12 of the best tasting menus in Dublin for that special occasion dinner

By Lovin Dublin

February 22, 2024 at 10:10am

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Tasty tasters for when you are feeling like a special night out out

For those of you who aren't au fait with the world of tasting menus, they are dishes offered at certain restaurants, consisting of sample portions of several different dishes, served in several courses for a set price.

It's a great way to get an overview of what the restaurant is about, through a series of courses. Chefs generally love a tasting menu as it gives them the freedom to curate a unique seasonally-led menu, away from the pressures of the cut and thrust of a typical menu-led service. There has undoubtedly been a growing number of restaurants only offering tasting menus, and cutting-edge spots that are serving some of the finest and most exciting food in the city. Typically reserved for a special occasion, there's a unique freedom to opting for a tasting menu, diners completely surrender themselves in the process, suspending tastes and choice for whatever the chef feels like cooking. Personally, I have never pushed and challenged my tastes more than with a tasting menu, and it's that feeling that really separates tasting menus from your run-of-the-mill dinner.

12. Margadh RHA

RHA Gallery on Ely Place, more info here

Amidst the influx of small plates and tasting menus across Dublin, this modern dining room tucked inside the Royal Hibernian Gallery off St Stephen's Green could almost be overlooked. It'd be a mistake to do so, though - on offer at Margadh you'll find one of the most affordable tasting menus in town and a fusion of Spanish-Mod Irish cuisine that sparks enough joy to make Marie Kondo proud. Usual suspects like burrata and beef tartare hang out on the small plates menu, with larger dishes fusing poached halibut with crispy chicken skin and salted duck egg sitting alongside buttery Irish lobster. Prices are fair and the wine list is refined, there's always something new to try and you'll be well looked after by Margadh's friendly, knowledgeable servers. This is one of the most affordable tasting menus in the city coming in at €49 pp, which for the quality and level of service is nothing short of remarkable.

 

11. D'Olier Street

D'Olier Street, more info here

The swish little sis of Mr Fox, opened up for business in the atmospheric D'Olier Chambers last year. In that time they have had a shiny new Michelin star being placed upon the beautiful red-bricked front of the place. With an open-plan kitchen which moves with the symmetry and ease of a ballet performance, the calibre of customer service in D'Olier Street is second to none. It's a menu that challenges you to push your limits in terms of taste and pairings, trying ingredients as varied as foie gras custard, salsify and everything in between. Serving modern-Irish food the 12-course tasting menu is €96 per person.

10. Hang Dai

Camden Street, more info here 

Perhaps better known for their immersive Blade Runner-tinged dining experience, which lays out refreshing specials on a table straight out of a futuristic Tokyo train carriage fever dream. Hang Dai wouldn't be the first place to spring to mind when it comes to tasting menus, without a starched linen tablecloth or a polished silver knife and fork in sight. But the talented team led by Ben Lowney, put out an affordable and vibrant Chinese-tinged tasting menu for the solid price of €50. 

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9. Delahunt

Camden Street, more info here

An incredible space snuggled on Camden Street, which downstairs is like a Farrow-and-ball-afied 1900th-century shop and upstairs like a luxuriant regal sitting room. The ol Victorian building has a different concept on each of its storeys, inspired by the line in Ulysses, "But wait till I tell you, he said. Delahunt of Camden Street had the catering and yours truly was chief bottle washer. Bloom and the wife were there. Lashings of stuff we put up: port wine and sherry and curacao to which we did ample justice. Fast and furious it was. After liquids came solids. Cold joints galore and mince pies …". Serving up Modern Irish cuisine, which errs on the cold cuts, pickled root veg side of Irish cuisine, the typically 6-course tasting menu comes in at €80, with a more affordable pre-fix menu coming in at €65 from Tuesday to Thursday from 17.00 until 6.30. The tasting menu can also be catered for vegetarians, pescatarians and vegans, with most dietary requirements and allergies can be accommodated as long as are provided in advance.

8. Patrick Guilbaud

Merrion Street Upper, more info here

A mecca for foodies in Ireland for over 40 years, Patrick Guilbard is part of the elite group of two-starred Michelin-star restaurants in Ireland (alongside Liath and Chapter One by Mickael Viljanen). Set beside the incredible 5* Merrion Hotel hidden within a Georgian townhouse, the modern French restaurant has all the French discipline with the precise flair of contemporary Irish cuisine. The kitchen led by Kieran Glennon, offers an 8-course tasting menu at €260 pp, there unfortunately is no menu for vegetarians, vegans or dairy-free customers. The wine pairing curated by sommelier Ernesto Piloto is advised.

7. Glovers Alley by Andy McFadden

128 St Stephen's Green, more info here

Sitting pretty above the green, on the second floor of The Fitzwilliam Hotel, the 1930s twinged dining space has to be one of the most premium places to eat in the city, if not the country. The recently Michelin Starred, the immaculate kitchen run by culinary supremo Andy McFadden, are producing bold and skillfully considered dishes. The 7-course tasting menu comes in at €145 (with a vegan/vegetarian tasting menu avail for €120), there's also two wine pairings to choose from €245 with Classic Wine or €295 with Prestige Wine Pairing.



6. Mr Fox
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Parnell Square West, more info here 

The tasting menu at Mr Fox is always a treat, their slightly nostalgic seasonal-inspired dishes change regularly which keeps you coming back for more. There's an endearingly relaxed quality to the atmosphere in Mr Fox, which is hard to achieve at most fine dining restaurants and is no doubt down to the attentive and knowledgeable service, who give you some time in between courses to let it settle. Enough space for even the largest of groups, their set menu comes in at €91 per person with a vegetarian menu available upon request. 

5. Bastible

Leonard's Corner, more info here

Recently Michelin-starred, the restaurant on Leonard's Corner is a pretty unassuming spot, but underestimate it at your peril. Part of the new wave of incredible modern Irish restaurants that have dispensed starched linen tablecloths and polished silver, for refurbed Scandi solid wood and artisanal pottery, Bastible have been pumping out some incredible dishes from their open kitchen in the corner. Chef and patron Barry Fitzgerald and his team are creating some incredibly well-executed dishes, which change along with the seasons. The friendly approachable staff are well-versed at serving the 9-course, €95pp tasting menu. It's a relaxed kind of fine dining, that appeals to everyone.

4. Potager

Skerries' Church Street

With a name like Potager it's no surprise that provenance is king here, with local suppliers listed out by servers with the familiarity of family members' names. The produce of North Dublin is beautifully presented by chef Cathal Leonard in this formal neighbourhood restaurant. Set in the incredible old Munster and Leinster bank with the original bank vault acting up as a supremely safe wine cellar. The team create an effortless dining experience, for €85pp with a solid veggie menu available for the same price.

3. Variety Jones

Thomas Street, more info here

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Run by the Higgs brothers, the long, narrow room off Thomas Street is a warming and welcoming place to spend an occasion dinner. Laid-back relaxed service, with dishes calmly coming from the fire-led kitchen at the back. The team have a chef's choice sharing menu coming in at €85 for 6 courses, which can sometimes mean different diners can get different starters or mains depending on the service. Though the menu changes daily, there are some signature dishes that thankfully rarely leave the menu like the incredible spaghetti alfredo and the moreish duck liver parfait with potato waffles. With just 10 tables in the space- booking can be a challenge but keep an eye on their Instagram stories for cancellations.

2. Chapter One by Mickael Viljanen

Parnell Square North, more info here 

A spot that needs very little introduction, it's a culinary institution that your Mam would know as well as your Granny. Since Mickael Viljanen threw on his whites and entered the kitchen, the basement restaurant has been awarded a double Michelin Star, with many anticipating a third in the works. Viljanen's discipline and personality can be seen in each course, with an awe-inspiring level of presentation and execution apparent in each and every dish. The tasting menu comes in at €190 with a choice of either the standard wine pairing €105 or the Sommelier’s Selection at €280. You can't leave without an Irish Coffee- which is made in front of you on the dinkiest little trolley!

1 Liath

Blackrock's Main Street, more info here

Less of a tasting menu and more of a tasting experience, with one sitting kicking off at 19.30 and lasting roughly 3 hours, you and fellow diners will embark on a 'collective dining experience'. The seasonal menu centres around the five tastes – salty, savoury, sweet, bitter and sour- which Damien Grey and his small team have crafted with precision, technique and passion. Priced at €180 with non-a drinks pairings (€59) and wine pairings (€110) or prestige wine pairing (€240) available. This is an experience to add to the culinary bucket-list. 

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