The Winding Stair won praise for cooking, service and it's superb wine list, though Nick did find it very noisy. Fallon & Byrne was likewise praised for its “inherent warmth and friendliness” and also for its smart wine pricing policy, whilst Erik and Michelle Robson's Ely got the gong for creating a ”most elegant wine bar and restaurant” in Ely CHQ, whilst staying true to “the roots of traditional Irish food”.
This is good news for the three restaurants, all of them firm Bridgestone stars – and all of them featured in the Bridgestone 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland 2008, published this week – but what is truly significant about Mr Lander's article is that he should choose three Dublin restaurants which are so trenchantly Dublinesque. Reviewers on whistlestop tours frequently go for the starred addresses – five years ago on imagines the hit-list would have been Guilbaud's, Thornton's and L'Ecrivain – but instead we have three maverick, authentic restaurants chosen, places that define the spirit of the city as it is today.
The article also underlines another change in the capital's food culture: the new generation of star chefs are already here, folk like Tom Meenhan of F&B, Aine Maguire of TWS, and the great crew in Ely. The changing of the guard is already well underway.