Thornton's Restaurant

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Restaurant information
Established 1989
Closed 29 October 2016 (2016-10-29)
Current owner(s) Kevin & Muriel Thornton
Head chef Kevin Thornton
Food type International, French, Irish, Modern Irish
Rating 1 Michelin star Michelin Guide
Street address 128 St. Stephen’s Green
City Dublin
Country Ireland
Seating capacity 60

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. 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]

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.[6]


Thornton's Restaurant was opened in the Fitzwilliam Hotel on St Stephen's Green in 2002.[7][8]


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.[9] 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.[9]

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.[9] 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.[10] Thornton has also spoken out against serving food such as pizza in his restaurant.[11]


Thornton was named Food & Wine Magazine's Chef of the Year for Ireland in 2007.[7] 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.[12]



  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. ^ [1]
  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.  (subscription required)
  6. ^ "Our Michelin men's guide to a cheap, four-star lunch". Irish Independent. 22 April 2009. Retrieved 25 April 2009. 
  7. ^ a b "HEAT - Kevin Dundon and Kevin Thornton". RTÉ. Accessed 25 April 2009.
  8. ^ "Ireland's Best Chef?". The Dubliner. 5 April 2007. Retrieved 25 April 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c "Sunday Times: Kevin Thornton". The Sunday Times. 4 March 2007. Archived from the original on 8 February 2008. Retrieved 25 April 2009. 
  10. ^ "Refuel: Into Milano and out again **". Irish Independent. 24 April 2009. Retrieved 25 April 2009. 
  11. ^ "Ditch the bad pizza for fine dining say top gourmet chefs". Irish Independent. 21 April 2009. Retrieved 25 April 2009. 
  12. ^ "Star of the Day". RTÉ Guide. 14 April 2009. Retrieved 25 April 2009. 
  13. ^ Anthony Garvey. "Kevin Thornton buys Dublin's Peacock Alley". Retrieved 20 April 2012. 

Coordinates: 53°20′22″N 6°15′41″W / 53.339353°N 6.261414°W / 53.339353; -6.261414