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Masterchef Munier's Pichet scoops best restaurant accolade

RTE's Masterchef star Nick Munier was the toast of the town last night after being served the top restaurant award.

The owner of Pichet was over the moon after his venue was voted number-one eaterie in Santa Rita People's Choice accolade.

He beat off stiff competition to top the list of top 10 restaurants in the list of 100 best Restaurants, as voted for by readers of The Dubliner.

Nick described it as a "huge honour", particularly given that his restaurant has only been open since July 2009, with head chef and co-owner Stephen Gibson also at the helm.

"We have been described as the Recession L'Ecrivain which is a great honour considering the calibre of the restaurant," he said.

He was at last night's bash in the Radisson Blu on Golden Lane with his wife Deirdre as the pair toasted the victory.

They were joined by hundreds of well-heeled guests who had flocked to the southside venue to see which restaurants had made the grade this year.

Top chef Derry Clarke of L'Ecrivain walked home with the coveted Chef's Chef Award, as voted for by his peers.

The well-known cook was not at last night's bash -- but publisher Michael O'Doherty explained how he was delighted with the recognition.

"We phoned his wife Sally to let her know and she said they were absolutely thrilled to win the award," he said.

All eyes last night were on who else had made it into the top 10, with competition more fierce than ever before.

In second place was the venue partly owned by rugby star Gordon D'Arcy, The Exchequer, while Juniors on Bath Avenue was in third place.

Michelin-starred eaterie Chapter One came in fourth while Eatery 120 and Dillinger's were in fifth and sixth place. In seventh place was Jo'Burger followed by Dax, Saba and Trocadero.