Gina Murphy is one of the great Irish restaurateurs. She implicitly understands all the virtues that make for a great restaurant – the imprimatur that the food on the plate must eat clean and considered; the stylish élan in design that gives the customer a boost of energy the instant they walk through the door; the correct measure of service which means that it is both utterly professional, and utterly unforgettable. To master these skills is no small feat, but Ms Murphy brings them all to the fore in Hugo’s, where she has created one of the most special restaurants in Dublin, and has done so for almost fifteen years. Hugo’s is special because all the elements conjoin to make it greater than the sum of its parts. The classic French-inflected cooking – guinea fowl boudin with chestnut mushrooms; chicken with cavolo nero and roast chicken cream; a peerless sticky toffee pudding – delivers satisfaction on every plate, and binds together with the charm of the room and the comfort of the service, to create a great Irish restaurant, helmed by one of the great Irish restaurateurs.
Photos credit @byrnechef