Connemara Greenway Restaurant
Make a perfect quiche. Make a perfect chowder. Those are the fundamental tasks which Maria and Johnnie Begley do to perfection in the Connemara Greenway Café, on the Main Street in Oughterard. The quiche and the chowder alone could explain the success of this bustling room, charmingly overseen by Johnnie and his young team. In fact, these two staples are emblematic of the care that Maria lavishes on every dish – the excellent wild mushroom linguini; the red lentil curry; the roasted ling with chorizo; the prawn salad with Uncle Matt’s leaves. Maria’s secret is the fact that her food is uncommonly precise: she knows exactly what she wants to achieve with each plate, and it makes for eating that is both soulful and satisfying. For the food lovers who pack out the room, it will have been no surprise that Maria and Johnnie won the award for Best Café in Ireland in the Restaurant Association awards, and won the award pitched against formidable opposition. Their signature, above all, is that they cook food that makes people very happy, and they serve it with charm. That will win awards any time.
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