Picking a good spot for a date in Dublin can be tough.
There are so many factors to consider from lighting to seating, accessibility to the likelihood of bumping into someone you know. All of these factors must be thought about before making that booking.
Working at Lovin, I'm fortunate enough to get to review a lot of new openings. I do, however, adore the 'ol reliables, those places that have been around for as long as I can remember and still seem to be bustling with business.
Welcome to Datin Dublin!
A series where I'll be going back to these much-loved spots and re-reviewing them, in a brand new way of course! I'll be analysing this venue solely on its date-ability.
This week I headed to L'Gueuleton with my boyfriend.
I feel like I've been here more times than I can count but it's always been for a drink in the sun and never for a formal date. I had seen pictures of the food online and thought it looked fab but had never tried it myself up until now.
I sneakily made the booking 15 minutes later than I had advised my boyfriend, so thankfully he was on time. It was just after 6pm and it seemed we were among the first to arrive, which meant we got the best seat in the house, or so I thought.
The venue is huge with a homely, rustic feel to it - tables are lit by candle and 70s music played across the room.
Located on Fade Street, you probably couldn't find a better location. It’s really easy to find and it’s bang smack city centre. This makes for a stress-free meeting point and also a fair commuting time for both parties no matter what side of the city they live in.
As previously stated, I thought we had the best seat in the house. Though it may have been if I was with a group of friends but this was date night and I wanted to give my full attention.
We were sat to the left of the entrance by an intimate table at the window which looks out on to the bustling street. I was delighted when I sat down that my boyfriend had left me the window-view seat where I could spy on passers-by and at the craic on the street. Problem was, I couldn't concentrate during the meal because of all of the hustle and bustle outside. Every time we would start a new conversation, I could feel my eyes swaying off focus and out to the antics of the streets which I ended up apologising for quite a few times.
I'm easily distracted so next time I'd definitely opt for a table in the centre of the eatery so that I could properly focus on my date.
Being by the window, there were a few times I considered putting my sunnies on as the light was shining in.
The entire venue, however, is quite dark inside so this was a welcome light for a summer's evening. It brightened up the whole place but still left room for a cosy and intimate scene.
I have to say I was super impressed with the food in L'Gueuleton.
We started with some foie gras on toasted sourdough to share. We wanted to start with something that was typically French and this was the ideal dish to do exactly that. The flavours were sublime and the portion size was ideal for two people.
The menu had lots of choices which I loved and of course, a lot of it had a French influence. There are so few French eateries in Dublin and it's such a shame because I adore French cuisine.
I promised John that I was taking him for a tasty steak dinner so we didn't even need to look at the menu to choose his main course. I've been trying to opt for the veggie option as much as possible as of late so I chose a gnocchi dish with hazelnuts, greens, sundried tomato and mozzarella.
The service was swift and the portions were HUGE.
I actually dug into my dish before taking a picture which says a lot about how good it looked as I NEVER forget to take a picture first. That, and the fact that I was absolutely starving.
Both dishes were truly top class - the flavours were worth clapping for.
John is very picky when it comes to cooking steak and a thumbs up from him is a big thumbs up for any steak-lovers.
This really was a top-class meal.
The venue was super chilled, there was no commotion. Even though we were just a few metres from Fade Street, it seemed like we were miles away from it all.
The waiters were French and they were very cool, calm and collected but still quick on service. They were great banter too - we had a good few laughs with the guy who was serving us.
It was the perfect atmosphere for date night - casual yet special and comfortable yet still intimate.
Likelihood Of Bumping Into Someone You Know:
This is a funny one.
If you're sitting outside of L'Gueuleton having a glass of vino, you're pretty likely to bump into every single person on your Facebook friends list along with your distant aunts and uncles.
If you go inside and keep your distance from the window, it's unlikely that you would. There was a much older crowd there while we dined and we were all sitting pretty far away from each other so our date was undisturbed.
Likelihood of meeting someone you know: 6/10
We had a starter, two hefty mains, a glass of wine, a Coca Cola and finished off with two espresso martinis.
The final bill came in at €102 which for a fancy date night, I think was pretty alright. Of course, if you're looking for a cheap and cheerful date this is probably not the spot, but we did go all out as well.
If you just had mains you could keep the price down but when you're in a place as stun as L'Gueuleton you may as well splurge a little - just a little.
So was L'Gueuleton romantic?
Yes, I think it was.
I can imagine during winter nights it's even more so because the room will be darker and mysterious. I really enjoyed it and I think it was one of the most enjoyable venues we've been to for date night in quite some time.
It really is a great place for a date, earning it a high score all round.
Next time you're planning a special date night I'd definitely recommend L'Gueuleton. It's super central so you can hop to bars like Hogans and Idlewild for a pint after, the food is incredible and the atmosphere is exactly what you'd hope for.