Photo courtesy of The Doyle Collection
Glasses emptied, off we set across the lobby from the bar to Wilde The Restaurant for dinner. The room is calm and elegant with art-deco style chairs, white linen tablecloths, gleaming glassware and napkins the size of a small child - handy for the more accident-prone amongst us.
We were presented with a small but comprehensive set menu - and some "try this and I'll try that and we can share" trading began.
Bread, water and wine all arrived very promptly and then we were presented with an amuse bouche : a shot of gazpacho (pepper-free... yay!) with a crouton of some very garlicky bread. Some of the girls were a bit dubious but mine vanished in the blink of an eye.
Most of us opted for the Crab & Dublin Bay Prawn Cocktail to start. The presentation was lovely - beautifully trimmed lime wedges, mini bottles of Tabasco (I didn't bring mine home as a souvenir, but I know who did...) and a very generous amount of very fresh crab and prawns with some micro greens and a dill & mascarpone sauce.
I had Fillet Steak with Portobello Mushroom for my main - most of the girls ordered the Silver Hake. My steak was perfectly cooked and I'd love to know what they do to the mushrooms because they taste amazing. It also came with a little silver basket of chips. That's right, MY steak came with chips for me. This didn't compute with the fish ladies who promptly circled the chips and stole most of them. The poor waiter noticed what was happening and brought more to feed the hungry vultures. Kind man.
Once the plates had been cleared, the table hoovers emerged and the white linen was restored to a state of near perfection... apart from the Tabasco souvenir keeper to my left who had managed to fingerpaint the tablecloth with some pesto from the bread.
And it was time for dessert. I had ordered the Sable Biscuit Tower with Raspberries & Vanilla Cheesecake and Raspberry Sorbet, as had my fellow Birthday Girl. Our desserts arrived on hand-painted plates with lots of pomp and ceremony, and a glass of champagne. A really thoughtful touch and really appreciated. Mind you, I do believe that my sable biscuits are better than Wilde's...
Our birthday meal was truly special and one of the main reasons was the staff. They knew what we needed before the thought had even entered our heads - and that's a sign of fantastic training and attention to detail. The food was excellent - well presented and beautifully cooked and the prices were very reasonable for a restaurant of such calibre. We were all very impressed and I think we'll be back for a return visit before long.