Restaurants retain their star quality

THERE are no new Michelins stars being awarded to Irish restaurants this year — but no Irish restaurants lost their stars either.

Ross Lewis’ Chapter One remains the only Irish restaurant with two Michelin stars, while the other Dublin city centre eateries, Thornton’s at the Fitzwilliam Hotel and L’Ecrivain retain their one star, as does Malahide’s Bon Appetit

The only restaurant outside of Dublin to have a Michelin star, House at the Cliff House Hotel, also retains its one-star billing.

The restaurant, headed by Martijn Kajuiter, won the award for the first time in 2010.

“We’re delighted. There’s a sense of relief as every night, we put our heart and soul into the restaurant. It is great to get the accolade that you are doing something right,” said Mr Kajuiter. “We always went for the quality and it’s nice to see that what you put in, you get back”.

One Irish restaurant, Box Tree at Stepaside in Dublin, has been awarded Michelin’s Bib Gourmand award for the first time. Eleven other Irish restaurants are in this Michelin sector which recognises quality food in value-for-money restaurants.

These include Fishy Fishy in Kinsale, Co Cork, and the White Sage in Adare, Co Limerick.

Fishy Fishy’s owner and chef, Martin Shanahan said the Bib Gourmand award “brings a significant number of foreign tourists to the restaurant.

“It certainly helps amongst foreign customers. It doesn’t do much harm with Irish customers either but word of mouth and happy customers are important too.”

Three Irish restaurants lost their place in the Bib Gourmand category, including Cafe Hans in Cashel and Rosso in Dundalk.

*The Michelin Guide to Great Britain and Ireland 2012 is available in bookshops from today.

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