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Sally's blog

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

Michael's Italian Restaurant, Mount Merrion

Ask people what they want from a restaurant, and the chances are they won’t say that they want the most-cutting edge cooking, or the most fashionable room.
What they will tell you that they want from a restaurant is to have a comfortable and welcoming space where the staff remember them, and where they can, if they wish, go into an auto-pilot state.
What they want is a restaurant where they can relax.

The Farmhouse Cafe, Longmile Road

I’m having the Aztec soup and the most gorgeous chicken sandwich with jalapeño mayo on Tartine bread with crisp fresh leaves and I’m thinking to myself: it was worth driving all the way to the Longmile Road just to eat this.
I’m also thinking that if I next happen to be on the Longmile Road around breakfast time, I will drop in for the homemade baked beans with bacon bits and habanero on toast, which comes with a poached egg, and which should get the day off to a flying start, especially with a cup of good Ariosa coffee.

Tasting Gin, Part 1 by Eamon Barrett

Let’s talk about Gin.
 
With new gin brands being launched at an extraordinary rate, it may seem that gin is finally having its moment in the sun but as Dave Broom explains in his excellent new book Gin - The Manual, gin has had many moments through the centuries, and not all of them as refined as the current boom. Born in Scotland, Dave Broom is best known for his encyclopaedic work, ‘The World Atlas of Whiskey’, a book widely considered the masterwork on the subject of whiskey.

La Cucina, Limerick

Some restaurant rooms are the hubs, the heartbeats, of our culinary culture.
La Cucina is one of those hubs, the place where the heart beats fast and loud.
Places like La Cucina change how people behave. Just look at the room, for example, on this Friday night. It’s jammers. Not busy jammers, but crazy jammers. People are hugger mugger in the space, waiting in line like sardines in a can for their takeaways, packed into the tables and chairs of the newly refashioned room as they study the menus and decide what to eat.

Kitchen Mechanics by Gary O'Hanlon: Front Of House

I’ll get right to it.

Regardless if you’re cooking the best food imaginable, if your front of house is poor the restaurant experience is ruined. No exceptions.

Just today I went into a newly restored Gastro Pub for lunch. The place has recently had quite the amount of money spent on it. I know this because I’d seen this property in detail long before the current refurb. I was greeted by the owner, actually, no, I was grunted at by the owner. I was so annoyed. This lady couldn’t have been more rude.

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