Sunday, 3 February 2008

Northern Ireland Michelin Star 2008

Trawling through the recently-announced Michelin-starred restaurants of 2008 I notice that, once again and to their credit, Deane's Restaurant in Howard Street, Belfast, has been awarded one star.

Deane's, where we dined about a year ago on my birthday, is undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in the Province and this star vindicates it. Whilst at a concert across the road a few weeks ago, I observed that Deane's has had a major makeover (downstairs at least). Have there been any renovations upstairs? Hopefully nothing too drastic, because we thought it was fine when we ate there for my birthday.

Deane's is the sole restaurant in Northern Ireland to win the coveted Star. It is a bit disappointing that there aren't more establishments in the Province with a star or two; not that it's the "be all and end all". Nevertheless, I wonder if this is an accurate reflection on the standards of catering in NI? Restaurateurs really have no excuse; it's up to them to push up their standards and employ chefs with the appropriate levels of excellence required to win more catering awards.


Anonymous said...

The upstairs has effectively closed: it's now for private bookings only; the distinction of bistro downstairs and restaurant upstairs has gone. Everyone eats downstairs now.

There were two other one-Michelin-star restaurants in NI until recently. Shanks at Blackwood Golf Course had the star until chef proprietor Robbie Millar wrapped his car around a tree. There was also the Oriel in Gilford which closed a few years ago for "relaunching" and hasn't been heard of since. I suspect it was one of those "relaunches" which was a disguised closing down to deter the creditors. If it has closed, I'm not surprised based on the one experience I've heard of: friend's parents went along one night to be told that there would be no menu; chef would be deciding what they ate! They didn't finish most of their food, paid their bill and told them they would never be back. I think it's called hubris.

Timothy Belmont said...

That sounds very poor :-(