Sometimes things look good enough to eat, but in the case of The GreenHouse, the food almost looks too good to eat. Each dish is a visual thrill, with dramatic colours, delicate garnishes and quirky details that beg to be admired at length before they’re sampled.
These dazzling creations are the work of Finnish chef Mickael Viljanen, a recent arrival to Dublin after a highly successful stint at Gregan’s Castle in Ballyvaughan. Mickael’s move to the capital was prompted by Eamonn O’Reilly, the canny chef-proprietor of, amongst other successes, One Pico, and Bleu Bistro. In Bleu’s place you’ll now find The Greenhouse: a vastly revamped dining room, elegant, restrained and sophisticated enough for the arrival of this exciting fine cuisine.
This Dublin Restaurants a chic, well-lit spot with plush teal upholstery, gorgeous glassware and chilled out tunes. Service is delightful, striking the perfect balance of formal and charming. The experienced front-of-house team is well versed in both menu and the diverse wine list, ensuring guests get the most from their dining experience.
From the gorgeous breads - a tiny loaf of Swedish rye bread is a particular treat - served in a little hessian bag heated with warm cherry stones, to the sublime petits fours, every detail of The Greenhouse has been given great consideration.
Mickael’s cooking takes well-gambled risks, combining unexpected flavours and introducing diners to delicacies like duck hearts, sweetbreads, veal tongue, eel and lamb belly. A starter might comprise silky foie gras parfait with apple sorbet, candied walnuts and foie gras ‘snow’.
Humble celeriac may be elevated to star status by being baked in rye and served alongside tender duck hearts, hazelnuts, sorrel and a truffle sauce. Many dishes comprise wonderful wild flowers and herbs from their ‘own forager’, and traditional cooking methods are given a lighter, contemporary spin. So, for example, tender young Sika deer smoked in a hay box - and brought, smoking, to the table for your admiration before service - makes a memorable treat that is as entertaining as it is delicious.
Desserts are equally daring and elegant, perhaps local rhubarb, with celery granita and white chocolate surrounded by a delicate rose water consommé. Likewise, petits fours are sublime, combining original flavours like a white chocolate and potato macaroon, beetroot meringue or tangy salt caramel.
The small cheese board is ususally well balanced with Irish and European varieties in peak condition, alongside wonderful seed-studded home-baked crackers.
Mickael Viljanen's fame preceded him and expectations of this, his first Dublin venture, were very high. Yet he has exceeded them, having had the maturity - together with his equally highly-regarded business partner, Eamonn O'Reilly - to refine and simplify the cooking, and ensure the standard of service that food of this calibre demands. The front of house team has met the challenge admirably and up-and-coming sommelière Lorraine Harmon, in particular, makes a great contribution towards the enjoyment of a special meal here.
The GreenHouse’s main menu is presented as a five- or seven-course tasting menu, and a 3-course dinner menu is also offered (€60). The seven course tasting menu costs €82 (five courses €72), which represents excellent value for the calibre of the ingredients and great skill involved. Cleverly considered matching wines cost €45/35 respectively.
A two-course lunch, normally offered at €25, gives diners the chance to enjoy this outstanding food in a more affordable way; however, please consult the GreenHouse website for changes, eg seasonal menus, which may be offered at different prices.