Thornton’s in the Fitzwilliam Hotel
Kevin Thornton is Center Stage in Dublin’s Finest Restaurant
by Bonnie Carroll
Thornton’s Two Michelin Star Restaurant is considered by ‘foodies’ to be home to the best chef in Ireland, Chef Kevin Thornton, where he prepares dishes that are brilliant in flavor and stunningly beautiful in presentation. His outstanding reputation is well earned, and his menu features signature dishes like roast suckling pig with poitin sauce. His career has provided him an opportunity to become renowned as a chef philosopher of Irish food, and his cooking features the distinctive flavors of local produce.
Thornton’s creative talent also includes food writing, teaching and photography. The walls of the restaurant dining room are covered with shots from his book “Food For Life”, which is filled with authentic signature recipes and photos taken by the multi-talented chef. He has also been featured on a bevy of television food shows.
The restaurant is located in the Fitzwilliam Hotel, a very chic luxurious design hotel located in the heart of the city, where guests enjoy the amenities of a property overlooking the calm of St. Stephen’s Green and the shopping delights of Grafton Street. Along with Thornton’s Restaurant, the hotel also houses Citron, a European style café, and the largest roof garden in Dublin, where large corporate and political parties are held.
Patrons may choose from a selection of menus which include an 8 course surprise menu devised for each table by Kevin or from the a la carte menu. The tasting menu is filled with a selection of 14 different courses, where 5, 8 or all 14 can be enjoyed. Luncheon menus start at forty-five euros. Ken Henry is the restaurant manager who oversees a skilled and dedicated staff who provides outstanding service. The wine list at Thornton’s is famous for it’s depth and fine selection from vineyards in Burgundy and Bordeaux, as well as upcoming stars from the New World.
For world traveling ‘foodies’ Thornton’s Restaurant will offer Master Classes beginning in March 2009. Guests wishing to learn how to recreate Kevin’s Michelin starred cuisine can study with the chef and his team in their kitfchen. The classes are designed for couples, who will prepare a gourmet lunch, and enjoy the labor of their work paired with select wines. Cost per couple including lunch is five hundred euros. For information or reservations please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Restaurant hours: open Tuesday to Saturday from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and for lunch from Tuesday to Saturday from 12 noon to 2 p.m.
Fitzwilliam Dublin Hotel
St. Stephen’s Green
Dublin 2, Ireland
+353 1 478 7000
IRISH STEW from Kevin Thornton
Ingredients: Serves 4
1 lb. lamb shoulder, cut into cubes
4 large maris Piper potatoes (peeled and cut into four)
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, cut into thick pieces
2 celery stalks (whites only, roughly chopped)
1 l stock
Small knob of butter
Fresh parsley (roughly chopped)
2 bay leaves
Sprig of thyme
1 lamb bone, the larger the better
Salt and pepper
Before you start preheat the oven to 375F
1.Melt the butter in a pan over a fairly high temperature and fry the meat until it is sealed all over (should take about three to four minutes) then transfer the meat to the casserole dish.
2. Don’t wash the pan – fry the onions in it for about two minutes without allowing them to brown. Transfer them to the casserole dish also.
3. Pour half the stock into the same pan (again without washing it) and bring to the boil. Pour the boiled stock and the remaining stock over the meat and onions, add the bay leaves, the thyme and the lamb bone. Season with sea salt and pepper. Cover and put in the oven for one hour.
4. Remove the stew from the oven. Add the carrots and celery mixing them in well with the meat. Add the potatoes to the top without mixing them with the meat and vegetables. (You can either mash the potatoes into the juices on your plate later or else enjoy mopping the juices with a piece of fresh crusty bread.
5. Return the casserole dish to the oven and cook for a further 45 minutes or so, or until the potatoes are cooked.
6. Before serving, remove and discard the bone, thyme and bay leaves. Pour off the liquid into a jug and allow it to rest for a few minutes. This will bring the fat to the top and allow you to remove it by gently blotting the surface with kitchen paper. It may take a few goes to get all the fat away.
7. Return the liquid to the stew and mix the potatoes into the meat and vegetables. Add the parsley and cook in the oven for a further ten minutes.
8. Remove and serve in warm bowls.