Martine McDonagh’s restaurant is a pure charmer. How to explain the charm? Well, the McDonagh family can trace their roots in this part of Galway all the way back to 1902, so they not only exemplify the Galway culture, they are the Galway culture.
And that culture is a heady, punky brew of generosity and worldliness, of appreciation for good food, and celebration, and the valuable things of life. And Martine brings it all together in her pleasingly unpretentious wine bar, cooking and serving great food, superb wines, fashioning great drinks, and the sparky, cordial service ensures that every meal here is an event.
We are never happier than when dinner kicks off with tempura of hake with homemade tartare, and then follows on with Friendly Farmer chicken with mushroom sauce, or a superb piece of Irish beef – rib-eye, please – cooked at super-high heat on the Josper Grill. A fine bread and butter pudding to finish, and every bite will have been memorable delicious.
Martine’s is an elemental part of Galway’s uniquely rich culinary and cultural life, and a vital player in the food culture of the best city to eat in Ireland.
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