Saturday 16 December 2017

Michelin star makes tiny restaurant the hottest ticket in town

Heron & Grey dining room. Photo: Frank McGrath
Heron & Grey dining room. Photo: Frank McGrath

Jane O'Faherty

Last night was an important one for some of Ireland's finest restaurants, as they found out who had held on to their Michelin stars - and who had just joined the exclusive club.

Four of Dublin's finest dining experiences got the nod from the prestigious guide to cuisine.

Andrew Heron and Damien Grey, left. Photo:
Andrew Heron and Damien Grey, left. Photo:

Patrick Guilbaud's restaurant reasserted its dominance by keeping its two Michelin stars, while Chapter One, L'Ecrivain and The Greenhouse retained their one-star ratings from the bible of haute cuisine.

But newcomers Heron & Grey in Blackrock were cooking up a storm as locals celebrated their first Michelin star.

The team behind the restaurant, Damien Grey and Andrew Heron, were in London to celebrate their win.

But Blackrock was also buzzing as news spread of their addition to the iconic little red book.

The Greenhouse Restaurant kept its star. Photo: Frank McGrath
The Greenhouse Restaurant kept its star. Photo: Frank McGrath
Ross Lewis at Chapter One. Photo: Tony Gavin
Derry Clarke of L’Ecrivain in Dublin. Pic: Arthur Caron
Cliff House, Ardmore, kept its star
Cormac Rowe of Lady Helen restaurant

Hidden in between stalls in Blackrock Market, the understated restaurant could be easily passed by.

Dorothee Yvon, assistant manager at Blackrock Cellar off licence, passed on her congratulations to the team.

"I'm delighted that it's been rewarded," she said.

"They work very hard and it's really good to see that they've succeeded."

Paddy Murphy, the manager at Jack O'Rourke's pub, was also delighted at the local success.

"The market has been there for years, but they've only been open since December," he said.

Read more: 'Our biggest thanks go out to the real team behind us': Ireland's newest Michelin Star restaurant celebrates prestigious award

Meanwhile, Aniar restaurant in Galway and Enda McEvoy's Loam also kept their one-star ratings with Michelin.

Kilkenny's Campagne and Lady Helen restaurant in Mount Juliet were delighted to retain their prized star.

John Kelly, head chef at Lady Helen, said the key to success was simplicity and seasonality.

"We keep it very simple here," he said.

"We cook for the customers, not for the chef."

Mr Kelly added that it's not about one chef ruling the kitchen with an iron first either.

"We all work together well and do what needs to be done. It's not about one chef coming in and barking orders at everyone. It's a team effort. It's not down to one dish, everything has to be consistently good.

"Everything has to be done well, whether we're serving a sandwich or a great dish of turbot," he added.

Separately, five other restaurants in Dublin were awarded the Bib Gourmand, which recognises exceptional food at more affordable prices.

Camden Street eatery Delahunt, The Pigeon House in Clontarf, Baggot Street's Etto, and the Pig's Ear on Nassau Street were all rewarded in that category.

French/Mediterranean bistro Pichet also made the cut with a Bib Gourmand.

The aforementioned restaurants were joined by 1826 in Adare, Co Limerick, Wild Honey Inn in Lisdoonvarna and Fishy Fishy in Kinsale, among others.

No Irish establishments were struck off the list this year.

Irish Independent

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