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Upscale Dublin or Ireland restaurants in general

I'm visiting Ireland for a food trip this summer and I'd love some advice on the best restaurants, not just in Dublin really but anywhere in Ireland since I'll be driving around a lot. I'm interested in the high end places and the only obvious on to me is Patrick Guilbaud although I've heard good things (and possibly a few bad things too) about Chapter one and L'Ecrivain. Can anyone who's been around a little in the Irish food scene give me pointers and recommendations?

Outside Dublin I don't really have a clue and I'd be thrilled if someone could give me help. Thanks in advance!

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  1. One futher comment, I tend to prefer the more modern and informal places, as opposed to classical elegance and that sort of thing. From what I read about L'Ecrivain, it should be a perfect match, am I right?

    1. I think you would like Pearl Brasserie. Where else in Ireland will you be going besides Dublin?

      4 Replies
      1. re: rrems

        Thanks for the tip.
        I'd be going everywhere really since it's my first time in the country. Certainy the other cities like Galway etc. Since I have a car I don't necessarily have to dine in the cities. Any place with creative cooking, in the city or out in the countryside would be of interest!

        1. re: onlydon

          The Cliff House hotel in Ardmore, Co Waterford (on the south coast) has an excellent restaurant. For a splurge in Dublin, Pearl is excellent as is Thorntons (although i'd rank it higher for food than atmosphere). In Galway, I've never really done upscale; I would recommend Morans on the Weir outside the city for some seriously good oysters.

          1. re: onlydon

            My favorites were Kirwan's Lane in Galway, Moran's Oyster Cottage (near Galway), The Mustard Seed in Ballingarry (near Limerick) and The Ivory Tower in Cork.

            1. re: rrems

              Patrick Guilbaud is a place onto itself - lunch (and lunch only - but particularly Saturday) is good value by two star levels, unrushed, and the staff is a great combination of French style and Irish charm.
              Morans - a good waterside pub serving good oysters - no more, no less.
              If it's open when you are there, the best place to eat in Ireland may be John Desmond's on Heir Island. http://islandcottage.com/ Not easy to reach but worth th effort.

        2. Two new places at the forefront of creative Irish cooking:
          The chef at anair in galway spent time at noma in copenhagen and is bringing the same philosophy to the west.
          The chef at Gregans Castle hotel, mickael viljanen, tipped for a star last year, has moved to the newly-opened Greenhouse in Dublin and getting excellent reviews. A star or two there in the future.

          3 Replies
          1. re: DublinChow

            Wow, thanks for all the excellent advice!
            By now I'm certainly all set for Dublin. If you have anything else for anywhere else around the island, feel free to post. :)

            1. re: onlydon

              I will second the recommendation for The Greenhouse...without doubt the most exciting food happening in Ireland at the moment

              1. re: Patricko

                Many thanks, we're changing from Pearl Brasserie to Greenhouse.