In what has been a precarious start to the year for Irish restaurants, three new one-star restaurants and one receiving restaurant a second star is an impressive feat says Ciara McQuillan …
It was just after 6pm last night when the latest Irish restaurants to be anointed with Michelin star magic were announced at a sparkly ceremony in the UK. Considered the equivalent to the Oscars for restaurant folk, Michelin madness has been in the air for quite some time prior to the announcements, which are eagerly followed with more than a frisson of excitement by those in the industry.
As of last night, Terre in Castlemartyr, Co Cork led by founder and head chef Vincent Crepel (pictured top) is the proud recipient of a second star, elevating them to a two-Michelin star restaurant for what inspectors referred to as its “original, modern cooking worthy of its setting”.
While D’Olier Street in Dublin received one Michelin star in appreciation of “dishes that are as beautiful as the building”. D’Olier Street, opened by co-owners James Moore, Anthony Smith and Jane Frye in 2022, is housed in the historic D’Olier Chambers building, a 19th-century listed property in Dublin 2.
Meanwhile, relative newcomer Homestead Cottage in Doolin, Co Clare received its first star in acknowledgement of “refinement, precision and a great understanding of balance”.
At The Bishop’s Buttery at The Cashel Palace Hotel, head chef Stefan McEnteer and his team received praise, and a much coveted star, for crafting “a menu of dishes that demonstrate great skill in their execution, along with terrific flavours and balance”.
Last Monday saw five Irish restaurants, Amy Austin, La Gordita, and Lottie’s in Dublin, Ichigo Ichie Bistro in Cork, and Solas Tapas in Dingle, also awarded Michelin Bib Gourmands, (named after Bibendum, the official name of the Michelin man) which recognises high quality and good value food. In Belfast, Home restaurant regained its Bib award.
Inspectors recognised Ichigo Ichie Bistro for being “a more relaxed and accessibly priced restaurant that comes with the bustle of contented diners,” while Solas was lauded for cooking “dishes that have been given a fresh spin without losing their identity.” In Dublin, La Gordita in Dublin was also given a much sought after Michelin Bib nod for its “authentic cooking” and John Farrell’s Amy Austin was rewarded for producing dishes that “take cues from all over the world”. Finally, in the Dublin suburb of Rathmines, Domini Kemp’s restaurant Lottie’s was described as “serving unfussy dishes packed with flavour”.
Happily, no restaurant in Ireland lost a star in 2024. Congratulations to all.