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Eamon Barrett takes time out for beetroot parfait, baby banoffee and a Slippery Sloe.

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Breaking a long drive to Mulranny with a dinner stop in Galway was elevated to one of my dining experiences of the year by the spohisticated and elegant cooking at Aniar in Galway. Calm and assured service, a restful room and a stunning beetroot parfait with rosewater and scorched meringues that takes my prize for dessert of the year, had middle nephew and I smiling all the way to Mulranny.

Say what you like about Dylan McGrath but I defy anyone to match the buzz of Fade Street Social's Gastro Bar for Sunday afternoon bites. The clever menu, some fantastic value and the restaurant essential du jour - a killer cocktail list - make FSS my fun dining experience of the year. Try a Slippery Sloe, some deep fried softshell crab or a brilliant venison sausage cassoulet. And whatever you do, don't miss the Baby Banoffee for dessert.

Re-invention is the name of the game for Ireland's long established restaurants and Paul and Maire Flynn pulled off a master stroke by converting the downstairs waiting area of The Tannery into a brilliant 'walk-in' wine bar. Prices are so low you wonder has a decimal point ended up in the wrong place and the casual feel of the space, allied to the rock solid cooking one expects from this great great restaurant shows again the Flynns knack for capturing the zeitgeist. They also get my award for restaurant Twitter accounts of the Year. @tannerydungarva and @paulflynnchef

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