Michelin guide includes 17 Irish pubs

Thu, Sep 10, 2009, 01:00

SEVENTEEN Irish pubs are included in the 2010 Michelin Eating Out in Pubs Guide, which was published yesterday. They include two new additions – the Ballymore Inn in Ballymore Eustace, Co Kildare and Fitzpatricks in Jenkinstown, Co Louth.

Two pubs were dropped from the guide – the Cellar Bar at Dublin’s Merrion Hotel in Dublin and Daltons of Kinsale. Colm Dalton said the Kinsale pub did not feature as it had stopped serving food. He now runs a cookery school over the pub.

The exclusion of the Cellar Bar means that no Dublin pub is included in the guide. This is in contrast to Michelin’s restaurant guide, where only Dublin restaurants hold Michelin stars.

A spokeswoman for the Merrion Hotel said the exclusion of the Cellar Bar was a surprise. “We don’t know why it was omitted,” she said. The previous guide described the bar as one of Dublin’s favourite places for lunch.

Cork, Galway and Mayo account for three pubs each in this guide, while two Kerry pubs are listed. Clare, Kildare, Leitrim, Louth, Tipperary and Wexford have one each. The three Mayo pubs were first added to the guide last year, as was the Poacher’s Inn in Bandon.

The guide singles out Ballymore Inn for its pleasant staff, spacious dining area and Parisian brasserie feel. It notes that the owner is keen to promote small artisan producers. It praises its generous portions, but advises diners to leave room for the tasty bread and home-made tarts.

The guide says “characterful” is an understatement where Fitzpatricks of Jenkinstown is concerned. Visitors can take in the whole Irish experience without leaving the whitewashed pub, it says. It praises the colourful flowers in old bicycles, boots and even a bed and finds fascination in the collection of old chamber pots inside.

The “beautiful bar . . . extensive menu . . . and hearty flavoursome food” are also noted. This year’s guide includes 573 pubs serving food in the UK and Ireland, 10 more than last year. Some 83 are new additions. The status quo remains in Northern Ireland where the same eight pubs selected last year are listed again. Down appears to be gastropub capital of the North, accounting for all but one of the pubs. The exception is the Distiller’s Arms in Bushmills, Co Antrim.

The guide’s editor Derek Bulmer said he believed food could save the pub industry, especially in rural areas.

“Establishments that have adapted to the changing habits of their customers by offering good quality, value for money food are thriving,” he said.

The pubs are selected for inspection in a number of ways, a Michelin spokesman said. Inspections could be suggested by readers of the guides, by the owners or by the Michelin team.

RECOMMENDED BY MICHELIN

Vaughan's Anchor Inn, Liscannor

Poachers Inn, Bandon

Mary Ann's, Castletownshend r An Súgan, Clonakilty

John J. Burke, Clonbur

Moran's Oyster Cottage, Kilcolgan

Keogh's Bar, Kinvarra

O'Neill's (The Point) Seafood Bar, Cahersiveen

Allo's Bar, Listowel

Ballymore Inn, Ballymore Eustace

The Oarsman, Carrick-on-Shannon

Fitzpatrick's, Jenkinstown

Crockets on the Quay, Ballina r J J Gannons, Ballinrobe

Larkins, Garrykennedy

Sheebeen, Westport

The Lobster Pot, Carne

Northern Ireland

The Distiller's Arms, Bushmills

The Pheasant, Annahilt

Coyle's, Bangor

Grace Neill's, Donaghadee

Pier 36, Donaghadee

Buck's Head Inn, Dundrum

Mourne Seafood Bar, Dundrum

The Plough Inn, Hillsborough

Source: Michelin Eating Out in Pubs 2010 guide published yesterday