To most of the world, Ireland’s culinary claim to fame resides within its expert alcohols (such as Jameson whisky and Guinness dry stout) and its population’s tendency to celebrate any event with rounds of drinking. Despite my preconceptions that Irish food is generally bland and weak in comparison to the quality of their drinks, I discovered a true gem in Dublin City Centre. Located conveniently just across the street from City Hall, Jules Restaurant & Wine Bar quickly became one of my fondest food memories of the country.
Despite eating at Jules just a few weeks after their grand reopening, the food was delicious, the service was prompt, and the ambiance of the restaurant grew to a comfortable bustle as more people poured in off from the street. Here’s my review of the restaurant in all of its glory.
We were seated in Jules’ upstairs dining room, a clean, classy, and symmetrical setup with a balcony view to the more casual seating on the ground floor. When first entering Jules, a welcoming wine bar flanks your right while several tables provide for comfortable seating. Having two floors creates a divide between the more conventional fine dining experience upstairs and the hip wine bar located on the ground floor. It really caters to both those looking for an upscale dinner or those wandering in for a glass of wine after seeing a show.
The variety of Jules’ set up extends to its menu as well: Jules’ menu consists of both Irish favorites such as minute steak and unique takes on classics such as Jules’ Beef Bourguignon Burger. There are also extensive wine lists and other alcoholic beverages available to ensure the perfect pairing with any dish. After all, it is a wine bar as well as a restaurant.
I started off my meal with the beetroot carpaccio: thinly sliced beets topped with a uniformly spread mint pesto, crumbled feta cheese, and pomegranate seeds. I personally love feta cheese, so this smaller dish was an obvious choice for me. The pomegranate seeds gave a special nuance to the dish that lightened up what was already an ideal appetizer. The mint pesto was unique — I would never have imagined how well it balanced the creamy feta and beets.
We also had juicy pork belly parcels served with a watercress and apple salad. The mix of the savory pork belly with the sweet tang of the apples in the salad was an updated (and improved) version of pork chops with apples.
Not only can Jules create refined, balanced culinary creations for even the most refined palettes, but they can make a mean burger. Jules’ Beef Bourguignon Burger was absolutely fantastic. The beef was perfectly cooked with just enough sauce to keep it flavorful, but still manageable to eat without creating a mess.
But what about dessert? Worry not, I always make sure to leave a little room for my favorite part of any meal. I ordered this lovely creation:
Perfectly crisped cookies filled with creme in a delightfully sweet end to an incredible meal. When abroad, there are always tasty options that can enhance your foreign experience. Jules is one of those places, and one that I will be sure to visit if ever in Dublin in the future.