Table for Two – Dublin

Sophia reveals her gold list restaurants for romance in Dublin, from prestigious Chapter One to the understated allure of The Winding Stair.

These venues have been hand-picked for their charm, intimacy or sensational setting; they are ideal for Date Night, Valentine’s Day and Anniversaries.

Pearl Brasserie

Plush Den $$$

Pearl Brasserie restaurant in Dublin

A discreet yet glamorous restaurant in the heart of Dublin. Descending the stairs to Pearl is like discovering a plush cave. I love its warren-like charm and the choice of intimate tables – perfect for a private catch-up and suggestive of a secret assignment.

Pearl’s wine list, with its aged Bordeaux and curiosities like Morgan ‘old vines’ – a Cru Beaujolais – has me eager to explore.

You’ll find Pearl’s beautifully plated dishes represent fine ingredients masterfully prepared. I always have their foie gras – here the sin is worth it.

Dress: polished like a pearl.
Request: a private booth.

20 Merrion Street Upper, Dublin 2
Website link »
+353 (0) 1 661 3572

The Winding Stair

Poetic Charm $$

Winding Stair restaurant in Dublin

Recall your favourite reads whilst enjoying a view of romantic Ha’penny bridge. Sitting above a second-hand bookshop and overlooking the River Liffey, The Winding Stair is a truly delightful dining experience.

The menu is stylish and homely; all ingredients are carefully sourced from local artisanal producers. You’ll find the same integrity applies to their wines, craft beers and ciders. This down-to-earth venue is perfect for nourishing a casual Date.

Service reminds me of an independent bookseller – refreshingly informed and unpretentious. At The Winding Stair you have a unique location, charming views and sincere sourcing – it really is an uplifting experience.

Dress: literary chic.
Request: table by the window.

40 Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin 1
Website link »
+ 353 (0) 1 8727320

Chapter One

Regal and Warm $$$$

Chapter One restaurant in Dublin

Assured and posh, this twenty-year-old restaurant is still setting the pace for flair, food and fine wines.

It’s true that the rich and famous dine at Chapter One; it is after all one of Ireland’s top restaurants. However, what I love most about Chapter One is their abundant hospitality. It seems that here, they endeavor to treat everyone like a celebrity – and Chapter One will make you feel great. These positive strokes can be helpful when you’re doing your best to be affable on a Date.

Indeed, Chapter One is a restaurant that can make a special occasion – extraordinary.

Dress: expensive and chic; find something fab at Dublin department store Brown Thomas.
Tip: for a truly memorable experience book the chef’s table.

Basement of Writers Museum
, 18 – 19 Parnell Square
, Dublin 1
Website link »
+353 (0) 1 8732266


Insider Tip $$$

Dax restaurant in Dublin

An award winning favourite, Dax is a short taxi ride from touristy Dublin. Set in a traditional Georgian terrace, this French restaurant manages to be both refined and relaxed; like a suited man who has released his tie.

Service here is confident and comfortable too. They’ll patiently help you navigate the menus, without any upsell or ubiquitous attentiveness.

Dax’s chef honours the ingredients – and insists on not interfering with the honesty of the flavours on the plate. Simplicity at its most exciting. I eat here every time I’m in town and I always leave serenely satisfied.

Dress: like Isabel Marant; stylish, assured and relaxed.
Request: a quiet table.

23 Pembroke Street Upper, Dublin 2
Website link »
+353 (0) 1 676 1494