Middle Road, Ardmore
The locavore movement isn't new to southwest Ireland, but molecular gastronomy certainly isand at the Cliff House Hotel, the two come together seamlessly. Chef Martijn Kajuiter, fresh from Amsterdam's De Kas, spent months scouring County Cork for the most rarefied farm butters and forgotten varieties of local kale. In his laboratory-kitchen, Kajuiter magics these ingredients into dishes that give off smoke, vanish in a puff of powder, or crackle in the mouth like Pop Rocks. Larger parties can book the chef's table, but the best tables are the two-person banquettes peering out at the sea.
Tip: At $94, the tasting menu of dazzlingly unexpected creations is worth the price (three-course prix fixe, $82).