Thornton's Restaurant

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Thornton's Restaurant
Restaurant information
Closed29 October 2016 (2016-10-29)
Owner(s)Kevin & Muriel Thornton
Head chef Kevin Thornton
Food typeInternational, French, Irish, Modern Irish
Rating Etoile Michelin-1.svg Michelin Guide
Street address128 St. Stephen’s Green
City Dublin
Country Ireland
Seating capacity60

Thornton's was a restaurant that was housed, in the period 2002–2016, in the Fitzwilliam Hotel, St. Stephen's Green, County Dublin, Ireland. It was previously located on Portobello Road since 1989. It became a fine dining restaurant, that held a one-star Michelin rating in the periods 1996-2000 and 2006–2015. In the period 2001-2005 it held a two-star rating. [1] [2] [3] [4] The restaurant closed on 29 October 2016. [5] The space is now occupied by Glovers Alley. [6]


Head chef Kevin Thornton was the first Irish chef to achieve two Michelin stars. Patrick Guilbaud received his second star first but was born in France. [7]


Thornton's Restaurant was opened in the Fitzwilliam Hotel on St Stephen's Green in 2002. [8] [9]


Thornton's Restaurant was embroiled in a controversy in 2007 surrounding Thornton's alleged refusal to sell chips to his restaurant customers, sparking comparisons to British chef Gordon Ramsay. A customer requested the food but, upon receiving it, he changed his mind and sent them back to the kitchen. [10] Thornton then allegedly emerged from the kitchen with the chips and slammed them down on the man's table, with the remark: “They were cooked specially for you, so you eat them, you dickhead”. He later is alleged to have called them "wankers" before removing them from his restaurant. [10]

Asked about the incident by broadcaster Joe Duffy on his RTÉ Radio 1 Liveline programme, Thornton stressed that he had not so much been infuriated by the request of chips (he supposedly provides them for younger customers on a regular basis) but that he had been aggravated by the attitude of this particular customer. [10] The incident has since seen Thornton become associated with a dislike of chips and, as recently as 2009, has been crafted as a pun by the Irish media for any other outlet which does not serve the food. [11] Thornton has also spoken out against serving food such as pizza in his restaurant. [12]


Thornton was named Food & Wine Magazine's Chef of the Year for Ireland in 2007. [8] His restaurant had two Michelin stars but it lost one of them; one newspaper at the time portrayed a cartoon of Thornton setting the Michelin Guide alight. [13]


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  1. "Michelin Online Republic of Ireland". Archived from the original on 8 June 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  2. Michelin Great Britain & Ireland 2000. 2000. p. 898. ISBN   2-06006579-8.
  3. "Irish restaurants keep their Michelin stars". Irish Independent. 25 September 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  4. Cleary, Catherine. "Thornton's the shock casualty as Michelin star lost". The Irish Times. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  5. Pope, Conor (1 September 2016). "Leading chef Kevin Thornton to close Dublin restaurant". Irish Times. Archived from the original on 2 September 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2016.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)(subscription required)
  6. Cleary, Catherine (17 March 2018). "Review: A restaurant with notions as big as the bills". The Irish Times. Retrieved 9 August 2023.
  7. "Our Michelin men's guide to a cheap, four-star lunch". Irish Independent . 22 April 2009. Retrieved 25 April 2009.
  8. 1 2 "HEAT - Kevin Dundon and Kevin Thornton". RTÉ. Accessed 25 April 2009.
  9. "Ireland's Best Chef?". The Dubliner. 5 April 2007. Archived from the original on 22 October 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2009.
  10. 1 2 3 "Sunday Times: Kevin Thornton". The Sunday Times . 4 March 2007. Archived from the original on 8 February 2008. Retrieved 25 April 2009.
  11. "Refuel: Into Milano and out again **". Irish Independent . 24 April 2009. Retrieved 25 April 2009.
  12. "Ditch the bad pizza for fine dining say top gourmet chefs". Irish Independent . 21 April 2009. Retrieved 25 April 2009.
  13. "Star of the Day". RTÉ Guide. 14 April 2009. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2009.
  14. Anthony Garvey (14 August 2002). "Kevin Thornton buys Dublin's Peacock Alley". Retrieved 20 April 2012.

53°20′22″N6°15′41″W / 53.339353°N 6.261414°W / 53.339353; -6.261414