These are, in no particular order, our favourite, and we think the best places, to eat in around Ireland at the moment. As you can see we, shamefully, don't get out of Dublin nearly enough these days. We would recommend any of these restaurants. If we find somewhere new, we will add it here.
Clever and beautifully presented food using some fantastic Asian ingredients from the very gifted Chef Patron Conor Dempsey. Fish and meat cookery is top notch and the harmony of big flavours is superb. A dish of Cod with Kamebishi sums up all that is good about Amuse. The generous Tasting menu is excellent and the lunch menus offer some of the best value in Dublin.
Phone: +353 1 639 4880
Address: 22 Dawson Street, Dublin 2.
A fantastic restaurant serving some seasonal, sophisticated and interesting food under the talented head chef Tom Doyle. The food is natural, earthy and balances some complex flavours. The tasting menu is a must. Quail with fermented barley and black pudding. was the best dish we ate in Ireland in 2015. An elegant dining room and hospitable service ensure a positive experience.
Phone: +353 1 6611919
Address: 109a Lower Baggot St, Dublin 2.
A stalwart of the Irish food scene for decades. Classical French food with some excellent Irish seasonal produce served with aplomb and consistency. Professional, formal and knowledgeable service. The lunch menu is great value.
Phone: +353 1 676 4192
Address: 21 Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2
A casual, lively and fun restaurant with a neighbourhood feel serving some very tasty, well executed food. Wine pairings are worth the extra.
Phone: +3531 667 8337
Address: 8 Sussex Terrace, Dublin 4
Burgers done properly here. Unlike many "gourmet" burger places, there are no giant concoctions filled with all sorts of ingredients, piled so high that you can't possible eat it. Just a quality, well sourced, burger and great fries. The way burgers should be.
Phone: +3531 552 5408
Address: 36 Wexford St, Dublin 2
Currently our favourite casual dining spot in Dublin. Some top produce from home and abroad, Italian inspired with a bit of Spanish, Delicious food, relaxed friendly service and great value.
Phone: +353 1 678 8872
Address: 18 Merrion Row, Dublin 2
A bistro-style restaurant, cooking consistently good and tasty food. A talented kitchen, led by Stephen Gibson, produces well executed, flavoursome, interesting and modern bistro food.
Phone: +3531 677 1060
Address: 14/15 Trinity Street, Dublin 2
Top produce, good cookery, friendly service and great value makes Bastible is a charming neighbourhood restaurant to spend a couple of hours.
Phone: +3531 473 7409
Address: 111 S Circular Rd, Dublin 8
Good cookery creates some very flavoursome dishes in a comfortable dining room with friendly service. The lunch is particularly good value. A great venison and suet pudding and treacle tart still live in the memory - only let down has been a Chateaubriand for two.
Phone: +3531 416 3655
Address: 1 Windsor Terrace, Portobello
If you want some very good Indian food in Dublin, then Pickle is probably the best choice.
Phone: 3531 5557755
Address: 43 Camden Street, Dublin 2
Heron & Grey
A tiny and charming neighbourhood restaurant with an intoxicating convivial atmosphere in the Blackrock Market. Seasonal and, at times, clever, dishes cooked with care and skill. A great example of what good chefs can achieve in a very small kitchen!
Phone: +35387 608 3140
Address: 19A Main St, Blackrock, Co. Dublin
The Ramen Bar
The only place to go for Ramen in Dublin. All too often ramen is disappointing bowl of shop both noodles in a weak or a cheaply flavoured broth, but The Ramen Bar take it seriously, making their own noodles to deliver bowls of warming, nourishing goodness.
Phone: +3531 5470658
Address: 51 South William Street, Dublin 2
A promising start to this basement restaurant on Parnell Sq. The food is uncomplicated, restrained, homely and very tasty. Desserts manage to be whimsical and delicious. One to watch!
Phone: +3531 8757778
Address: 38 Parnell Sq. W, Dublin 1
Rest of Ireland
We have only visited Loam once so far, but we couldn't fail to be impressed. A restaurant with comfortable and spacious dining serving seasonal, regional and delicious food, prepared with skill, care and by a talented kitchen led by Enda McEvoy.
Phone: +35391 569727
Address: Geata na Cathrach, Fairgreen, Galway
With a small lively dining room with a sort of Irish Bistoness feel. Chef Patron JP McMahon oversees food that captures the region with clear, uncluttered flavours from some fantastic local producers. Our best meal in Ireland of 2015 was had here.
Phone: +35391 535 947
Address: 53 Lower Dominick St, Galway City
This is not a place for tasting menus, but rather classical dishes executed with skill, love and care, with the excellent Garrett Byrne at the helm. You will leave here happy and content after eating some warming and nourishing food in hospitable surroundings. It is all about great flavour here.
Phone: +35356 777 2858
Address: 5 The Arches, Gashouse lane, Kilkenny City
The Lady Helen, Kilkenny
In the manor house of the beautiful Mount Juliet estate, The Lady Helen is serving classical, but modern food with some clever little touches that elevate it to something a little bit interesting under the watchful eye of Ken Harker. Not many of Ireland's fine country hotels have a restaurant that lives up to the surroundings, but Mount Juliet does with The Lady Helen
Phone: +353 56 777 3000
Address: Mount Juliet, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny.