Stéphane Robin smiled enthusiastically: “You must let us know if you try any of the recipes.”
I was sitting in a reception room at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud at an early hour perusing a copy of “Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud: The First Thirty Years” while around me, preparations were getting underway for the official launch of the book later that day. Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud is Ireland’s only two star Michelin establishment, an honour that it has held for almost 16 years, and Stéphane, the longtime manager of the restaurant, and founder Patrick Guilbaud had paused to chat informally about the book in between attending to the various tasks that comprised the business of, what was for them, a very special day.
I’d like to think that my near permanent thirst for wine is somehow matched by my equally persistent thirst for more knowledge about it. I am, as a result, wont to indulge in research at every opportunity – you know, the kind of research that involves drinking the stuff.
So, when I was invited recently to not only sample a selection of wines from Cloudy Bay, but to meet their viticulturist Siobán Harnett, I was hardly going to say no. The fact that this invitation also involved eating in Michelin-starred Guilbaud’s again was, er, a bonus – admittedly one that you might actually sell your granny for. None of your fried dandelions on the menu here, no sirree. Instead a range of delicate and impressive eats, designed to complement the ever elegant liquids of Cloudy Bay.
On the Guilbaud's Cloudy Bay lunch menu:
Stewed Basque Pepper Terrine, Croustillant of Dublin Bay Prawns (yeah, I had to look it up too - they're crispy, in other words), Fillet of Charolais Beef, Rhubarb Cheese Cake (with an eminently edible candy-striped white chocolate surround)
Patrick Guilbaud took my hand warmly, as an old friend might.
He hoped that I had enjoyed my meal. “Ah, that dessert with the rosé…” he murmured, clearly reliving the pleasure of it in his own mind.
I, in return, gushed. My first time to eat at Guilbaud’s and, yes, the dessert course had been as sublime a pairing of food and wine as I have had the privilege of tasting. The rest of the meal I might add (in a clear triumph of understatement) was none too shabby either.
What you would call some very serious eats...
...and the drinks to match