Pichet was quick to mark itself out as special From the outset in 2009 the stylish French restaurant had everything going for it – a nifty location just off Dame Lane, a talented chef, ex- L'Ecrivain Stephen Gibson, and a rather classy dining room.
Following a business merger and major revamp Pichet has burst back onto the dining scene as a leading light among Dublin Restaurants.
The royal blue awning is gone, as are the famous blue chairs and awkward terrace. In their places an equally striking looking establishment with jaunty striped awning, a neon red sign, bright window boxes, an extended dining room and a very cool bar.
The marbled-topped bar up front is one-part glamour one part-hipster making it impossibly hard to pass by. Pull up a bentwood stool, order an espresso martini or snag the circular booth for a cosy evening with friends. Sparkling glasses hang above, illuminated bottles glisten behind and there’s a separate bar nibbles menu for a more casual evening.
The chic décor carries through to the main dining room, with one notable exception: the bar’s smooth cement walls are replaced by understated fabric covering in the dining room.
The famous once-blue chairs remain, reupholstered though in toffee-coloured leather with cream piping: they look gorgeous and are as comfortable as ever. A beautiful parquet floor, mirrored pillar and open kitchen all conspire to create a sophisticated space that will appeal as much to trend-watchers, loyal fans and mature diners.
Menus are still as appealing as ever, serving an enticing mix of bistro classics that have been freshly interpreted. Stephen’s touch is light, his creativity exciting and his cooking reliably solid.
Seasonality informs the menus with daily specials ensuring the best of seafood is always on offer too. A summer menu might include pea soup, foie gras parfait, guinea fowl, halibut and seabream amongst its 14 offerings, supplemented by scallops and crab daily specials. Presentation is always wonderful.
Pichet’s weighty wine list offers plenty of choice, especially at the higher end, with cocktails taking centre stage too. With well trained staff, a stylish new look and food that is as good as ever the centrally-located bistro has returned to prove it’s as reliable and relevant to Dublin’s dining scene today as when it first opened in 2009.