The day has finally arrived when indoor dining is permitted once again. Whatever your views on the rules to facilitate this relaxation of Covid restrictions, it is still a momentous day for the hospitality industry. Here are five excellent places to dine that have no outdoor dining facilities, meaning they are throwing open their doors for the first time in what feels like an age. Let the normality (or close to) begin!
Chapter One by Mickael Viljanen, Dublin
Without a doubt, the hottest table in town is at Chapter One by Mickael Viljanen this summer. There was some controversy earlier in the summer when former head chef of The Greenhouse, Mickael Viljanen announced his departure from Eamon O’Reilly’s Dawson Street restaurant to begin a new venture with Ross Lewis at the former Chapter One on Parnell Street. Lewis has stepped back from the helm to concentrate on other ventures and Viljanen is firmly holding the reins. Lunch is served from 12.30pm to 2.00pm Thursday to Saturday with a lunchtime tasting menu also available, dinner is served 6.30pm to 9.30pm Tuesday to Saturday. Form an orderly queue… www.chapteronerestaurant.com
Restaurant Rinuccini, Kilkenny
A classic Italian restaurant that never goes out of style, Restaurant Rinuccini in the historic city of Kilkenny is a reliable favourite. Open seven days a week for both lunch and dinner, you can expect dishes such as calamari e zucchini fritti and classic Italian antipasto at this family-opened gem. The interior is elegant and atmospheric and there is even a dedicated grappa menu. www.rinuccini.com
Pearl Brasserie, Dublin
Pearl Brasserie is back and we couldn’t be more excited. Located on Dublin’s Merrion Square, Pearl Brasserie has been one of Dublin’s most consistently excellent restaurants since opening 21 years ago. The new menu includes dishes such as Bluefish tuna ponzu and turbot with Italian summer truffle, pine nuts, fresh garden peas, foie gras toast and chicken jus. Ask for one of their atmospheric banquettes which are almost cave like, in the best possible way. Open for lunch and dinner, Monday to Saturday. www.pearl-brasserie.com
Few chefs were as prolific in their outrage at the effect Covid-19 and its subsequent lockdowns has had on the hospitality industry as chef JP McMahon of Aniar, Tartare and Cava in Galway’s city centre. It must come as some relief to the team that they are finally opening their doors after a drought that felt endless for us all. The tasting menu at Aniar consists of 18 dishes that draw on the terroir of the west coast of Ireland and includes dishes such as oyster with sea lettuce and potato with eel. If you are in Galway this summer, do yourself a favour and try to snag a table, it will be memorable, I assure you. www.aniarrestaurant.ie
Ichigo Ichie, Cork
In Cork, Chef Miyazaki brought kappou-style fine dining Japanese to Ireland with his restaurant Ichigo Ichie, and they are now back open for you to experience a feast for the senses. The stunning combination of quality Irish ingredients with Japanese techniques is a match made in heaven. A dining experience like no other, expect dishes such as quail egg and Irish black truffle, Mozuku seaweed, Lisheen Greens’ vegetables and Shaved Barry’s tea ice, Bushby’s strawberry, koji milk. Tasting menus start at €120 per person and there are a number of options to choose from. More than a meal, this is an experience for all the senses, and one that will last far beyond the summer months. www.ichigoichie.ie
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