurant, having eaten in 2 star Patrick Guilbauds recently. I didn’t expect there to be such a huge difference between 1 & 2 star restaurants. I also felt that I have eaten in other un-starred restaurants much better than l’Ecrivain (e.g. James St. South in Belfast, or Volt in Berlin).
The breads provided were delicious, no complaints there. While the menu sounded delicious, the food didn’t live up to it. My husband had hake to start which was beautifully cooked, but totally overpowered with the over pickled olive tapenade. I had the pigeon, which was cold (well room temp maybe) and came with a quails egg that was cold too. I couldn’t eat the cold stringy skin on the pigeon breast either. However the hazelnut puree was absolutely delicious. Maybe the dish was supposed to be cold, but I would have preferred it warm at least, maybe I should have asked our waitress. There was also a bit of confusion with the waiting staff as they brought us another tables mains by mistake at first. They apologised and there was no harm done, but not exactly Michelin star service.
For mains I had the nicest piece of monkfish I’ve ever tasted, beautifully cooked, however I didn’t enjoy the other things it came with, and didn’t eat them as everything was overpowered by a very tangy, vinegary mayonnaise like puree. My husband had lamb, which itself was delicious, but the accompanying things were just too bland (parsnip puree) or overpowering.
We decided to go for dessert which was by far the least impressive dish. I went with coconut meringue and exotic fruit. It was ok, the meringue was nicely flavoured with coconut, but the cream was too thick for my taste and the fruit and jelly just didn’t have enough flavour. My husband had his favourite, lemon tart which was too bitter.
The highlight of the meal, was the sorbet between starter and main. It was lime, cucumber and chili flavoured and it was so good! In fact a bowl of that for dessert would have been perfect!
The wine we chose was from the more affordable sommelier selection, but it was a very good wine. So even though the wines start at around €40 a bottle, I think you can be guaranteed that they are all good wines. Portions are also quite generous, especially the starters.
We were a little surprised that 12.5% service charge was automatically added, and we felt a little awkward when paying as the lady (maybe the sommelier, as she took our wine order) who brought us the card machine didn’t ask us how our meal was, and said nothing and just stood in silence as we paid!
Something tells me that this isn’t normal for l’Ecrivain though, so maybe in a year or so, I’ll give it another go, and hopefully I’ll be impressed next time.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
5 Thank Flossykins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Limerick, Ireland
Level Contributor
24 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Out of this world!”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

my partner and I ate here last weekend to mark a special occasion. However, this experience turned out to be the special occasion! As we were on a blowout, we opted for the 10 course tasting menu, with accompanying wines. What can I say, it was incredible. The welcome, the unprentiousness of it (considering its michellin star status!) but above all else, the food and the staff were faultless.
It was quite simply the best dining experience we have ever had, and one which although expensive, was well worth it, as this was more than just a meal. it was an experience from start to finish that we wont forget for a long time. Thank you to all the team there.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank michael81_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lloret de Mar
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Excellent food”
Reviewed April 7, 2013

We had the tasting menu without the selected wine as my wife doesn't drink red. We had a Pinot Gris Resérve, Alsace France and a Redstone Shiraz, Australia which were excellent. The food was really good especially the Foie Gras which was just melt in the mouth.
The staff were very friendly and easy to converse with.
The only thing that let it down was the white wine was kept away from the table and had to ask to be topped up a couple of times. The restaurant was quite full and the meal took 3 hours to complete which is a bit long but it wouldn't put me off going again.
If you can afford to treat yourself i highly recommend it above other Michelin star restaurents i've been to in Dublin.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Paul R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
166 reviews
106 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“You Are On Their Time...Not Yours”
Reviewed April 5, 2013

Michelin Stared, generally very good; but at this level I expect excellence, not just very good (some may think this is overly critical). My main criticism is that they are really running on their time, not yours; so there is a lack of responsiveness as they suit themselves rather than you.

Instances of what I mean: (i) we arrived about 10 mins early, and stood there for about 5 mins, greeter was on the phone, did not seem to notice us for a good while, then did but did not clear off the phone (sounded more personal than business), tho' then gracefully apologised when she did; (ii) main course took an age, looking around the room, it was clear they were clearing a round of starters before they started a round of mains (we were first to get starter, so we waited longest), (iii) asked for coffee/tea with dessert and request was ignored (they decided that it would be coming after dessert), (iv) bill took forever to come (asked server who told Maitre) but he was floating around not really doing anything, took his time to deliver it and to come back (he seemed to me to be particularly inattentive and unfocussed, was not monitoring the room and his role was unclear). So, this is short of what I would expect at this level.

Positives: the food was generally good (but my late main, monkfish was overcooked or left under heat for too long, had turned tough). Entry level waiting staff was generally very good, topping up classes and clearing table. Most of the staff was very cheery and relaxed; genuinely good welcome. The room is now very nice (remodelled from years ago and much improved). Good wine list, not too unmercifully priced.

Starters around 20, and Mains 40ish; 12.5% added to bill. This is a very good restaurant; I just think several aspects of the offering need to be sharpened, to give michelin starred servie.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank mukdennnis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
Reviewed April 2, 2013

Myself and my husband paid 50EUR for a 100EUR voucher for L’Ecrivain which could only be used on a Mon-Wed. We decided to try the tasting menu with accompanying wines for 140EUR each. It was our first Michelin star restaurant experience so we were very excited. We recently had dinner in ‘Le Citron’ in the Fitzwilliam hotel and we were expecting L'Ecrivain to easily beat it because of the Michelin star and pricing of its food, however we were really disappointed.

The restaurant itself is lovely and the staff are fantastic, it was much more relaxed than what we were expecting which was great. Unfortunately the food and wine was a huge disappointment overall.

On a positive note the bread to start was divine and the prosecco was really light and refreshing.

The amuse bouche was made up of three plates , firstly an onion crisp which I liked but my husband couldn't eat as he said it tasted burnt, there was also smoked salmon which was nice and a fatty rabbit meat with overcooked shriveled peas which were really not good.

The first course was scallops followed by monkfish which were both cooked really well and were tasty. The next course was Foie Gras which was just not to our taste, we both really did not like it but it was our first time to try it. This was followed by pigeon which was so undercooked it was bright red, I know this is the style of French restaurants to serve rare game but this was chewy and the flavour was not to our taste, the accompanying sauce included puréed apple which was just bland. Next was the beef which was a huge disappointment, it was tough and flavourless and really let the entire meal down. The dessert courses included carrot cake and coconut pavlova, both of which we were not impressed with. The carrot cake was overcooked and dry and the coconut pavlova was mediocre.

The Sommelier was very friendly and explained the wines in a lot of detail. She did ask what type of wines I liked and I told her I like dry whites and really do not like sweet yellow wines. The next wine she poured was a very straw colored yellow sweet wine and she actually said it may not be to my taste!! For 140EUR I felt they could try to accommodate my taste especially considering she asked! Out of all the wines we only really liked one red and didn’t think any of them particularly complimented the food. We have eaten previously in San Lorenzo’s on George Street and when the waiter recommended wines to suit what we had ordered we were blown away. The right wine can bring out the flavour of the food and change the taste considerably, so we were expecting the same in L’Ecrivain with the accompanying tasting wines, unfortunately it was not the case.

All in all we were really disappointed, we expected the food to be bursting with flavor and the meat & fish to be high quality and melt in your mouth. The presentation and the service were excellent but the flavor and quality of the food and wine was just disappointing.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank Dianeod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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