Balzac – inside La Stampa Hotel & Spa
35 Dawson Street, Dublin, D2, Ireland
Phone: (353) 1 677 4444

I couldn’t eat at Boccaccio every night, so I poked around online to try to find somewhere else in Dublin with edible fare. I found a few good references to Balzac so we decided to check it out. Like the rest of Dublin, it follows the trend of ridiculously high prices and exorbitant wine markups. Unlike most of the other places we’ve been to however, the food was good as well (not just expensive).

I ordered the Poulet Vert – Herb Roasted Poussin, Watercress and Lemon. This is not “first date” food, at least not for me. I can’t have a whole bird served to me and dissect it with only my knife and fork; I dive in with my hands and I’m a mess. But luckily this time I was a mess of flavorful juicy poultry. On the side I got the green salad which was supposed to be served with the French dressing (which I hate) so they dressed it with a simple vinaigrette for me which was very tasty. There are much more elaborate dishes available on the menu but I took the safe route based on experiences of other Dublin restaurants falling short. I think I chose wisely, they did this classic dish very well.

Along with the meal we got a bottle of Gevrey Chambertin Burgundy. Overpriced but familiar, a very good bottle.

For dessert I also chose what I thought was a safe route. I got the Raspberries with Lemon Cream and Lavender Shortbread. The lemon cream was inedibly sweet. I just stuck with the raspberries and the buttery lavender shortbread.

Of the fancy pants restaurants in Dublin that we’ve been to, I think the food here was decent. If told I had to return to one of the pricey places I’ve been to, I’d choose this one. How’s that for a backhanded compliment?