The Sussex, a cosy, fire-lit restaurant located above O'Brien's pub on Leeson Street, embodies so much of what is best about Ireland. From the warm and friendly staff to the laid-back homely atmosphere (with pints on tap to boot) there's much to love but what really seals the deal is the seasonally-led menu that reads like a roll-call of who's who in the Irish artisan food world: Gubeen chorizo, Ted Browne's Dingle Bay prawns, Jack McCarthy's black pudding, Sheridan's cheese. Fresh fish is also a particular strong point with the house smokies (smoked haddock, cr'me fra?che and cheddar) gaining legendary status. This visit we sampled the citrus-cured organic salmon and Kerry crab salad and are still dreaming of it. The dry-aged Irish ribeye served with (sensational) Sussex butter and super-crispy hand-cut fries wasn't half bad either.
Star staff We were really impressed to hear staff giving foreign diners top tips on places to visit and things to do on their trip.
Don't leave without Sharing a lemon posset.
Top table We love the elevated table for four in the corner but on a chilly winter's night we'll nab the one by the fire.
What to drink Well priced house wine (?22 each with a two) plus the appeal of pints from downstairs.
Who to bring Ideal for a rugby outing as they show the match and have lunch specials on Six Nation days.
Top marks For a brilliant playlist.