Dervla Conlon is fastidious. We don’t mean fastidious in a fussy way. We mean fastidious in a fundamental way, in a Myrtle Allen-Alice Waters-Jess Murphy way. We mean fastidious in the way of someone who looks closely at something, then takes everything apart, then rebuilds it, and rebuilds it better than it was.
So, garden pea soup, as they cook it in Pudding Row in pretty little Easky, in west County Sligo, will also have wild nettles, and organic coriander leaves. Their croque Monsieur has homemade creme fraiche. When they showcase Ballyhoura mushrooms, they do so on the template of homemade brioche. There is Achill sea salt on the caramel slices, and we would walk to Easky just to have a slice of that Victoria sponge
Like we said: fastidious.
The result is some of the best cooking in the North West. This isn’t a surprise, of course. Ms Conlon was one of the team in Dublin’s Pepper Pot, in the Powerscourt Centre in the centre of the city. It was a place where people would rave about the parsnip soup, and the scrambled eggs, and the pecan and whiskey tart. Back in 2012, in The Irish Food Guide, we reckoned that the Pepper Pot was probably the best café in the city.
Back home in her old stomping ground, the impact of Ms Conlon’s cooking is pretty seismic. I can’t think when I last saw a room so filled with people who have joyfully discovered that they have a diamond in their rough. It’s a darling upstairs room, with lovely views out across the Atlantic, and everything is artfully confected, from the items for sale to the styling. Pudding Row is a gem.
Main Street, Easky, Co Sligo 096 49794 Pudding Row is on Facebook