Dax Restaurant bills itself as “one of the best fine dining restaurants in Dublin city centre”, and it’s also the perfect place for a couple to enjoy an evening meal to themselves. No matter what your tastes are — or if they’re very different from each other’s — you’ll find something to make you happy here. And then you’ll both be happy, and free to think only of each other.
There’s atmosphere — located in the basement of a Georgian house, with many of the original features, Dax strives for “the feel of a wealthy, rustic country manor house in rural France.” (It’s also compared to a private club.) The French element is not so predominant that you’ll forget you’re in Ireland, though — the theme is “modern Irish-French cuisine” with everything coming from local suppliers. If one of you is vegetarian, there’s a whole dedicated menu of options. (Glancing at it, I find myself wanting to taste the butternut squash and blue cheese tart.) If you like the unexpected on your plate, there’s a seven-course surprise tasting menu. If you’re on the way to the theatre as part of your date night, Dax, like many Dublin restaurants, has a special pre-theatre menu served between 5:30 and 7:30 PM.
Looking at a sample a la carte dinner menu, we can see traditional ingredients cooked with imagination. Starters, priced from € 13 to € 18, are mostly seafood but also include foie gras and suckling pig belly (as you might expect, that has mixed reviews). Main courses, at € 26 to € 33, include lamb and beef with notes on the menu telling you the names of the farms they came from. There’s also duck and seafood. All come with side dishes such as Saffron Potato, Sautéed Spinach, Cherry Tomato Confit, and Celeriac Purée. Desserts are all made by an in-house pastry chef (so is the bread) and range from passion fruit soufflé to a cheese plate. All are € 9.50
If you’d ever like to come back for a less intimate occasion, you can book a semi-private room for a group and order from a special three-course menu. This is popular with wedding parties.
Dax was voted Best Restaurant in Dublin in the 2014 Irish Restaurant Awards and won a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor the same year.
It’s located at 23 Pembroke Street Upper, just off Fitzwilliam Square. Hours are: Lunch, Tuesday through Friday, 12:30 to 2:00 PM, and dinner, Tuesday through Saturday, 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM.
Editor’s Note: There are many beautiful, romantic parks in Dublin for couples to ride bikes and take in a beautiful sunset. Learn more about them, and their amenities here.