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kerriar

Ireland's Best Restaurants

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eje, do you remember what you had to eat in Town Bar & Grill? I have found the food to be very good quality in the past (actually I'm going there next week), and the prices to be competitive relative to the market... but yes, I know what you mean by taking itself a bit too seriously.

So glad you enjoyed The Winding Stair. I think it's a great spot.  I just wish they'd answer the telephone a bit more.

I had a lamb main course which, while on the small side, I quite enjoyed. I remember it had pea puree and some other interesting features. One of our London friends, though, had a clam pasta, which he thought fine; but, rather ridiculously overpriced for spaghetti con vongole.

In general, it seemed like the exchange rates made Ireland seem more expensive for our London friends, than it did for us. I thought Ireland was expensive; but, not crazy expensive, compared to San Francisco or New York. London, though, was particularly painful for us, this time around.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Si, we went just to Diep Noodle in Ranelagh, for my sister's hen!

Ok, so it was a large group (12) and a couple of people arrived late (as always happens with groups of people).

It took them a while to get started with feeding us - we were left without drinks and the pre-ordered platters didn't arrive for about 40 minutes (of a 2 hour slot), and then we all fell on the vegetarian platters, as the non-vegetarian ones didn't arrive until the veggie ones were finished. Which was a bit of a raw deal for the vegetarians at the table (there were a couple).

The mains were delicious, and the cocktails were good.

No time for dessert, although I don't think any of us would have taken one.

All in all, they managed very well (and with good humour) with a large group, although we would have preferred a little more "action" earlier on in the meal.


Edited by Catriona (log)

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Hi

Off on a Business trip next week to Clomnel (home of Magners/Bullmers cider). Does anyone have any recmmendations for a craic (ing) Irish restaurant in Clomenl or Tipperary in general.

Thanks

Steve

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Chawkes is a Clonmel classic. A pub not to be missed.

Chawkes

3 upper Gladstone street,

Clonmel,

Co.Tipperary.

P:+353 52 21149

Sean Tierney's

13 O'Connell Street Clonmel

Co Tipperary

A pub also worth a mention.

There is nothing worth recommending in terms of restaurants. Chez Hans in Cashel is about the only restaurant of note in the region. The food is well executed and locally sourced where possible. I've had good meals there but the wine list is poor.

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I'll second Chez Hans ( and also their less formal venture, Cafe Hans). I can also recommend Lilly May's in Golden.

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I second The Old Convent. We stayed there while I was on the long course at Ballymaloe and it was a welcome break. Rooms are super-lush (and surprisingly cheap) and there is a supreme effort made with the food.

Sometimes it works and sometimes not, but if you have an allergy beware. It's a set menu and I called ahead to warn them that my boyfriend, who is weird, will not eat pasta or melted cheese. One of the courses was....lobster mac'n'cheese, served with a semi-patronising smile and the encouragement to 'try it, it won't kill you'.

Now I've made it sound a bit shit. But I did enjoy it, and it's an unusual venture (and menu) for around there.

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Otto’s Creative Catering, the genuine organic experience in Dunworley, a remote spot near Butlerstown in Co Cork, will be closing at the end of the season. Otto Kunze and his wife Hilde will be retiring, (nobody is a chef at my age, he told me a few days ago), so if you’re in the area, this will be your last chance to experience the earthy goodness of outstanding subsistant farming.

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I ate at the tannery last weekend. Definitely one of the most enjoyable meals I've had. Not just because of the food but also the relaxed atmosphere, helpful, down-to-earth staff (they organised a babysitter for us) and the very slick accomodation. The cooking was great - sophisticated without being show-offish, and the quality of the ingredients was absolutely top class. I work in the fish business and am very slow to order fish when I eat out usually. However I bucked my usual trend and had crab creme brulee to start and grilled hake for main. Both were delicious but were put in the shade by my wifes dish of rump of lamb with broad beans, peas and mint in (I think) a creme fraiche based sauce. It was the best lamb dish I've ever had. I'll be back again definitely. :biggrin:

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Hello there,

Tried a search here but came up blank, does anybody have a suggestion/recommendation for a reasonable/good restaurant in Cork City.... Any help gratefully accepted!

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Hi Stephen

It depends on what you're looking for and when; in the city the dinner options weren't great cop when I was last there, but I've had good lunches at both Cafe Paradiso (inventive, veggie, well-regarded) and the Ballymaloe-affiliated cafe at the Crawford Art Gallery.

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It depends on what you're looking for and when; in the city the dinner options weren't great cop when I was last there, but I've had good lunches at both Cafe Paradiso (inventive, veggie, well-regarded) and the Ballymaloe-affiliated cafe at the Crawford Art Gallery.

Café Paradiso on Lancaster Quay, run by Dennis Cotter is a great recommendation, it’s vegetarian, but you wouldn’t notice it even if you’re a hardened carnivore. The room is nice and casual with a buzzy atmosphere.

Les Gourmandises in Cook Street, is good for an authentic snatch of France in the centre of Cork. Patrick and Soizic Kiely cut their teeth with Marco Pierre White, Michel Roux and John Burton Race and spent quite a bit of time in Guilbaud’s before opening up their own place. They have the sort of specialities you might find in regional France: foie gras, confit, Boeuf Bourguignon and fish. It could fit the bill.

A newer place which has been getting good reports is Augustine’s on Washington Street, a simpler set-up from what I understand, but some interesting things on the menu like carpaccio of west Cork beef, seared mackerel and caramelised onions on toast and plenty of game options in season. Everything is cooked to order.

The Bell Tower at Capella Castlemartyr Hotel is well worth a visit if you don’t mind going a little bit out of town (it’s near Midleton). The head chef is Roger Olsson who previously spent nine years in Pied à Terre. Very competent cooking with some lovely sauces, but more in the fine dining category.

Also a bit out of town in Kinsale is Fishy Fishy Café on Crowley’s Quay. It’s very different from the original Fishy Fishy (which I think now closes for the winter). It’s the chichi spot in Kinsale, the mood is grown-up and yachty and breezily exclusive. It’s great for fish, but they’ve carried over the no reservations and no credit card policy from the original place which is ridiculous. It feels to me like an upselling tool, they get to sell more wine while you wait for a table to come free (no, they won’t let you wander off and call you on the mobile).

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An update on the Irish restaurant scene and some info in the Irish Times here on the Food & Wine Restaurant of the Year Awards 2008.

Chef of the Year: Dylan McGrath, Mint

Restaurant of the Year: MacNean House Bistro, Blacklion, Co Cavan

Hall of Fame: Richard Corrigan and the Sheridan brothers, Séamus and Kevin.

Regional awards

Dublin Best Restaurant: Chapter One, Parnell Square

Leinster Best Restaurant: Alexis, Dún Laoghaire

Ulster Best Restaurant: MacNean House Bistro, Co Cavan

Munster Best Restaurant: Fishy Fishy, Kinsale, Co Cork

Connacht Best Restaurant: Salt at Lisloughrey Lodge, Cong, Co Mayo

Some very popular winners, in particular Neven Maguire’s MacNean House and Restaurant, which won Restaurant of the Year 2008. He told me that he’s been putting a lot of work into developing his cellar and wine list this year, which is particularly interesting, given that this was probably the only thing holding him back from getting a Michelin star. I asked him if he was hoping to get one, and he said he wasn’t going after it… hmmm. It would be great to see him land it. A great chef, and an incredibly nice man.

Dylan McGrath of Mint was also on top form with his Chef of the Year Award.

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Seems like some good places around in Ireland at the moment. I can't wait to try Mint, have heard very high praise about the restaurant and the chef. Also good reviews on Alexis bar and grill from some people in the industry who have been there. I am aiming to pop across the water soon and try them out.

Nice to to see good old Dickie Corrigan ( a true gent) getting an award, I doubt Mr Thornton was giving him a standing ovation???

Has anyone been to Bentleys in Dublin (Corrina, Simon, Hannah,Patrick et al???) , is it as good as the one in London??

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I'm somewhat surprised to see Fishy Fishy win Best of anywhere. We spent a week in Kinsale in June and had lunch there one day. My notes of the meal:-

"A seafood “chowder” had been unfortunately blitzed so there were no discernable chunks but a rich, creamy, crabby taste remained. The other starter was more disappointing. A seafood salad in sweet chilli dressing promised a lot and delivered much less. It was mainly salad with a couple of bits of fish – and potato. It was a good concept with a pleasant dressing but corners had been cut, presumably to keep costs down. A real let-down.

The first main was also disappointing. Prawn scampi were deep fried and served with potato wedges and salad. Good prawns. OK salad. Undercooked potato spoilt it.

The second main was better. Fillets of turbot, broccoli, “crispy” potato in a lemon/tarragon/cream sauce. Excellent fish and sauce. “Crispy” potato was OK, even if it was not “crispy”. It came with an unadvertised and unnecessary side salad.

Bill was €82 including a bottle of water, two glasses of sauvignon blanc and two coffees."

John


John Hartley

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Had to cancel unfortunatley Corinna and work instead. I've heard nothing but good reports so I'm definitely going to get there in the next week or so.

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Hmmm, somebody I trust was there twice in a week recently and didn't have anything good to say about the place at all. Actually I lie, he said the chips were good. It's impossible for me to tell whether I'd share his view or not, but there's at least one dissenting voice...

I won't be making it there anytime soon, so I'll have to live vicariously through the rest of you.

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Hmmm, somebody I trust was there twice in a week recently and didn't have anything good to say about the place at all. Actually I lie, he said the chips were good. It's impossible for me to tell whether I'd share his view or not, but there's at least one dissenting voice...

I won't be making it there anytime soon, so I'll have to live vicariously through the rest of you.

To counteract that one dissenting voice, Lucinda O'Sullivan gives it the thumbs up.

http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/food-d...d2-1471029.html

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And a great review from Tom Doorley in The Irish Times.

TD mentions in the review that he is good friends with corrigan and on the page opposite the review is a preview of new cookbooks for the autumn including one by richard corrigan assisted by one tom doorley. all a bit too cosy for me given the review read like a press release. I would have passed on reviewing it in his position.

I too have heard mostly negative stories - mainly about service, but also about the food. I really do hope they get it together as I think RC would be a good addition to the city but I'm not going until I hear some positives (from people other than yer one and yer man).

Meanwhile on Corrigan and Dylan McGrath "Muppet-gate" (as I have chosen to call it) does anyone know where this story came from. Was mcgrath interviewed somewhere or did he write something? He used to have a column in Image magazine but not the last 2 issues (that I can find). anyway, something to laugh about in this lovely weather.

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Meanwhile on Corrigan and Dylan McGrath "Muppet-gate" (as I have chosen to call it) does anyone know where this story came from.  Was mcgrath interviewed somewhere or did he write something?  He used to have a column in Image magazine but not the last 2 issues (that I can find).  anyway, something to laugh about in this lovely weather.

I just love those Corrigan soundbites. Great to have him stirring things up, a bit of entertainment.
Celebrity chef Richard Corrigan has branded his kitchen rival Dylan McGrath "a muppet". Speaking to the Herald, the top chef gave his reaction to McGrath's verdict on his dishes at his new Dublin eaterie Bentley's as merely "simple and nice".

"Tell him I said he's a muppet. He should be in the theatre -- he's not a critic," Corrigan told the Herald.

SERIOUS

"I am deadly serious -- he's a muppet," Corrigan insisted.

I’ve no idea where his ‘review’ originated, but I did bump into McGrath coming out of Bentley’s (I couldn’t believe it!) when I went in to review it for Irish Tatler last Thursday. It turned out that there was a party for The Dubliner magazine going on upstairs, so Trevor White would have invited him along. Dyl was heading back to his own gaff, looking as happy as ever. :biggrin: The place was buzzing, it was like the Shelbourne in the old days, all the usual suspects, loads of pink ties, and Corrigan in his chef’s jacket in the middle of them. So anyone with a dinner reservation didn’t get to have a pre-dinner drink in the Aviator Lounge (the girl on reception was quite snotty actually, bar or restaurant? giving me an ‘even though I saw you chatting to Dylan McGrath, I don’t think you’re bar, darling’ look).

Corrigan didn’t work the room downstairs when I was there, but maybe he did later.

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