One of the most talked-about fine-dining restaurants in Dublin, Thonton's is the culinary seat of celebrity chef Kevin Thornton, whose fiery appearances on RTÉ1's cook-off show Heat have put him firmly in the public spotlight. The restaurant itself (which is affiliated to, but has a separate entrance from, the Fitzwilliam Hotel) is a stylishly sombre medley of burgundy upholstered chairs, dark chocolate-coloured carpets and thick white tablecloths, with striking modern photography brightening the walls. It's all very comfortable and the staff are an attentive, knowledgeable lot, but the real reason to come here is to experience Thornton's exquisitely refined seasonal cooking. Despite the loss of Michelin star numéro deux, the eponymous Thornton continues to turn out some exciting dishes: warm Aran Island sea urchin or mallard duck crusted with pistachio and honey, with a nettle and thyme sorbet to cleanse the palate. Or, if you'd prefer not to know what you'll be eating, plump for the 'surprise menu', a spread of eight unannounced courses served at the dramatic 'chef's table', which is positioned next to a massive circular window looking into the kitchen. Wines are, of course, sublime - but, like the food, they ain't cheap.