Michelin stars still shining for six Dublin eateries


ALL OF the six Dublin restaurants boasting Michelin stars have held onto them in the Michelin Guide Great Britain Ireland 2009which will be in bookshops later this week.

There were some red faces at the tyre company yesterday following the leaking of this year’s results five days before their planned release on Wednesday.

Michelin confirmed the details yesterday, following media queries on Saturday after the results began appearing on the internet.

Mint restaurant in Ranelagh and Bon Appetit in Malahide kept the one star they were awarded for the first time last year.

Chapter One, L’Ecrivain and Thornton’s also retained their single-star status, while Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud remained the only restaurant on the island with two Michelin stars. There was no change in Northern Ireland, where Deanes retained its star.

Irish entries for the Bib Gourmand remain the same, with 12 restaurants given the nod for good food at moderate prices.

They are Customs House, Baltimore; Cafe Hans, Cashel; Sha-Roe Bistro, Clonegal; The Chart House, Dingle; Bang Cafe, La Maison des Gourmets and The Winding Stair, Dublin; Aldridge Lodge, Duncannon; Good Things Cafe, Durrus; The Lime Tree, Kenmare; Casino House, Kilbrittain and Kinsale’s Fishy Fishy Café.

In Northern Ireland, Cayenne in Belfast, Fontana in Holywood and Restaurant 23 in Warrenpoint all retained their Bib Gourmands.

Mint’s Dylan McGrath did not know the results had leaked out until he received a call from this newspaper yesterday.

He said he was happy to retain the star and was not complacent about it. But he added that he would have been very surprised if either Mint or Bon Appetit had lost their stars a year after they were granted. That would show bad judgment by Michelin inspectors in awarding the stars in the first place, he said. “I know what we’ve been doing here for the last two years and we are continuing to do what we are doing. I’m still at the stove every night.”

Oliver Dunne of Bon Appetit had also expected to retain the star “but there’s always a little bit of doubt there”, he said.

“I’m not going to get complacent and I’m not going to worry about it,” he said. He had just returned from holidays and was planning to take his staff out to celebrate the news last night.

Editor of the guide Derek Bulmer said Michelin inspectors had never awarded so many stars in a single year before.

“We have also seen an increase in the number of refreshingly informal restaurants where the cooking is very good,” he said.

“However, there is no doubt that 2009 will bring challenging times for hotels and restaurants. I am hopeful that the hospitality industry will prove to be resilient, that customers continue to support their local pub or restaurant and that dining out will remain part of our lives.”

The 2009 guide has 4,207 entries. Some 2,516 are hotels and guesthouses while 1,691 are restaurants and pubs.