6 Irish restaurants for your 2021 wishlist

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Daydreaming about your next indulgent meal? It will tough to get a table at these establishments from the 2021 Michelin guide

The doors of restaurants in Ireland may be closed but they still made their mark in the past year. Eateries across the country received a nod in the 2021 Michelin Guide. While we can’t visit just yet, it’s easy to envisage oneself plotting a staycation in Cork or along the East coast in order to dine at one of these restaurants this summer.

Perhaps it is a sign of the times, but each of these eateries are known for their cosy and intimate vibe, and for letting the talents of chefs shine in understated elegance. It’s what we’re all yearning for – places where the atmosphere is as inviting as the the food is excellent. While we wait, whet your appetite with a glance at the menus of the restaurants below, and take mental note of their reopening dates and lockdown offerings.

Dede, Baltimore, West Cork

Ahmet Dede

Ahmet Dede received joins elegant restaurants across the UK on the One Michelin Star winners list. The former head chef of Mews Restaurant in West Cork and former sous chef at Greenhouse in Dublin moved to Baltimore in 2017. Dede’s style is creative, elegant cuisine taking inspiration from his Turkish heritage, and reflecting his love of the people and produce of West Cork. Located at Customs House in Baltimore, the space is a café, restaurant and delicatessen with an outdoor space too. They plan to reopen on St Patrick’s weekend for dinner on Friday and Saturday night and lunch on Sunday. Reservations are available online here.

Goldie, Cork

Recipient of a Michelin Bib Gourmand, the distinction for establishments serving good food at competitive prices, Goldie is a fish and ale restaurant on Cork’s Oliver Plunkett Street. The exciting menu offers gill-to-fin cooking for seafood lovers, and it has been noted by critics for its lively and welcoming atmosphere, something we’re all missing while the restaurant scene is on pause.

Spitalfields, Dublin

Spitalfields is a pub and restaurant located in the heart of the Liberties. Recipient of a Bib Gourmand, Spitalfields has the delightful atmosphere and sense of community of a pub, with mouthwatering dishes that make it something special. Last year they pivoted to offer a takeout menu and sumptuous picnics which sold out time and time again.

Table Forty One, Gorey, Wexford

Owned and run by chef Andrew Duncan, this restaurant has a small team that endeavours to offer a fine dining experience without any pretentiousness. Expect new menus weekly, celebrating the best local and seasonal ingredients, in a relaxing atmosphere. Find out more here.

Volpe Nera, Blackrock, Dublin

This cosy neighbourhood restaurant is another Bib Gourmand winner. Offering contemporary Mediterranean dishes, a meal here might be as close to a sun holiday as many of us will get this year. Go for the amazing food by chef Barry Sun Jian, formerly of Etto, and linger for the relaxed bistro vibe.

Noble, Holywood, Co Down

The pretty coastal town of Holywood in Co Down is home to smart, modern restaurant Noble. Front of house and co-owner Saul McConnell received the Michelin Welcome & Service Award. The simple aesthetic of the restuarant ensures the focus is on the changing, seasonal menu.