How lucky to have another amazing dining experience in Dublin with the Ladies at the Club. This time, the Executive Committee met at One Pico for the Annual End of Year dinner.
The awards speak volumes about the place. It's one of those places who's reputation goes before it, so you have high expectations anyways. Mine rose a little bit more after reading the reviews on TripAdvisor and menopages.ie. as the general dining public are always a curious critique crew.
One Pico is tucked away in a back lane off Dawson Street; if you didn't know it was here, you'd not find it unless you'd parked your car in the parking station. Obviously, lots of people know about it as it was booked out, and for a Wednesday nights, that's a positive sign.
The building is an 18th century coach house and it's exterior is a bit warehouse in many ways, which is the complete opposite to the sophisticated decor inside which is warm and welcoming.
We were a group of 16, and our long table was right at the end of the restaurant, with some of us having to sit on bench seating (imagine the ladies shuffling along the row), which was the only thing I could complain about. It made getting into position very awkward and of course, if anyone had to excuse themselves for the ladies room, several people had to shuffle out to let them go, then shuffle back in. Seating along the side of the restaurant, with individual seating would have been more enjoyable for a large group; leave bench seating to tables of 2 or 4.
That being said - the service, the food, the atmosphere were 10/10.
I loved the fact that we were there for over 3 hours; the meal wasn't rushed at all, tho one or two ladies thought it was too slow. When I'm spending big money to eat at a fancy restaurant I'm very happy for the service to be professional and slow. You want to make a night of dining out!
The restaurant does offer a theatre menu, which one would assume is faster service.
To the food.
Our set menu was not confirmed to our organiser until early in the afternoon as the Chef was still waiting to see what produce was being supplied. You can't get fresher than that!
The wine was chosen for us and it was delicious.
We were served a selection of small slices/rolls of bread in baskets, with butter. There was even a proper butter knife on each side plate which shows you how posh the place is.
Our entrees were DIVINE!
I had the sesame seared tuna with wasabi, picked cucumber and ponzu dressing. It was light and delicious, and left me wanting more. The elegant clear glass, rectangular plate allowed for placement of the decorations to be art.
Several of us ordered the tuna, while others enjoyed the Ryfeild and Beetroot Mouse, Pickled Beetroot, Candied Nuts and Caraway Seeds, served on a large round white plate. The Foie Gras Parfait was also rather yummy.
Because we were sitting like little dicky birds in a row, the wait staff had no choice but to lean over and across the table to serve/clear. It's little things like this that I found slightly annoying, but again it didn't detract from the meal. I'm just letting you know, that if you are thinking of going (which I hope you do) and you're in a large group, mention you don't want to sit at the bench seating at the back of the restaurant.
Main course time. There was an interval of maybe 30 minutes which was enough time to savour the entree flavours, sip some more wine and prepare the tastebuds for the next yumminess.
Top Left: Seared Trout, Confit Tomato, Celeriac puree, Bouillabaisse.
Top Right: Pan Fried Hake, Broccoli Puree, Linguine and Wild Asparagus (that's what I had and it was heaven on a plate)
Bottom: Beef Cheek, Artichoke Puree, Oxtail Croquette, Aubergine Caviar.
The black plate was interesting with the Beef Cheek. We thought the Hake, with it's light colours would have been more dramatic, and the dark meat would have been better on the white plate (on the black plate it kinda disappeared) but what do we know?
The aroma's from the plates, the ooh's and aah's as people ate, the silence that descended on the table was proof that this was an exceptional meal.
Another lovely break between service, more wine, more conversation then TA-DAAAAA, desert.
We then had tea/coffee and continued chatting. Slowly one by one, people bid their farewells, and the last of us left around 10.30pm.
I for one can't wait to go back.