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Sally's blog

All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

Great chefs need great sommeliers to take the dining experience to a new level. Here are three food and wine duos who take it higher.

The hardest working man in Ireland is Zsolt Lukács.
Just look at the guy, haring around table after table at Aniar restaurant, in Galway’s West End, as he tends to everyone’s wine selection.
It would seem that everyone this evening has opted to have the tasting menu with the wine pairing. This is a smart move but, with seven courses on each of the menus – and a quartet of little dishes to start – it means Mr Lukács is changing every table’s wine and wine glasses after every course.

Bantry’s iconic The Snug has just opened their new dining room open in time for the Chamber Music and Literary Festivals. A report, plus all the other key Bantry destinations you need to know.

The Snug/O'D’s
It’s long gone 10 o’clock on Saturday night but, for the staff in Bantry’s The Snug, there is no chance yet to ease up, kick back, and call it a day.
Pressure for a table is still intense: the 5 French tourists at the bar are waiting to eat, and there are a 3-top and a 4-top of locals still hoping for a table.

All human life, from babes in arms to grizzled saddle warriors, are riding Waterford’s Greenway, one of the biggest hits of the year

It’s not all about the Wild Atlantic Way, you know.
If you need proof that the rest of the country hasn’t just gone away, and ceded control of the tourist dollar to Dublin and the WAW, then you need to take a trip to the Waterford Greenway.
We turned up at Coach House Coffee, just outside Kilmacthomas, to see what was happening on the WG.

Life style is often thought to be a dirty word. Bunsen shows why it’s an essential attribute of every smart food business.

Bunsen’s southern branch, on French Church Street in Cork city, is a study in two exacting disciplines.
The first is hamburgers, of course. Bunsen is all about burgers. It’s all about how you create, make and serve, a hamburger, something Bunsen has done with consistent imagination ever since Tom Gleeson opened his first store on Dublin’s Wexford Street.
But just as significantly, Bunsen is a study in style. 

The Brothers Dosirak: Hiding in Plain Sight on Capel Street

Free egg soup.

Now, who doesn’t want a free bowl of egg soup?

That’s what the Brothers Dosirak offer, at their little shebeen of an eating house, up a walkway beside the meat and fish counters at the side of the Super Asia Foods supermarket, near the River Liffey end of Capel Street.

The brothers are cult. Maybe even beyond cult. Our Dublin friends who know everything about everything know this little eating place, whilst even people who work in this zone have never heard of it. 

Grape Circus wines are high wire acts of viticultural philosophy

There has always been a philosophical strain amongst the best winemakers. Something about the metamorphosis of grapes in a vineyard into sublime alcohol in the bottle invites speculation about our place and our role in the universe.

Whenever we are enjoying the Italian wines which Enrico Fantasia discovers on his travels through Italy, and which he imports through his company, Grape Circus, we find ourselves thinking as much about the philosophy of the winemakers he chooses, as about the grapes they select or their attitude towards sulphites. 

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