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Sally's blog

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

Vasco on the Wild Atlantic Way - Review by John McKenna

Vasco is the Aleph of the Wild Atlantic Way, the one that contains all, the point from which you can see everything.
For a start, it's a smashing, coastside room that is filled with light: just walking through the door energises you. All the things you hope to find on the WAW – space; light; time; discovery; informality; the promising stop whilst on the road – all seem to be here in a space where Karen runs front of house and Ross cooks.

#BestSandwichInIreland [video] - The Stuffed Olive

Our search for #BestSandwichInIreland brings us to a West Cork Classic: the Skeaghanore duck, Gubbeen cheese, red onion jam and salad sandwich from The Stuffed Olive in Bantry. Trish Messom and her daughters, Grace and Sarah, run this much loved café, where everything is made from scratch each morning, beginning with the bread for the sandwiches.

The Stuffed Olive is on Facebook

Read other stories in Megabites...

The New Exchequer Bar in Ranelagh, by Caroline Byrne

There’s a new hottest spot in Dublin for brunch and, unfairly, it’s in Ranelagh. Don’t they have enough ‘top’ things already? With Dillinger’s for top notch American style dining, Michie Sushi for the only show in town sushi-wise, Kinara Kitchen for the best casual Indian and Pakistani cooking you’ll find, The Butcher Grill for meat feasts, La Bodega for authentic tapas, Redmond’s for wine and beer, and Pinocchio for Italian wine and grazing at its most laid-back – can’t help feeling a little bitter about this Dublin 6 food haven becoming more haven-ey.

Gregan's Castle [Restaurant Review]

“I wasn’t expecting this to be the meal of the year”, said the man at the adjoining table to ours, in the dining room of Gregan’s Castle. “But it’s definitely the meal of the year”, he said again, before relegating a Dublin restaurant hotshot to second position in his own private pecking order of 2014.
Many others will agree with him after they have finished eating David Hurley’s cooking at Gregan’s. Mr Hurley has arrived, and he’s done it in an unusual – and unfashionable – way: he’s arrived slowly.

Il Vicolo - A River Runs Through It

When Gerry McMahon's Il Vicolo restaurant closed in Galway city, just on the eve of the city's food festival a few months back, there was a true sense of loss.
It wasn't just that Il Vicolo served excellent food and wines, and that they were served by a truly cool team. No, what people regretted was the passing of one of those restaurants that had achieved cult status. Il Vicolo was like a secret, a clubby, intimate room where time stood still as soon as you walked in. It wasn't just good: it was cult.

Cider Ireland

Cockagee Keeved. Carson's Crisp. Highbank Medieval. Dan Kelly's Small Batch. Tempted Dry. Ballyhook Flyer. Long Meadow Medium. Dovehill Reserve. Kilmegan Infused. Dalliance. Con's Medium.
Let's be clear about what is going on here. Whatever else the small collective of Ireland's craft cider makers achieve in their work – riches beyond imagining; the adoration of the nation; improved cross-border relations; etc; etc – they have already achieved a shift in the language we use to describe drinks.

Chef Sham's Sauces

Sham Hanifa's Chef Sham Basil Pesto didn't even last an hour in our house. The sweet chilli sauce lasted longer, but we think that was because Number 3 child hid it from the others in order to have it for his noodles. Number 1 child tore into the sundried tomato paste and the tomato chilli chutney. They weren't quite sure what to do with the balsamic jelly, so it's survived a bit longer. Otherwise, however, Chef Sham's sauces are not for long of this earth.

Where To Eat and Stay on the Wild Atlantic Way [Video]

On June 4th, in Kinsale, West Cork, John and Sally McKenna launch Where to Eat and Stay on the Wild Atlantic Way, the first-ever book on the culinary treasures to be discovered on the WAW, all the way from the Foyle Bridge in Derry to Kinsale in West Cork.
Where to Eat and Stay on the Wild Atlantic Way features 350 entries, starting with the brilliant Pyke'n’Pommes food cart, in the shadow of the Foyle Bridge, and ending up with the piscine brilliance of Martin Shanahan’s cooking in Fishy Fishy in Kinsale.

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