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Dec 7, 2011 11:03 AM

Seeking Destination Restaurants in Ireland

Returning to Ireland after several years so I'm certain much has changed. I'm looking for restaurants that are considered , regardless of price, to be worth the trip for the sole purpose of dining there. I'm thinking of places like French Laundry in Yountville, CA ; Willows Inn on Lummi Island, WA and Fat Duck in Bray. Is Ballymaloe House still considered such a destination? Thank you so much for all your help

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  1. I don't know about its world-wide renown, but we had a terrific meal at The Malt House in Galway last year. Perfect in every way. You ARE going to Galway, right?

    1. There is only one Michelin 2* and five 1* restaurants in Ireland: (it is, of course, a small country)

      House in Waterford and, in Dublin, Patrick Guilbaud, Chapter 1, L'Ecrivain, Thorntons and Bon Appetit.

      1. Destination restaurant? Try to get to John Desmond on Heir Island - but be aware that they close for winter.

        The food is all locally sourced and John is a classically trained chef in the French tradition who brings creative skills to a very remote part of the world - if you get there, your meal will be memorable.

        Otherwise, the rather obvious but impeccable Guilbaud's in Dublin should be on your list. There you are best not to have regard for prices.

        1. Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co Waterford is an excellent hotel in a great location on the water with its michelin-starred restaurant a bonus.
          Chapter One in Dublin is a Modern Irish gem and their chef's table in the kitchen is a must on a fine dining Irish trip!
          What has changed in recent times is the surge in value dining around Dublin and the rest of the country - especially the Michelin Bib Gourmand establishments and the many cafes and pubs upping their food game.
          Ballymaloe is an icon in the scene here and if you like the experience of country house hospitality, it's not to be missed. The other hotels in 'the Blue Book' are a treat too with Gregan's Castle in Co Clare and Rathmullen House in Donegal two of my favourites.