Monday 24 October 2016

Two Dublin gastropubs – located less than 100 metres apart - named in 2016 Michelin Guide

The Old Spot in Ballsbridge
The Old Spot in Ballsbridge
Kevin Arundel, chef and owner of The Chop House on Shelbourne Road

Two neighbouring Dublin gastropubs – located less than 100 metres apart - have been given the stamp of approval from some of the world’s most respected food judges.

Both The Chop House and The Old Spot in Ballsbridge have been named in the 2016 Michelin ‘Eating Out In Pubs’ Guide.

This is the second year in a row for The Chop House to receive the nod, while The Old Spot is celebrating the nomination in its first year of business.

Supervisor Ashley Marcilliat says the secret behind the success of The Old Spot is its “epic roasts” and fresh seafood platters.

“We want to be the best at what we do, and if we pick the award on the way, then that’s not a bad bonus. Amazing food in a relaxed place - that’s how we want to go.”

“The Old Spot is named after a spotted pig, our mascot is a pig in a bath, so anything that we can roast, we do. Our Sunday roasts are epic, our Yorkshire pudding is the size of your head,” she laughed.

“We do a gorgeous tuna tartare, and we have excellent suppliers of seafood, we have huge platters of seafood that go down a treat.”

Both head chefs at the eateries have a long history of Michelin star experience. The Old Spot’s head chef Tom Coffey has worked at Michelin starred restaurants in Dublin. While Kevin Gallagher at The Chop House trained in Patrick Guilbaud’s restaurant in Dublin, as well as other top restaurants in New Zealand and Tokyo.

The Chop House's owner Kevin Arundel said: “It’s about using the really good ingredients we have in Ireland and cooking them properly, with respect.”

“It’s high end food without the fuss.”

“Our speciality is high-end, dry aged beef. Chop Houses were 16th century eating houses where men went to eat good meat and drink red wine.”

“We have our own abattoir out in Meath. We have a ‘picker’ who picks [the meat] for us and puts away the beef, and ages it. We run a bi-monthly beef club, where we have five courses of meat with things like beef tea, oxtail, bone marrow on toast and it goes down a treat.”

"Last night we had turbot off the bone which as everyone knows is a very expensive fish, we also serve lobster. We bring all the skill sets we’ve learned at the high end, we might just put two less garnishes on the plate and that cuts out the labour costs.”

One of the owners of The Old Spot, Barry McInerney, says receiving the accolade alongside The Chop House puts the Ballsbridge area on top of Dublin's food scene.

"With the Chop House being the other Dublin pub to be named in the guide, it puts the area on the map."

"We’re behind Juniors and Paulies, and Lotts and Co, the new supermarket in the area as well."

“The better the neighbours do, the better we all do, because people will know that there are loads of places to go to," Ashley agreed.

“The more the merrier, we need more good business models like this,” Kevin added.

In terms of best performing county's for Michelin Guide nominations, county Down got six listings followed by Cork with five, Clare with four and Kildare with three.

Dublin, Galway and Mayo each received two listings with Antrim, Kerry, Leitrim, Louth, Sligo, Tipperary, Wexford and Wicklow each having one listing.


Billy Andy’s at Mounthill, near Larne


Morrissey’s (Doonbeg), Vaughan’s Anchor Inn (Liscannor), Wild Honey Inn (Lisdoonvarna) and Linnane’s Lobster Bar (New Quay)


Mary Ann’s (Castletownshend), Poacher’s Inn (Bandon), Deasy’s (Clonakilty), Cronin’s (Crosshaven) and Toddies at The Bulman (Kinsale)


Pheasant (Annahilt), Poacher’s Pocket (Comber), Parson’s Nose and Plough Inn (both in Hillsborough) Pier 36 (Donaghadee) and Balloo House (Killinchy).


Old Spot and Chop House (both in Ballsbridge)


Moran’s Oyster Cottage (Kilcolgan) and O’Dowd’s (Roundstone)


O’Neill’s Seafood Bar (Caherciveen)


Harte’s (Kildare),Ballymore Inn (Ballymore Eustace) and Fallon’s (Kilcullen)


Oarsman (Carrick-on-Shannon)


Fitzpatricks (Jenkinstown)


The Tavern (Murrisk) and Sheebeen (Westport)


Hargadons (Sligo Town)


Larkins (Garrykennedy)


Lobster Pot (Carne)


Byrne & Woods (Roundwood). 

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