Descending the stairs, from once grand but now slightly gritty Parnell Square, into the opulent cocoon that is Chapter One is like entering a whole new world of calm elegance. Inside, the natural warmth of exposed stone, Irish elm and crisp linen set the scene for chef Ross Lewis’ Michelin-starred food. After a glass of chilled Prosecco by the bar, we began our four-course gastro-Odyssey with burnt onion broth, smoked potato and buttermilk, broccoli rabe and pickled mushrooms – a delicious surprise. Scallops (caramelised to perfection) cooked over charcoal with fennel and dill purée followed and almost caused a fork fight between us. Loin of rabbit stuffed with light pata negra was also excellent but the salt marsh duck was the highlight of the night. Or so we thought until the smooth milk and honey ice cream embedded with nibs of honeycomb and salted almonds turned up…hmmm… how to decide?
Leave room for The mini macaroons that come with the coffee. Pretty, delicate and delicious. It’s even worth skipping dessert for them.
What to drink The Alsace Trimbach, €31, recommended by the friendly sommelier, Ed Joliffe, was a great choice – affordable and really delicious.
Top table The Chef’s Table in the Maria MacVeigh-designed kitchen, is a fantastic place to enjoy the action.
In the know The stunning new Demi Salle room, built in a disused cellar space, is the perfect spot for a secret soirée (sits 4-6).
Watch this space Ross Lewis’ new cookbook, photographed by Barry McCall, is set to be a stunner. Keep an eye out.