1. The Woolen Mills, 42 Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin 1
With a postcard-perfect view over the Ha’Penny Bridge and fab farm-to-table fare, this new restaurant from the folks behind the beloved Winding Stair next door is a great addition to the Dublin food scene. Brilliant for carnivores and vegetarians alike, there’s also an excellent cocktail list.
2. SÖder + Ko, 61 South Great Georges St, Dublin 2
Not open a wet week, this Scando fusion place doesn’t put a foot wrong. It’s the only place in Dublin you’ll get a range of really good new style sashimi alongside dim sum buns and hot plates for sharing.
3. Delahunt, 39 Lower Camden St, Dublin 2
Heaps of brass and polish atmosphere and attention to detail make this one of the most exciting openings of the year. On more wintery nights (which, let’s face it, can come any time of year in Dublin) we love the braised beef cheek or venison, on summer nights it’s all about fish.
4. The Butcher Grill, 92 Ranelagh Village, Dublin 6
Our favorite place for an unapologetic steak- either an American ribeye or an Irish Dexter. Staff know their stuff and will give you the right steer (literally) depending on what you want and make sure you order the right house wine and sides to accompany it. The Cote de Boeuf for two makes for a great date (€45, Monday and Tuesday night).
5. Forest Avenue, 8 Sussex Terrace, Dublin 4
Everything here is delivered with the lightest of touches according to a set menu devised daily by husband and wife team John and Sandy Wyer, based on their foraging in the landscape and markets. Unfussy and simple, it garnered its first Michelin attention within a year of opening in 2013 and continues to wow.