Also known as "Dublin's finest restaurant," this do-be-impressed place on the ground floor of the Merrion Hotel boasts a menu described as French, but chef Guillaume Lebrun's genius lies in his occasional daring use of traditional Irish ingredients—so often taken for granted—to create the unexpected. The best dishes are flawless: poached Annagassan blue lobster with tonka and lobster jus, or the pressé of game birds with roast salsify, cherry juniper condiment, and
crispy potato. Follow that, if you can, with the assiette au chocolat (a tray of five hot and cold chocolate desserts). The ambience is just as delicious—if you're into lofty, minimalist dining rooms and Irish modern art (the Roderic O'Conors and Louis le Brocquys are all from the owner's private collection). Nearly as impressive is the 70-page wine list, the view of the Merrion's manicured gardens, and the two-course lunch special for €38. Soaring white vaults and white walls won't make you feel warm and cozy, but you can always go somewhere else for that.