Review: A Dublin hotel restaurant that bucks the ‘it’ll do’ trend

This restaurant has style, ambition and lorry-loads of flavour

Wilde at The Westbury: heartfelt food, whip-smart service and menu staples peppered with more creative dishes

Wilde at The Westbury: heartfelt food, whip-smart service and menu staples peppered with more creative dishes

There’s a sameness about bad hotel restaurants. They’re filled with diners who are too tired or unadventurous to venture out, staffed by people who are less than pushed about dazzling anyone. The tone is one big shoulder shrug of “it’ll do”. It may be the breakfast effect. A few hours after downing your dessert fork, you might be fishing marmalade out of a jar at the same table. Hotel dining rooms can be places where ambition goes cold and more than a bit rubbery around the edges. 

All that baggage is trundling with me to the Westbury on a Friday night to try Wilde restaurant. I can resist everything but the temptation to make assumptions. The Westbury is a hemmed-in building. It doesn’t have the grand vistas of Dublin’s other posh hotels, tucked as it is behind side streets with coach parking out the back. So the hotel turns its back on the city (and the century – the theme here is the 1930s) and tries instead to create clubby spaces such as Wilde.

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