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Fine Dining at Richmond Restaurant in Dublin.
Fine Dining at Richmond Restaurant in Dublin.

Introducing contemporary Irish cuisine

If all you know about Irish food is what beer goes best with pie and chips, it may be time to read up. A new generation of young Irish chefs is taking the Emerald Isle by storm with innovative cuisine made from seasonal, Irish produce.

Something fishy

It’s seafood galore at the sophisticated Cliff Townhouse. This “restaurant-with-rooms” is housed in an elegant Georgian townhouse dating back to the late 17th century. Executive Chef Martijn Kajuiter, who holds a Michelin Star at the Cliff’s sister property, Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, County Waterford, is not strictly Irish (originally from Groningen in the Netherlands, he moved to Ireland in 2007), but his produce certainly is. From the Galway oysters, to the Irish lobster and dressed Yawl Bay crabs, this is Irish shellfish at its best. Order one of the seafood platters to share between two and prepare to be blown away.

Cliff Townhouse

22 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2,

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Neighborhood favorite

Recently named an up-and-coming foodie hotspot by the New York Times, Dublin’s previously seedy Portobello neighborhood has evolved into one of the most dynamic areas in the Irish capital. And it certainly shows when you see how many new restaurants have opened here in the last couple of years. Our favorite is Richmond Restaurant, a small, cozy eatery with a distinctly local vibe. Specializing in his own, unique brand of “modern Irish” with French and Italian influences, all the food is expertly created by Head Chef David O’Byrne, formerly of Mulberry Gardens and La Mere Zou.

Richmond Restaurant

43 Richmond Street South, Dublin 2

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Putting the gastro in gastro-pub

The Exchequer may be best known for its award-wining mixology and excellent wine list, but it turns out the culinary offering alone makes it worth a visit. With a brand ethos that focuses on wholesome, fresh and hearty food, made from seasonal produce that consists of Irish meats, seafood from Irish waters and a dedication to the Irish artisan producer, you will not be surprised to learn that The Exchequer has won multiple accolades and consistently features on lists of Ireland’s best gastro-pubs and restaurants.

The Exchequer

3-5 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2

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Traditional with a twist

Sitting in one of three beautiful dining rooms overlooking the Trinity College playing grounds, the Pig’s Ear leaves you in little doubt as to what city you’re in. With a menu that includes adaptations of classics like Shepherd’s Pie of Slow Cooked Lough Erne Lamb, and Short Rib of Irish Beef, Mash Potato, Watercress, Parmesan & Radish, chef Damien Derwin is masterfully recreating traditional Irish dishes with a contemporary twist. The result is one of Dublin’s not-to-be-missed culinary highlights.

The Pig’s Ear

4 Nassau Street, Dublin 2

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Watch this space

Consistently named one of the best restaurants in Dublin, Dax blends French gourmet cuisine with seasonal Irish produce to create an unforgettable fine-dining experience. Head Chef Graham Neville made his name at Restaurant FortyOne, where he developed an off-site organic garden and won multiple awards for his creative cuisine, including the prestigious Food & Wine 2014 awards for Best Restaurant in Dublin, Best Chef in Dublin and Best Chef overall in Ireland. Neville moved to Dax in April 2017, amid much fanfare and great expectations for the future of this promising young Irish chef.

Dax Restaurant

23 Pembroke Street Upper, Dublin 2

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Seasonal comfort

This bookshop-come-café with its enviable situation overlooking the River Liffey and Ha’penny Bridge has been a Dublin landmark since the 1970s. In 2006, it reopened under new ownership as a restaurant championing Irish produce. The menu is based on good, old-fashioned Irish home cooking, using seasonal produce sourced almost exclusively from Irish artisans. Run by the people behind the popular Woollen Mills, other restaurants in the group include the Washerwoman and brand-new gastro-pub the Legal Eagle, which specializes in traditional pub-style Irish fare.

The Winding Stair

40 Ormond Quay Lower, Dublin 1

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Best in Ireland

Ask a Dubliner what the best restaurant in town is and he or she will most likely tell you Chapter One. Run by superbly talented chef-proprietor Ross Lewis, the restaurant has gone from strength to strength since it opened in unfashionable Parnell Square back in 1990s, earning its Michelin star in 2007 and being named Ireland’s best at the 2017 Irish Restaurant Awards. Serving seasonal produce sourced from specialist Irish growers and artisan producers, Chapter One is a restaurant that truly prides itself on its Irishness.

Chapter one

18-19 Parnell Square N, Rotunda, Dublin 1

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Text: Isabelle Kliger

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