Gerry McMahon and his team are rockin’ it in Il Vicolo, one of the most atmospheric eating rooms in Ireland. With head chef Adam Kavanagh heading up the kitchen, their offer of antipasti, crostini, cicchetti, pasta, risotti and carne is razor-sharp cooking that takes templates from Northern Italy and then fuses them with a west-coast-of-Ireland sensibility.
So, that wild boar ragu with pappardelle will showcase wild boar from Ballinwillin Farm in North County Cork. The seafood cookery – monkfish and crab ravioloni; scallops with blood sausage crumb – is daring and delicious, and everything else falls into the must-have-that category: polenta chips with smoked garlic mayo; wild rabbit risotto; gnocchi with venison loin and smoked salsify; duck breast with fermented mushroom purée. No Italian cook would push the envelope so far, which is what makes Il Vicolo’s food so iconoclastic, so exciting. Add in the atmospherics of the room – the river actually flows underneath your feet, don’t you know – fantastic wines and great service from super-smart staff and you have a real Galway star.
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