Restaurant Review: Wilde at The Westbury, Dublin in Ireland
Steps away from The Gallery space of the five star Westbury Hotel in central Dublin is Wilde, a charismatic restaurant singing with sophistication and touches of 1930s charm. An al fresco hotel restaurant, Wilde combines a glamorous dining room space alongside a popular daylight drenched terrace overlooking the lively Irish streets beyond.
The furnishings at Wilde compete with that of the elegant menu and highly intuitive service. Immersing ourselves within the sleek interior that reflect the pages of a glossy interiors magazine; vibrant turquoise velvet seats lie against sleek monochrome tile flooring with an abundance of eye-catching rich foliage. Seated in the garden terrace at our small round marble table with a view over the street below, my guest and I sink into white whicker chairs lain with soft, pink woollen throws and start with a generous gin and tonic and a sparkling flute of prosecco.
Dishes are polished but responsibly sourced and include seasonal Irish produce with combinations of both local highlights and international favourites that suit the al fresco, all day dining attitude. Showcasing a generous steak and seafood selection, Wilde’s Executive Chef Sandeep Singh has curated a menu that encourages long lazy lunches and glamorous but relaxed evenings. ‘When in Rome’ we swig back Irish Migonette Carlingford Lough Rock Oysters over crushed ice with one eye cast over the starters.
Seared tuna served with warm nicoise salad and toasted sesame seeds is presented, the tuna having seen just the right amount of heat, whilst also a favourite of our Italian sommelier, the burrata with vine tomatoes, kalamata olives and a generous pot of pesto was generous and ideally smooth and creamy. Other options to start include Dublin Bay prawn & shrimp cocktail with a classic Marie Rose sauce and truffle dressing; a tempting tempura of soft shell crab, black bean sauce and femented slaw and a Skeaghanore duck breast, mango & sprout salad with toasted sesame seeds. A recommendation by our Italian waiter, we are fittingly paired with a bottle of a smooth Italian red. As the bottle of Neropasso is opened we are transported in a glimmer to the warmth of the Mediterranean and the international elegance of Wilde is exposed in our large wine glasses.
Flicking over the broccoli, kale and superfood bean salads, we arrive at their impressive steaks with surf and turf supplements. Sourced by Wilde’s butcher, each steak is Irish, grass fed and aged for 28 days before being marinated in their house spice rub and served with a choice of Bearnaise, Bordelaise, cafe de Paris butter or the in house smoked steak sauce. A range of cuts starting from €22 for the Hanger steak up to €54 for the Porter house and with a choice of either half a lobster or two giant tiger prawns, we select from the surf and turf and pair with a centre cut sirloin and a fillet with some carefully selected side dishes to share. These side dishes compete well with their main dish counterparts with a generous and adaptable selection to choose from. Thick cut chips topped with truffle and pecorino complement our steaks, with beans and shallots whilst the rich lobster mash adds to the indulgence of our evening. Others include the equally inviting duck fat roasties, Cooleeney mac and cheese, charred sweetcorn with chilli and feta and the restaurant’s unique combination of cauliflower and pomegranate.
Dessert at Wilde concluded in a selection of Irish farmhouse cheeses with crackers, fig chutney and glass of port. Cheeses include Hegarty’s Cheddar, Cooleeney Blue, Cashel Blue and a Ardsallagh hard goats. For those with a sweeter inclination, other desserts that Wilde dish up include seasonal pavolva, creme brulee with honey madeleine and a lemon meringue tart.
It’s undeniably comfortable at Wilde and just off Dublin’s most famous shopping street, the standalone restaurant within The Westbury oozes of an instant charm and composure. Complete with the art deco style dining room and the secluded snug, Wilde caters and adapts its good looks to almost every situation, from freshly made morning juices through to an evening with the in house sommelier.
Wilde is open from 7am – 11am and 12.30pm – late, seven days a week. Access via the Gallery of The Westbury, Grafton Street, Dublin 2. +353 1 6463352, doylecollection.com/hotels/the-westbury-hotel/dining.