Derry Clarke from L'Ecrivan, Dublin

Read more: Irish chef Cathal Armstrong cooking up a storm in Washington, D.C.

France's best selling travel guide is about to award Ireland's restaurant industry with a major boost. The country's top guide to fine dining has boldly declared that the restaurant experience in Ireland surpasses what's on offer in France.

Le Guide Du Routard, the longtime travel bible of the French-speaking world, praises Ireland's top tier restaurants for their matchless combination of quality of food, value and service.

The unexpected but welcome tribute is fortuitous, since current reports estimate that one Irish restaurant a day is closing down, with revenue down by 50 percent.

The itravel guide's chief editor Pierre Josse told the press: "Thirty years ago, when we first started the Irish edition, the food here was a disaster. It was very poor and there was no imagination."

"But now the level of food in Ireland is nothing short of tremendous. The food is gorgeous, it's now very reasonably priced and there is a very high level of service. All in all, I would say the Irish dining experience is now as good, if not better, than anywhere else in the world."

Adrian Cummins, the chief executive of the Restaurant Association of Ireland, added: "This is a fantastic endorsement. Hopefully more French people will read about our restaurants."

Read more: Irish chef Cathal Armstrong cooking up a storm in Washington, D.C.