When the former head chef of Dublin's celebrated Chapter One returns home and opens a restaurant, people take notice, and the awards start flooding in. Garrett Byrne chose an industrial site beside the disused railway yard and transformed it into a stylish, uncluttered space with a beautiful green canopy that adds a touch of the French bistro. The oak flooring and curved banquettes contrast with the abstract splashes of bright colors on the walls. The menu is the real work of art, with common French themes toyed with and expanded. The monkfish with jerusalem artichoke, suckling pig croquette, cabbage, and mustard sauce is just about perfect. For something lighter, try the Hegarty's cheese soufflé, with marinated beetroot and walnuts. The wine list is long and luxurious.
5 The Arches, Gashouse La., Kilkenny City, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland