The Greenhouse, Dublin, IrelandBack to Forum
Anonymous8 Dec 2015
December 2015, Our lunch
Every year we have a pre-Christmas lunch. This year we went to the 1 Michelin starred restaurant The Greenhouse in Dublin, lreland.
Reservations are only taken by calling or filling out a reservation form and sending or dropping it in.
Prior to our visit we were in e-mail contact with the restaurant. All emails were timely and friendly answered.
For December reservations a deposit of 30 Euro (ca. 32.85 USD) per person was charged at the time of booking, otherwise the deposit applies to groups of 5 or more guests. It is higher for dinner reservations.
Two days before our meal Agnes from the Greenhouse called to confirm we were going to have lunch with them.
The Greenhouse is located on Dawson Street in Dublin city center. It is opposite The Mansion House and the Celtic Whiskey Shop / Wines on the Green.
The chef, who won only this year the Michelin star for The Greenhouse, is Mickael Viljanen from Finland. During our meal he was present and came sometimes out to observe the dining room.
It was a rainy and very windy day, when we arrived on a Saturday in December, so we were a few minutes early, but it wasn’t a problem. Our coats and bag were taken and kept safe for us. We were then brought to our table, which was just the ideal location for us. On the one side private enough on the other side we could overlook the whole restaurant and part of the kitchen.
The design is contemporary and residential with innovative Christmas decoration.
Our fellow diners were a ladies group, businessmen and couples. The further the afternoon progressed the fuller it got, but it was never really loud.
The wine list and menu were brought to us and we were asked if we wanted to start with still or sparkling water.
A bottle of still Tipperary water arrived moments later. We were still studying the menu, when we were asked if we were ready to order. We took our time and the staff was attentive enough to realize we had made up our mind.
We ordered van Nahmen gourmet juices (one white peach, one Riesling grape and one rhubarb) and the three course set menu. There was also a five course tasting menu available.
Originally we had been advised a six course surprise menu would be served, so we had mentally prepared for not knowing what we would be eating beforehand.
The drinks were followed by an amuse-bouche of crackers with cream cheese. The morsels were delicious and served on an interesting plate. It looked like it was material used at a building site.
When removing the napkin from the bread plate we realized the plate wasn’t one colored, but featured a wintery tree.
For our appetizers a bread basket with sourdough baguette and Irish Glenilen butter was brought to our table. It was very delicious and the presentation was rustic, understated and elegant at the same time.
We started off with the Foie Gras Royale with apple, walnut, smoked eel and frozen Foie Gras and the Celeriac Veloute with scallop, truffles and chestnut. The Foie Gras was melt in the mouth and he loved it. My Veloute was creamy and moreish. I liked also the scallops.
We both had the Sika deer with Jerusalem artichoke puree and skin, blackberries, potatoes and delicious croquettes. He had the dish without mushrooms. The presentation was beautiful too and looked like artwork. According to my better half the dish is more 2 Michelin starred than 1.
The desserts included the passion fruit soufflé, white chocolate sauce and bitter sweet chocolate pave , brown butter ice cream and peanuts.
He ordered the Tokaji Aszu Eszencia from 1999 with his soufflé. The sommelier bought the bottle and had already filled the wine in a carafe, so that it could develop its flavor. The Tokaji looked like liquid gold and was a standout in every way.
When I said I wanted the Rhubarb juice with my dessert, the sommelier replied it was his favorite and that they had only recently started to work together with van Nahmen. Later when the Maître d delivered it, she also said it was her favorite and it turns out it’s mine too. The flavor is fruity, not very sweet, but crisp.
The desserts were outstanding too.
To round up the meal we had two Valrhona hot chocolates. Even this was unusual, because there are two flavors involved. One is local honey, the other sea salt and praline. It came delivered in a cup (honey) and the sea salt hot chocolate came in a small jug. I mixed them up, when I was nearly finished with the first cup. The combination was tasty too and it was definitely an indulgence.
With it came four very tiny madeleines, which were again beautifully presented and tasty.
Too soon (even if we had already spent two and a half hours in the restaurant) we had to ask for the bill and leave our cocoon to face the cold and the crowds outside again.
The bill came in at slightly under 195 Euro (ca. 212.20 USD) minus the deposit we had already paid.
We are still raving about the memories and can hardly wait to book again a table at the Greenhouse, so there is no doubt we will return and rather sooner than later.
Would we recommend this restaurant to a friend? YES!
Would we want to enjoy lunch / dinner again at this restaurant in our future? YES!8 Dec 2015
@icenspice, thanks for your compliments. Glad you enjoyed our review, The Greenhouse in Dublin comes highly recommended.
We love to fly, but so far we prefer to let the “pros” write flight reviews, equally we love to read flight reviews here on BT.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season. Cheers & Safe travels.8 Dec 2015
By coincidence Uggboy a friend of mine recently ate there and was telling me about it. His remarks echoed yours.
Best wishes for Christmas and carry on enjoying your gourmet travels!9 Dec 2015
@luganopirate, thanks for your wishes and compliments, it’s good to hear that a friend of yours enjoyed The Greenhouse. It’s a beautiful and memorable experience to enjoy lunch / dinner there.
Wishing you too a wonderful Christmas. Cheers & Safe travels.9 Dec 2015
March 2016, our 2nd lunch experience at this beautiful restaurant
On a weekend in March 2016 we had reserved a table at the Greenhouse, a 1* Michelin starred restaurant, the chef is Mickael Viljanen in the heart of Dublin for lunch. It was our second visit.
We were immediately recognized by the Maitre d’, some waiters and the sommelier.
Our table was nearly the same as in December 2015, but this time around we had better views into the kitchen.
The menu had a bit changed. We were pleased to see the Sika deer was still available.
Our drinks were a large bottle of still water, three van Nahmen juices, a glass of Tokaji Aszu Essencia and two praline and salted caramel Valhrona hot chocolates. The hot chocolate was served with Bailey’s honey cream, very decadent.
Our starters were the Royal Foie Gras with eel and Sashimi of charred mackerel with blood orange and beetroot. The mackerel was a colorful spring dish. Like during our first lunch the Foie Gras was excellent and there was no difference in standard.
The greeting from the chef was a goat’s cheese baguette. There was also a loaf of baguette and Glenillen butter, which was fantastic.
Our main courses were the Sika Deer loin with Rhubarb, bitter herbs and beetroot. Last time the ingredients were slightly different, but the quality of the dish was the same. We had chosen the three course meal for 36 Euro per person. There was an additional charge of 10 Euro for the deer, though.
Dessert was the passion fruit soufflé and the apple tart with caramel and ginger ice cream. The soufflé was as delicious as the first time, while the apple tart was new to us. The caramel was nicely sticky.
With our hot chocolate came two chocolate truffles.
Service was as always exemplary and the meal a delight.
The bill came in at slightly under 200 Euro (ca. 220 USD).
When we lingered a bit after paying, our glasses were refilled with tap water. We could have prolonged our lunch even longer if we had wanted to by getting more refills.
The Greenhouse comes highly recommended and we look forward to eat here again, as this restaurant combines service, setting and beautiful cuisine.
Would we recommend this restaurant to a friend? YES!
Would we want to have lunch/dinner at this restaurant in our future? YES!9 Mar 2016
April 2017, our lunch experiences
For my fiancé’s birthday in April 2017 we booked The Greenhouse – the chef Mickael Viljanen holds a Michelin star – for the third time in two years. Originally we had planned to go back in November last year. Unfortunately we couldn’t make it due to one of us being seriously ill. The team at the time was concerned and understanding.
When we arrived we recognised the members of staff and vice versa. They were glad my fiancé had recovered.
As on our previous visits we started with a large glass bottle of still Tipperary water and van Nahmen juices. The rhubarb nectar is my favorite, so I had two of those, while my fiancé had one white peach and one quince nectar.
Until now we always had the three course lunch menu, but had decided beforehand to try the 5 course surprise menu instead on this occasion.
We had very good experiences with surprise menus at FG Restaurant (2 Michelin stars) in Rotterdam and Wiesen Restaurant (Juri Wiesen holds 1 Michelin star) in Eindhoven, so it was time to challenge the chefs of the Greenhouse and ourselves.
I brought a print out of our dislikes and allergies, which have all benn accommodated with a smile.
The amuse bouche were suckling pig balls, seaweed crackers with mayonnaise – mine included a mussel – and a Parmesan and potato disc. Our favorite was the suckling pig. It was spicy and moreish. My better half wished he could have a main dish with it included so moreish the dish was.
The seaweed crackers were a palate cleanser and the Parmesan and potato disc an indulgence.
In house baked sourdough bread with salted Glenillen butter was served as well and it was extremely delicious as expected.
The first course delighted my fiancé, who had the Foie Gras Royale before. This time it was a slightly different version suitable for spring with apple, walnut and frozen Foie Gras.
I enjoyed it too, it was delicious and refreshing at the same time. A modern signature dish of The Greenhouse.
It was followed by a decadent fish dish with mackerel, eel, crab meat, trout caviar and Wye Valley asparagus. His came without the crab meat due to his allergy to shellfish.
Another highlight was the freshly caught wild turbot, which was gently baked, and served with mushrooms for me, carrots and carrot broth.
We haven’t had wild turbot before, so this was a good way to broaden our minds and taste buds. We can add turbot to our items we like. The meat was firm and bright white even after cooking, showing it was high quality.
I liked also the earthiness the mushrooms added to the dish.
Another first for us was the Anjou pigeon breast and braised leg, broad beans and peas. The breast was medium done and something he normally doesn’t really like. In this case it suited perfectly well. The best loved component of the dish was the pigeon leg. The skin was crispy and the meat soft.
While waiting for our dessert we were approached by the sommelier, who had heard my fiancé liked Tokaj, especially the Aszu Eszencia, so he had a surprise for him.
The sommelier arrived with a porcelain spoon and a bottle of Oremus Tokaj Eszencia from 2005. The serving was 5 ml. The sugar content is extremely high (over 400 g), so it would too sweet to have the dessert wine served in a glass and this taster was just right. We appreciated the gesture which was unexpected and added yet another welcome touch at this beautiful restaurant in the heart of Dublin.
My partner had ordered with the dessert a glass of sweet wine Ben Rye 2013 Passito di Pantelleria (Donnafugata) from Sicily. The sommelier explained how the wine was made. The grapes are dried for 25 days in the sun to reduce the amount of water and to increase the sugar content. The notes included cardamom and the dessert wine was delicious and new to us.
Our dessert was completely new. It’s new to the Greenhouse menu and delighted us both. It was the citrus cremeux with coconut meringue, pink grapefruit sorbet and a coconut flavored clear disk. We felt the dessert was refreshing, original and well made. We would want to enjoy it again in our future when visiting this memorable restaurant in our future.
The finish line for our lunch visit were two Valrhona hot chocolates with sea salt and honey and two dark chocolate pralines with basil and bergamot. Delicious is the word we’re looking for as in all cases/experiences here so far.
Service was impeccable and it was nice to chat with Mickael Viljanen in person and some other familiar faces. We found out for example that the glasses and plates are produced in Germany which was fascinating to learn, in our experience it’s indeed important to get some insights into the dishes served as in the restaurant/staff themselves.
The bill came in at 210 Euro (ca. 225 USD). It was money and time well spent and we look forward to dine at the Greenhouse again.
Naturally we will look out for the new Michelin guide and we fell that The Greenhouse could indeed achieve 2 Michelin stars in the future too. The restaurant is consistent, beautiful and the staff makes it even more memorable and enjoyable.
Would we recommend this restaurant to a friend? YES!
Would we want to enjoy again lunch/dinner at this restaurant in our future? YES!21 Apr 2017