Food & drink

Eipic and Ox keep Michelin stars

 Michael Deane (rught) and Ales Greene at Eipic
Deborah McAleese, Press Association

Two Belfast restaurants retained their Michelin star status - Eipic and Ox.

In the Republic of Ireland, a 19th-century inn became the latest Irish restaurant to be added to the prestigious Michelin star list.

The Wild Honey Inn in Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare, has been awarded a Michelin Star in the 2018 Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland published on Monday.

Owned and run by prominent chef Aidan McGrath and his partner Kate Sweeney, the Wild Honey Inn - a Michelin Bib Gourmand holder since 2010 - becomes the only newcomer to join an 11-strong list of Michelin Star restaurants in the Republic of Ireland.

Northern Ireland has retained its two Michelin stars.

The Wild Honey Inn, which has a history that dates from 1860, was refurbished in 2009.

Its food offering places emphasis on the French classical genre, using wild, local produce prepared and served in a refined bistro style.

Other restaurants in the Republic of Ireland that hold their Michelin Star from previous years are the two-star Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud and the one-star Chapter One, L'Ecrivain and The Greenhouse in Dublin City, and Heron & Grey in Blackrock village.

In Galway city, the Aniar and Loam has retained its one-star. The Mount Juliet Hotel in Kilkenny and House Restaurant at Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore, Waterford, have also kept their one-star .

Also in Northern Ireland, Noble in Holywood was awarded a Bib Gourmand listing for the first time.

This increases to seven the number of Michelin Bib Gourmand establishments in the region.

The Bib is a separate award for restaurants that offer good food at more affordable prices.

Belfast-based restaurants Deanes at Queen's, Bar and Grill at James Street South and Home have all kept their Bib Gourmand awards, as have Fontance in Holywood, the Old Schoolhouse Inn in Comber and Wine & Brine in Moira.

Seven newcomers have joined the list of 20 Bib Gourmand recipients in the Republic of Ireland.

The new awards were dished out to Bastible in Dublin, Richmond in Portobello, Forest & Marcy in Ranelagh, Craft in Terenure, Morrissey's in Doonbeg, Kai in Galway City and TwoCooks in Sallins.

Others to retain Bib Gourmand status from earlier years are 1826 Adare in Adare, Aldridge Lodge in Duncannon, Bastion in Kinsale, Chart House in Dingle, Copper Hen in Tramore, The Courthouse in Carrickmacross, Sha-Roe Bistro in Clonegal and Giovannelli in Killorglin.

In Dublin city, Delahunt, Etto, Pichet, Pigeon House and Pig's Ear retained their Bib Gourmand status.

This year's Michelin Guide lists a total of 350 establishments in the Republic of Ireland and 74 in Northern Ireland, including many which offer overnight accommodation.

Speaking at its launch, Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland editor Rebecca Burr said: "I'm confident the demand for good food in Ireland, from tourists and locals alike, will see further development of its culinary landscape over the next few years."

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