Working in the restaurant industry, the same names always pop, when you are deciding to dining out, rightly so because the top restaurants work extremely hard to keep a certain level of standard and quality in their food. However, in my job, I am constantly looking for hidden gems, people & places that are passionate about food and deliver a real lasting food memory. On Wednesday of last week, I decided to venture out to see what Marcel’s had to offer, recently I have heard good things about this restaurant from friends and wanted to see the restaurant which was used to be the hugely popular Expresso Bar.
Traveling to the restaurant, turning off the busy Baggots street, you turn onto, what appears to be a stylish residential area, however nestled down in the corner you will find Marcel’s Restaurant. The entrance of the restaurant, is guarded by sculptured green hedge, with their orange canopy, making it look private, exclusive and perhaps the look of a fine dining restaurant.
Entering the restaurant, you see luxury orange leather seats with black piping running along the edge, these eye-catching chairs along with the look and feel of the restaurant, makes a perfect first impression. We got a table by the window and looking out I realised why the green hedges surround the entrance, as it gives you the feeling you could be in a top restaurant in London or Paris, you certainly don’t feel just off the busling Baggots Street.
Moving onto the food, like with a lot of restaurants these days, it is a short menu, with 6 starters and 7 mains to choose from, however in this menu there is something for everyone taste. For starters we went for the Goat’s Cheese Croquette, Selection of Beetroots, Cabernet Sauvignon Reduction, Walnut Praline (€8)and the Suckling Pig, Glazed Galantine, Apple, Pink Peppercorn & Coco Bean Salad (€9) both were extremely well priced and delicious, however I can say after trying similar Goat’s Cheese & Beetroot starters in other restaurants lately this one certainly tops the list, it was extremely light and at the same time full of flavour.
For the main course, we went for Roast Chicken Breast, Fondant Potato, Wilted Kale, Caramelised Shallot Purée, Pecan & Madeira Jus (€19) and Pan Fried Duck Breast, Glazed Faggot, Sarladaise Potato, Pak Choi, Salsify, Blood Orange Sauce (€26). I was about half through my main course when I started to think this Chef (Gary Tilley) has created dishes with great balance, everything working very well together and some lovely sharp moments like the blood orange sauce with the duck which I would highly recommend, it is served pink and we both agreed was the highlighted of the night.
Throughout the night we treated to a service masterclass from Omar, Marcel’s restaurant manager, who is extremely personal and intent on making everyone night in Marcel’s, a special one.
Marcel’s gave us a great food memory, one which I highly recommend to others, along with their top service, reasonable prices in a stylish restaurant. Marcel’s is something new to try and a great addition to the Dublin restaurant scene.
Marcel’s Restaurant Dinner Menu
Wild Mushroom, Garlic Crouton
Salmon Gravlax, Oyster Aioli, Shallotte Jam, Lemon Crème Fraiche
Goat’s Cheese Croquette, Selection of Beetroots, Cabernet Sauvignon Reduction, Walnut Praline
SUCKLING PIG €9
Glazed Galantine, Apple, Pink Peppercorn & Coco Bean Salad (c)
Pan Seared, Pea Emulsion, Crispy Pork Skin (c)
Parfait, Roast Pear, Spiced Bread, Prune Compote
Roast Breast, Fondant Potato, Wilted Kale, Caramelised Shallot Purée, Pecan & Madeira Jus (c)
7oz. Fillet Steak, Crispy Shallot Rings, Mushroom Duxelle, Chips, Green Peppercorn Sauce
SEA BREAM €20
Pan Fried Fillet, Lemon & Dill Gnocchi, Spinach, Mussel Foam
Pearl Barley, Honey Roasted Vegetables, Jerusalem Artichoke Mousse, Tarragon Crumb
Pan Seared, Chorizo, Caper & Anchovy Purée, Glazed Fennel, Lime Infused Jus (c)
Roast Haunch, Chestnut Purée, Almond & Cocoa Crumble, Spinach, Amaretto Sauce
Pan Fried Breast, Glazed Faggot, Sarladaise Potato, Pak Choi, Salsify, Blood Orange Sauce (c)
Marcel’s Restaurant Information
Chef: Gary Tilley
Location: St. Mary’s Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Review By Jules Mahon