It is a common festive tradition where shoppers tend to flock to the Westbury for a glass of prosecco, wine or even just a coffee. The gallery, with its amazing views of Dublin’s hottest shopping district, allows visitors to hide away in pure luxury while spotting the odd celebrity or two.
The gallery itself has a luxurious setting which is always busy from morning to night, whether it is afternoon tea or dinner.
What most people may not be aware of or have forgotten, is that the Westbury houses the new stylish Balfes, the sophisticated gallery and also the often ignored Wilde restaurant. So, TheTaste decided to pay a visit to Wilde last Thursday.
On a very wet and windy Thursday night the Westbury was a welcome refuge from the winter elements with most people escaping to the gallery.
On entering Wilde we were seated by the window overlooking Balfe St, which you can see from the photo below is in full Christmas swing. We were looked after by Sean Og who guided through Wilde’s two dining options, the a la carte or their recent addition the festive menu. Surrounded by all the Christmas bling we couldn’t resist the festive menu. This set menu consists of a glass of prosecco on arrival and choice of 4 starters, mains and desserts, competitively priced at €40 per person.
To start, we decided to try the Carrot and Fennel Soup with the homemade soda bread and the Duck Liver Pate with apricot jam and brioche. The soup had a lovely creamy consistency to it, with a hint of spice and was well seasoned. The duck pate starter was beautiful presented in a small glass jar with 2 generous portions of brioche, paired with an apricot jam which complemented the pate well.
Moving on to the mains we chose the Dromoland Estate Pheasant and the Grilled Black Angus Sirloin Steak. We asked for the Angus steak to be cooked rare to medium and the chef didn’t disappoint, the steak was cooked perfectly retaining all of it’s tenderness. It was a generous portion, nestled on a bed of green beans and shallots, with a delicious béarnaise butter on the side. This was partnered well with a robust garlic and parmesan gratin. Sean Og was our server for the evening, who suggested an excellent pairing of a Punto Final Classico 2012 Argentinian Malbec. The plum and blackberry flavours were an ideal companion for the Angus steak.
The second main, the Dromoland Pheasant, was accompanied by fricassee of Brussel sprouts and pine nuts, not normally a fan of the sprout, it seemed to work quite well with the rich gamey taste of the pheasant. In addition to this there was a small confit pie topped with a very light puff pastry.
With not much room left for dessert, we decide to indulge anyway as dessert is already included in the set menu price. With the limited selection of desserts, we settled on a luscious triple chocolate brownie with a raspberry coulis and a generous dollop of cream, which was surprisingly light. The final dish of the night was the Crema Catalana which had a rich custard base with a layer of hard caramel on top.
Overall the experience in Wilde was surprisingly good, as the majority of hotel restaurants which are mainly geared for residents can often sorely disappoint and lack a personal touch. This was not the case in Wilde. The standout plus for Wilde is its staff, as with any good restaurant, good service is essential to gaining loyal customers.
So break the tradition and next time you’re in the Westbury sample some of Wilde’s festive delights.
Keith & Jules Mahon are the founders of TheTaste. We want TheTaste to be a culinary kaleidoscope to champion every taste, food, wine, cocktails, whiskey, etc. We are delighted to be part of such a creative and fast moving industry and are very passionate about sharing with you our unique journey around Ireland finding the best culinary hotspots.