As I discussed in my last post, we spent last New Year’s Eve in Dublin, Ireland at The Church Bar & Restaurant, which hosted a prix-fixe dinner party. I have been to The Church previously (and wrote about it here), so this post specifically relates to The Church’s New Year’s Eve party. I am writing this because, despite my best efforts, I could find NOTHING regarding The Church’s New Year’s Eve party online prior to booking.
As further detailed in my previous post about The Church, The Church Restaurant & Bar is a former church turned modern restaurant and bar in Dublin, Ireland. The building rather old and famous, including the place Arthur Guinness (of Guinness brewery fame) married. The Church is definitely worth checking out on a visit to Dublin, even if you are not dining, and it’s popular with the tourist crowd. That being said, the crowd on New Year’s Eve was a lot of Irish people; we did not see that many tourists.
In terms of a restaurant, The Church consists of two floors and an outdoor area, which was closed during our winter visit. The second floor is table seating only and overlooks the first level. The first level (or ground floor) holds a band area, a GORGEOUS bar, and bar tables and standing space. Stairs and an elevator, located outside in the silo, connect the two floors.
Reservation for NYE
Reservations for NYE opened in October 2022 (for the 2022/2023 holiday) and were announced via Instagram. To make a reservation, I emailed The Church and asked about options for 9 people. We were offered a table on the second floor with a four course prix-fixe for 120 euro per person. Done. The Church required me to pay the bill in full within seven days of making the reservation, which I did (there was a reasonable cancellation policy). The Church also provided me a sample menu when I booked, which was pretty close to the actual menu presented.
In addition to the sit down dinner, I believe there was also an option to sit in the bar area and have only small bites and a bottle of champagne. Definitely email for the latest options, as it changes yearly.
The Menu on NYE
As mentioned, the New Year’s Eve menu is pre-fixe and offers a starter (choice of 1 of 4 options), a palate cleanser sorbet, an entree (again, choice of 1 of 4 options), and a dessert plate for each person. The prix-fixe also included a welcome glass of Champagne and tea or coffee after dinner. Our table, which was on the second floor, was assigned a waiter who came around and took everyone’s individual order, and everyone at the table did not have to order the same thing.
In my opinion, the food on New Year’s Eve was the same quality as The Church normally and it came out at a reasonable pace – not too fast and not too quick. I think the group was happy with the dinner, especially on such a busy holiday!
In terms of food, we sat down to a decently full glass of champagne with a strawberry. This was a nice touch, and was also the only alcohol that was included with dinner.
The second course was everyone’s choice of a soup, a pork and foie gras roulade, langoustines, or a vegetarian dish. As you can see, I opted for the langoustines, which are like small lobster with a dash of shrimp. My plate came with five and they were very good, especially in the sauce in which they were served.
Everyone next enjoyed a champagne sorbet between courses to cleanse the palate. This was pretty tasty and a nice break.
For mains, everyone had a choice between steak, cod, chicken or a vegetarian dish. I opted for the steak filet, which was Irish beef served with a potato rosti, ham, fried chestnut mushrooms and au jus. The steak was very good and similar to what I have eaten at The Church previously.
Everyone’s meal finished with four mini desserts, including a cheesecake, strawberry and cream, chocolate and one other that I believe had some sort of fruit center. The personal dessert plates were a fun touch.
The Drinks at The Church on NYE
A welcome glass of champagne and tea and coffee are included with dinner, all other drinks were extra. As we were a party of 9, we went through quite a few adult beverages during our evening, including John Hollows Ginger Beer (SO GOOD), a Gin & Tonic tree, cocktails and, of course, Guinness. Service was via our waitress and she was readily available and quick with the drinks until we paid our bill around 11:30 PM. After that time, we had to go to the basement bar to order or wrangle her replacement, which was next to impossible. Pro tip: order all the extra drinks before you close your dinner tab.
Our reservation was at 8:30 and we arrived a few minutes early. The live band was just setting up on the first floor as we arrived and people were already milling around. We proceeded straight to our table on the second floor, which floor was totally filled with tables. Parties of two generally got the better tables directly overlooking the first floor, but as the evening moved on all tables got up to look over the balcony. The party picked up after dinner ended around 11:30 and most of the tables on the second floor left their seats to dance or look over the balcony. Diners on the second floor were also welcome to go down to the first floor, but this did not seem too popular. As the evening went on, the first floor became very busy and packed with people. It was not so crowded that you couldn’t move, but it was nearly impossible to get a drink from the bar. Just before midnight, The Church handed out another glass of champagne and did a countdown to midnight, which was capped off with a magnificent balloon drop. The party continued after midnight, but we left around 12:30 via pre-booked taxi back to our hotel.
STEAL OUR TRIP
The Church Restaurant & Bar: Jervis St, North City, Dublin 1, D01 YX64, Ireland. Follow The Church on IG to learn when NYE reservations open. They also have Christmas specials. Read about my first post on The Church here.