Michelin stars for Galway’s Loam and Dublin’s Greenhouse

Thornton’s loses out as Belfast eateries Eipic and Ox also recognised


The Greenhouse in Dublin and Loam restaurant in Galway have both been awarded a Michelin Star.

Belfast’s Eipic and Ox restaurants were also new additions to the Michelin list but Thornton’s Restaurant in Dublin has been stripped of its star for the first time since 1996.

The Greenhouse’s head chef Mikael Viljanen is one of the most highly regarded in Ireland and in recent years food experts have grown increasingly baffled as to why the Finnish chef failed to get the nod from the guide.

Staff at the restaurant told The Irish Times they were delighted to win the accolade although at the time of speaking they remained focused on the lunchtime service.

The restaurant opened in the summer of 2012 and was a joint venture between Eamonn O’Reilly of One Pico and Viljanen.Almost as soon as the doors opened it was being touted as a serious contender for a star.

“I am delighted most of all for the lads in the restaurant,” said Viljanen.” This is by no means a one-man show. We just do what we do. When you set expectations you set yourself up to be let down. We are always trying to make sure the punters are looked after. That is the name of the game.”

He stressed the importance of his team working together. “One of the proudest moments this week came when someone we took on as a kitchen porter four years ago started working on the restaurant floor. It is so important for me to see people joining us and making progress.”

Owner Eamonn O’Reilly said he was “over the moon”. He said that almost since the restaurant opened, people had been linking the Greenhouse to a star. been talking about us.” This is a very emotional day. I’d be as tough as nails but this is a special feeling.”

It is the first time since Oliver Dunne won for Bon Appetit in 2008 that a new star has been awarded to a restaurant in Dublin (Locks Brasserie in Dublin 8 won a star in 2013, but closed shortly afterwards). Dunne’s restaurant has been removed from the Michelin list.

Earlier this month, Dunne said that he had changed the focus of his restaurant to step away from fine dining and he said the move would inevitably see him lose the decoration.

Loam head chef Enda McEvoy told The Irish Times: “We’re a little bit shocked to be honest. We only found out about it when Michelin tweeted about in 20 minutes ago.

“We are only open 10 months and I wasn’t expecting to win a star yet,” he said.

He is no stranger to winning stars, as he worked in Galway’s Aniar restaurant when it was awarded the same accolade two years ago. “To get a star so quickly is amazing,” he said. “I think it is a great recognition of how far Ireland has come.”

He said the restaurant did not have many bookings for tonight which might give staff a chance to celebrate, before adding, “We have seen bookings pick up for the weekend.”

Belfast restaurant Eipic, located on Howard Street, is operated by restaurateur Michael Deane. His restaurant Deanes held a Michelin star for 12 years between 1998 and 2010.

Ox, in which chef Stephen Toman and Alain Kerloc’h are involved, opened on Oxford Street in the city in March 2013.

MICHELIN STARS 2016 (bold = new)

Republic of Ireland

* * Patrick Guilbaud, Dublin


* House, Ardmore, Co Waterford

* Chapter One, Dublin

* L’Ecrivain, Dublin

* Greenhouse, Dublin

* Aniar, Galway

* Loam, Galway

Campagne, Kilkenny

Lady Helen, Thomastown, Kilkenny

Losses: Thornton’s, Dublin; bon appétit, Malahide, Co Dublin

North of Ireland

* Eipic, Belfast

* OX, Belast

BIB GOURMANDS 2016 (bold = new)

Republic of Ireland

1826, Adare, Co Limerick

Courthouse, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan

Cafe Hans, Cashel, Co Tipperary

Sha-Roe Bistro, Clonegal, Co Carlow

Chart House, Dingle, Co Kerry

Pichet, Dublin

Delahunt, Dublin

Pig’s Ear, Dublin

Etto, Dublin

Pigeon House, Clontarf, Dublin

Aldridge Lodge, Duncannon, Co Wexford

Copper Hen, Fenor, Co Waterford

Giovannelli, Killorglin, Kerry

Fishy Fishy, Kinsale, Co Cork

Bastion, Kinsale, Co Cork

Wild Honey Inn, Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare

Northern Ireland

Bar + Grill at James Street South, Belfast

Deanes at Queens, Belfast

Home, Belfast

Old Schoolhouse Inn, Newtownards, Belfast, Co Down

Fontana, Holywood, Co Down