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Sally's blog

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

Hadskis in Belfast is firing out some pretty darn perfect food.

If there were just one dish that sums up the ethos and style of Niall McKenna's Hadskis, then it might be their cheesy Parmesan truffle chips.
It’s not just the crispy, cheesy spuds themselves, but also the cheery way in which this little saucepan of deliciousness is served - along with witty cracks about how they’re ready to call the ambulance when you’ve got through it. It’s mighty.

Leeside food hero Mirco Fondrini gets his name above the door in the lovely da Mirco

Here’s what you will be saying to your friends after dinner in Cork’s da Mirco Osteria:
“Abbiamo passato la serata in allegria”: We had a really joyful evening.
The key word here, the key term that defines Mirco Fondrini’s lovely eating house, is: allegria. It means happiness, cheerfulness, joy, and M. Fondrini brings you to that state thanks to joyful cooking, effervescent wines, and his own buoyant, soulful service.

Tom Spruce's elegant cooking will have you sailing the ferry over to Waterford Castle

There is something utterly other-worldly in the experience of enjoying the elegant cooking of Tom Spruce, in the timeless cocoon of Waterford Castle’s dining room.

Mr Spruce’s serene cooking, in these most gorgeous surroundings, makes for a special dining experience. And, of course, the fact that you take a short ferry ride over the water to the island to eat and stay in a castle does, indeed, make this an other-worldly event.

The Foyle Hotel and your essential Donegal Detours

Brian and Brenda McDermott’s Foyle Hotel, on the square in little Moville on the edge of Lough Foyle in Donegal’s Inishowen Peninsula, offers a masterclass in contemporary savoury Irish cooking.
Dishes that you might think of as domestic staples - lamb pie; pumpkin soup; chicken breast with champ; mussels with cider - are rendered here with such professional elan that they emerge newly birthed.

Solas is shining brightly in delightful Dingle

Solas has risen out of the box to shine a light in Ireland’s food culture: this Dingle newbie is one of the few Irish restaurant that gets small plates food service exactly right.

The key element of what they get right is the simple excellence of the plates because the Solas food offer is red-hot-good: the prawns with chickpeas; the stunning chowder croquette; pork belly with an apple and lime tartare that is worth the trip to Dingle all on its own.

Alex Green is squeezing out sparks in Michael Deane's Eipic

Back in the day, there was never a tradition of fine dining in Northern Ireland. Taking drink at any business meeting – or rather buying drink for a client, was considered somewhat unethical. If people did go out, it was for high tea, and a number of smart locations in the city offered this meal, often served mid-afternoon.

Whilst Dublin had restaurants like Whites on the Green or The Mirabeau, Belfast had its high tea destinations. It was, back then, a quite different culture.



Nothing that has been created before in Ireland reconciles and extends the component elements of Irish hospitality quite like the experience you encounter in Breac.House.

William Barry talks to Jp McMahon about what not to miss at this weekend’s Food On The Edge

McKenna’s Guides Editor William Barry caught up with JP McMahon, organiser of Food on the Edge, ahead of the 2018 edition of the Symposium which takes place in Galway on October 22nd and 23rd.

WB: For those not familiar what is Food on the Edge?

JPMcM:  FOTE is a two day symposium which brings together some of the worlds celebrated, best known and also unknown chefs to inspire Irish food to get a little better. 

Food Culture - William Barry selects some of the food related events going on around the country as part of tonight's Culture Night.

Culture Night is going from strength to strength with venues and public spaces across the island of Ireland as they open their doors to host a programme of free late-night entertainment, as part of an all-island celebration of arts, heritage and culture. Now in its thirteenth year, Culture Night returns tonight Fri Sep 21st 2018. Here are my pick of the best food and drink related events happening tonight around the country. It’s always best to book ahead where possible and check the venues websites and social media for the most up to date details.



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