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Sharp wit, culinary ability and stunning seafood — Lucinda O’Sullivan enjoys lunch at Gaz Smith’s Michael’s

Feeling the call of supreme seafood, the critic headed to the Mount Merrion hotspot

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Luxury seafood bowl with halibut, lobster fishcakes, Lambay crab, Clogherhead prawns and mussels in a light lobster cream

Luxury seafood bowl with halibut, lobster fishcakes, Lambay crab, Clogherhead prawns and mussels in a light lobster cream

Luxury seafood bowl with halibut, lobster fishcakes, Lambay crab, Clogherhead prawns and mussels in a light lobster cream

If ever anyone put their stamp on a place, it is Gareth Smith with his Michael’s Mount Merrion in Dublin. Michael’s had been a nice, if somewhat innocuous, neo-Italian neighbourhood restaurant, servicing the discreetly affluent houses on the tree-lined roads of this SoCoDu genteel suburb before the ebullient ‘Gaz’ came riding up the hill and turned it into one of Dublin’s hotspots.

Gaz reminds me of those actors who become ‘overnight sensations’ after slogging away quietly for 20 years. He’d been in Restaurant 1014 in Clontarf before it closed during the recession. Then, he took off to Vienna to work in an Irish gastropub. Eventually coming home to Ireland, he took over Michael’s and through dint of hard work, personality, and social media, built a strong business and, with a great loyal team behind him, went on to open a second restaurant, Little Mike’s, a few doors away.


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