The Patrick Guilbaud restaurant at Dublin’s Merrion Hotel has once again been awarded two stars and remains Ireland’s only restaurant with two stars.
delighted for our fantastic staff for retaining our two star again this year @kieranglennon— Guilbauds (@RPGuilbaud) September 26, 2013
Thornton’s at the Fitzwilliam Hotel, Chapter One, L’Ecrivain, and Bon Appétit in Malahide also retained their single Michelin star rating in Dublin. Locks Brassserie in Dublin lost the star it was awarded last year.
Kilkenny restaurants Campagne and Lady Helen at the Mount Juliet Hotel have, for the first time, both been awarded stars in the 2014 Michelin guide.
Other Irish winners are the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co Waterford, and Aniar restaurant in Dominic St, Galway.
Michelin’s criteria indicates that three stars means exceptional cuisine and is worth a special journey; two are for excellent cooking and worth a detour, while one star denotes very good cooking in its category.
No Irish establishment has ever got three stars. All four three-star restaurants in England held on to Michelin’s highest accolade. England’s three-star restaurants are: Gordon Ramsay Royal Hospital Road (chef-patron Clare Smyth), Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester (chef Jocelyn Herland), The Fat Duck (chef Jonny Lake), and The Waterside Inn (chef Alain Roux).
English chef Heston Blumenthal picked up a sixth Michelin star after his new London restaurant Dinner was upgraded to two stars. The celebrity cook has kept his three-star rating for The Fat Duck and one star for The Hinds Head, neighbouring restaurants in Bray, Berkshire.
The editor of the Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2014, Rebecca Burr, said: “In the last year we’ve seen the rise of relaxed counter dining but also the opening of some big brasseries.
“Dining is becoming a less structured, less formal affair and opening times and menus are more flexible to reflect the way we live our lives.”
There are four three-star restaurants in the guide, 21 two-star, and 142 with one star.
Michelin & Cie, Europe’s largest tire maker, produced its first guide in 1900, intended for chauffeurs.
Bib Gourmands, which celebrate establishments that provide exceptional meals for €40 or less, were awarded to 11 establishments in the Republic and four in Northern Ireland.
There are 11 recipients in the 2014 guide: The Courthouse at Carrickmacross in Co Monaghan; Deasy’s in Clonakilty, Co Cork; Sha Roe Bistro, Co Carlow; Chart House in Dingle, Co Kerry; Aldridge Lodge, Duncannon, Co Wexford; Fishy Fishy Cafe, in Kinsale, Co Cork; and Wild Honey Inn in Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare.
In Dublin, Pichet, Pig’s Ear, and Downstairs scooped the award. The brasserie at Bon Appétit in Malahide, where the main restaurant retained its star rating, was also awarded a Bib Gourmand.
Winners in the north are: Coppi and Home in Belfast, Fontana in Hollywood, Co Down and Oregano in Ballyclare, Co Antrim.
While the winning establishments generally have prices to match their stars, even Ireland’s top rated restaurant, Patrick Guilbaud at the Merrion Hotel in Dublin, has acknowledged the cold wind of recession.
It now offers a four-course “surprise” menu, designed by chefs Guillaume LeBrun and Kieran Glennon, which includes a fish and meat course, for €90.
Last year, the restaurant announced it would not be passing on a 2% Vat increase to customers.