Michelin guide includes 17 Irish pubs
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
Crockets on the Quay, Ballina r J J Gannons, Ballinrobe
The Lobster Pot, Carne
The Distiller's Arms, Bushmills
The Pheasant, Annahilt
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