Don't be put off by the seedy-looking street entrance to this second-floor restaurant: Seamus O'Connell, the American-born owner-chef here, is one of the stars of the Irish culinary scene. describing his approach as "trans-ethnic fusion." He has cooked in Mexico and Japan, and his accomplished menu features quirky, eclectic dishes like wild duck with vanilla, sherry, and jalapeños or pheasant tamale. His mastery of Japanese cooking is impressive, and he works wonders
with Irish staples, combining monkfish cheeks with pearl barley risotto, and in early spring serving a memorable nettle-and-wild-garlic soup. Imaginative presentation, including a surprise taster to set the mood, compensates for the stark interior of the dining room, as does the tradition that the maestro himself often serves the dishes he has created. The eight-course Irish tasting menu (€45) is a great introduction to O'Connell's inimitable style.