Maria Raftery has really upped her game in Zuni. She has been studying hard in Waterford Institute, bringing new ideas and new techniques back to base in Kilkenny. The impact strikes you immediately: she has gained in confidence through her studies, and the food has more verve and nerve: the walnut dressing on a slice of Helen Finnegan’s Knockdrinna goat’s cheese is judged pitch perfect; crab in ketaffi pastry with pickled ginger is alive and alert and sets the taste buds on fire, and doesn’t everything look so pretty, so poised! Ms Raftery has simplified her main courses to a point of perfection, and the judgement evident in very plate is a delight. The carrot and star anise purée with Skeghanore duck breast is a match made in heaven, and once again her touch with the Asian notes of seared tuna with sesame, bok choi and coriander is right on the money. The great artisan foods of the county are showcased on the menu, and the summertime dinner that John and Connie McKenna enjoyed in this fab room showed that Zuni is experiencing a terrific rebirth.
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26 Patrick Street, Kilkenny. County Kilkenny.
+353 (0) 56-772 3999