“The Irish capital has had a good year.”
That was the verdict of the judges at gastro guide Michelin as they gave three Dublin restaurants a well deserved lift with news that three prestigious new Bib Gourmands were on their way to the city.
Named after Bibendum – the official name of the Michelin Man – this culinary distinction highlights restaurants offering great quality, great value cooking.
Announcing the names of the Dublin awardees, the UK based judges began by lauding the Spanish delights to be enjoyed at La Gordita, describing the sister restaurant of Las Tapas de Lola which first opened its doors on Montague Street last Spring, as a “lively spot with authentic cooking”.
A stone’s throw away, John Farrell’s Amy Austin secured its gong for its “internationally influenced dishes accompanied by free-flowing wine on tap”, while Domini Kemp and Brian Montague’s ‘buzzing neighbourhood brasserie’ in Rathmines was also singled out for “serving unfussy dishes packed with flavour” as Lottie’s too secured a bib.
Further afield in Belfast, Home regained its Bib, while there was joy too for a brace of restaurants in the South West of the country. Cork got the nod thanks to the beautiful selection of Japanese dishes at Chef Takashi Miyazaki’s Ichigo Ichie Bistro & Natural Wine, a new incarnation of the original Ichigo Ichie, the Michelin-starred restaurant that closed at the end of last year.
The judges describe it as “a more relaxed and accessibly priced restaurant that comes with the bustle of contented diners”, while also praising the delicious tapas at Solas in Dingle, where “Spanish flavours mingle with Irish produce in dishes that have been given a fresh spin without losing their identity”.
The news was greeted with delight, even if it did initially seem to leave Domini Kemp almost speechless. Her reaction on X was a shocked “omg” while over at La Gordita, they proclaimed “What a Monday lift!” adding, “We couldn’t be happier for our fantabulous team. Our rocks since we all opened last March.”
From chefs to staff to suppliers, it’s a big day for all those involved, as the Irish restaurants join fifteen other restaurants across the UK and Ireland receiving bib gourmands this month.
No doubt the celebrations will continue in style after the initial shock subsides at the official awards ceremony in Manchester next week, and hopes are high for the addition of some new Irish Michelin star holders.
Words: Martina Murray
Check out our review of La Gordita by Conor Stevens here.