100 Best Restaurants in Ireland 2016
McKennas’ Guides Ireland’s Top 100 Restaurants 2016
It’s always an honour to be reviewed by the dialectic, idiomatic and idiosyncratic guys and girls that make up the gang at McKennas’ Guides, not least Sally & John, but to be included in their annual amassing of all things that make Irish culinary exciting, their 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland, is simply sublime. Thank you McKenna Gang and Happy 25th Birthday!
Here’s what they said:
ely wine bar has made an enormous contribution to the culinary culture of Dublin over the last 15 years, and it is no exaggeration to describe it as a treasure, one of the key destinations in the city, one of those places that lets you understand just what it is that makes Dublin the place it is.
They offer the greatest wines from the world’s greatest winemakers, on one of the finest wine lists in the world. They also offer these great wines at very, very fair prices, so something you might have thought of as a trophy bottle will be within reach of your wallet.
To match the great wines, Erik and Michelle Robson offer a perfectly judged menu of Irish foods – many of them coming from the family’s own organic farm in the Burren in County Clare – to ensure that your brilliant glass of Grechetto di Todi will feel even more at home with some wild sea bass, or that the sweet Craggy Island lamb will be happy with some Katnook Estate cabernet sauvignon.
The cooking here, and in their sister restaurant just across the river at CHQ, has always been much, much better than one has a right to expect in a winebar. You come to ely to eat well – very well – with food cooked with imagination and precision, food which is carefully sourced and shown respect.
And yet, what makes ely special is the combination of food, and wine, and then the fact that they have the hippest staff in the city. Honestly, these guys and girls are so cool, they exhibit such savvy, that you almost want to propose marriage. You can see it in the confident way they behave, the confidence they have in the food they serve, the bottles they open. Even the way they carry the glasses is just so super-cool, and the amazing thing is that they are all cool: we have been coming to ely for years, and we have never encountered a boorish member of staff.
ely is raucous, iconoclastic and world-class, and for 15 years it has given Dublin the greatest place in which to drink the greatest wines.