How does Louis Mulcahy’s Caifé na Caolóige manage to seem so vibrant?
Is there any good news to be taken from Athlone’s recent plight at the hands of the flood waters of the River Shannon? Yes, there is. The town has loads of good places whose food gives you just the comfort you need after a brush with the elements. Athlone is a vibrant and happening food destination. Here are some highlights from a recent tour.
Forget Batman vs Superman. Forget Marvel. Forget The Avengers.
If you are searching for something that zings like Thor’s hammer and connects like Hulk’s left fist, then you have just one destination in 2016.
Come with us to Rory Gallagher Place in Cork city, and get ready to meet the girl with the punchiest style since Violet Parr in The Incredibles.
Yup, that’s Ali Honour, firing out the food in her smart, open-plan space, Ali’s Kitchen, and knocking you for six with the best breakfast the city can muster.
Number One Pery Square in Limerick’s Georgian Quarter has featured in Megabites before, for the elegance of its surroundings and the quality of the welcome from Patricia Roberts and the rest of the team. And, of course, for their spa and their food and wine offering. The reason Pery Square are featuring today can be summed up in one word – choucroute.
If the modern mantra dictates that a new restaurant shall be managed by young men with haircuts from Barnets & Beards, who wear braces, and who work in a room whose walls are bare naked, then Cork's Zamora pushes the buttons.
It's right on trend: stripped-back aesthetic, fallen-from-the-skies design and decor and arrangement, one-pager menu; hip-hot wine selection and, of course, beards, barnets and braces.
YANNICK + LOUISE AND NEDE NO LONGER HAVE AN ASSOCIATION. WE WISH ALL OF THEM WELL.
Certain things improve the quality of urban life immeasurably. Good buskers. Good parks. Street artists. Intelligent signage. And KC Peaches.
KCP gives Dublin two of the most happening rooms in the city, places that summon the zeitgeist of Dublin 2013. And now, with the new KC Peaches Dame Street, Dubliners and visitors get a third bite of one of the town’s best spaces.
Killiane Castle is a pure treat, an unpretentious, warm family home. Paul Mernagh and his family have created a cocoon of comfort in this fine house – and castle tower – and of special note is some scrummy cooking, both at dinner and breakfast. The stars of our recent dinner were impeccable potatoes from Carne, and beetroot and carrots from Paul’s garden, but everything was super-delicious.
If you love the French concept of the restaurant-with-rooms, then you will love Natasha and Nicolas’s Armorica, on the main street of little Oranmore. It’s an easy detour from the N18, the rooms are simple and charming, and the cooking brings French provincial richness to superlative West Coast ingredients – Friendly Farmer chicken with petits pois a la Francaise; hake with burned aubergine; a stunning chocolate moelleux. Make sure to order omelette for breakfast; you won’t find a better rolled omelette anywhere in Ireland.
O’Neill Coffee, Skibbereen, West Cork
Colm Crowley’s coffee house, on Townshend Street, is the cutest coffee house in West Cork, and has built a dedicated audience during its first year. Everyone loves the coffee, the cakes and bakes, the rooms, and the service, which displays that West Cork nonchalance crossed with an audacious desire for excellence that makes it worth everyone’s detour. Fab.
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