Review: An old Dublin favourite gets a new, exciting chef

Graham Neville, the city’s best non-starred chef, is shaking things up at Dax Restaurant

Those pesky furballs that a new carpet molts are underfoot in Dax on my first visit. The tables in the basement restaurant in Dublin’s Upper Pembroke Street are cloaked in white linen and there’s a spring in everyone’s step. Dax has a new chef. Dubliner Graham Neville has migrated from the swanky folds of Residence on Stephen’s Green to here. He is the city’s best non-starred chef. Maybe the guide was allergic to the members’ club notion. Although Restaurant 41 was open to everyone it suffered bouts of invisible red rope syndrome when it came to the best tables in the house. 

So now this fresh start, which has history in another Dublin restaurant. Neville and Olivier Meisonnave, the Frenchman behind Dax, worked together in Thornton’s on the canal earlier in their careers. Last month the basement closed briefly for a quick refurbishment mainly involving that new grey carpet, covering a bockety stone floor, soaking up some of the noise and solving perennial table wobble issues. 

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