For more than 25 years there’s been a restaurant at 1 Windsor Terrace, offering some of the nicest views in Dublin. In 2010 Sebastien Masi and Kirsten Batt took over Locks, added Brasserie to the name, and set about creating as much of a buzz here as at their sister restaurant, the excellent Pearl Brasserie.
This Dublin restaurants previous owners were responsible for the beautiful décor, a cool blend of private-club-meets-Scandi-chic, and the ochre, cream and muted bronze palette has held up well. However, the start of 2015 ushered in a new more luxurious fine dining look, with fine linens and new seating; still restrained and contemporary, it appeals equally to the hipster clientele and old-school diner.
The little bar and private dining room are lovely features too but, while there’s a great buzz in the evenings, the smaller upstairs dining room lacks the atmosphere of the ground floor.
Several exceptional head chefs have established and maintained the well deserved reputation of this outstanding restaurant - firstly Chef Rory Carville, who helped put Locks Brasserie on the foodie map and, following his departure in May 2013, another talented chef, Keelan Higgs, Then, early in 2015, Armagh man Karl Breen took the reins, bringing experience from Gregans Castle and The GreenHouse among other top restaurants, and his cooking demonstrates equal flair.
With the new chef came new menus, although still featuring an appealing balance of meat and seafood, with every element carefully chosen and beautifully presented without sacrificng flavour. A pretty updated classic of Seared Foie Gras, Beetroot, Candied Nuts, Brioche is a perfect starter, for example, delighting both the eye and the taste buds.
Mains - perhaps Ray, Cauliflower & Miso, Sweet Raisin Purée, Scallop, Fenugreek, or Suckling Pig, Kale, Brown Onions, Parsley, Truffle Aioli, Trumpet Purée - should excite jaded diners, who will discover keen attention to detail and everything deftly seasoned and cooked to perfection.
Thrills don’t stop at dessert time either, with dishes like Dulce Panna Cotta, Quinoa, Beetroot Sorbet, Chocolate Shortbread delivering exciting flavours, and there's a selection of five Cheeses, served with Barley Crisps, Figs, Smoked Onions. The cellar is stocked with a wide selection of predominantly French bottles and there are plenty of choices by the glass.
Front of house, the mainly French team deliver quality service to match the impeccable food.
Seasonal ingredients form the backbone of the Locks menus, and there’s impressive value to be found a lunch, and in the early dinner menu, available 7 days a week (though just until 7pm on Thursday to Saturday).
The bill for à la carte dining can add up, but you can expect a memorable meal in this smart and fashionable brasserie.