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New Michelin stars light up Dublin 8

Three restaurants in Dublin 8 celebrate being awarded prestigious food accolades last month.  

The much sought-after Michelin Awards for excellence in cuisine were announced and local restaurants stood their ground against tough competition from well-known eateries.  

Getting a coveted One Star and a listing on the Michelin Guide are Bastible, from 111 South Circular Road and Variety Jones, at 78 Thomas Street. While Spitalfields, on The Coombe, celebrated receiving a Michelin Bib Gourmand.  

Bastible opened its doors back in 2015, when owner and head chef Barry Fitzgerald returned home from London with his wife, to open his very own restaurant. 

“We do a seasonal tasting menu, which changes every few weeks based on what produce is available, and we almost always choose local Irish produce,” said restaurant manager at Bastible, Shane Lyons.  

“Michelins send out their inspectors unannounced to us. We’ve always been trying to deliver high quality and high standard food not necessarily aiming for Michelin recognition,” said Lyons.  

“Our reservations have gone crazy now, we were always fairly busy beforehand, but it’s just gone insane. We’re booked out for almost three months,” Lyons said.

The busy Bastible on South Circular Road. Image: Shantanu Starick/ Bastible

Owner of Variety Jones, Keelan Higgs and his brother Aaron Higgs opened their restaurant in December 2018. They got awarded their first Michelin Star in October 2019 and this is their third year to retain it.  

“There is no set style or cuisine. Keelan draws from elements of his life and training as a chef. When you have a small passionate and motivated team, we maintain our standards quite efficiently,” said Aaron Higgs.

Food at Variety Jones in Thomas Street. Image: Shene Prunty/ Variety Jones

Stephen McAllister, who you might recognise as a chef on the TV show ‘The Restaurant’, and his wife Andrea Hussey are the owners of Spitalfields. They also own The Pigs Ear, a highly established restaurant on Nassau Street, which has been there for 13 years.  

“We opened in September 2019, six months before the world fell apart. We are a pub that is serving restaurant-quality food, we are a restaurant in a pub,” said Spitalfields manager Declan Maxwell.

Spitalfields Pub on The Coombe, Merchants Quay. Image: Stephen McCallister

“In Ireland, for a pub to even have a Bib Gourmand is a very big deal as it normally only goes to restaurants,” said Maxwell. 

“Our signature dishes would be our ‘Parker House Roll’ and our ‘Cock-a-Leekie Pie’. It’s the poshest comfort food you could ever have,” Maxwell said.

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