One of the reasons why Thomastown is Kilkenny's Town of Food is because of the existence of places like Noel McCarron's Sol Bistro. Mr McCarron is one of those guys blessed with almost-superhuman energy, so he not only runs two super places to eat – he is responsible for Café Sol in Kilkenny city as well as the Thomastown branch – but he is also a vital community player and organiser in Thomastown, the guy working behind the scenes to make sure that things get done, and that the ambitions of the Town Of Food are realised. Sol Bistro is housed in a characterful room in the centre of town and the cooking has the character and sangfroid of the Mediterranean, but with smart and tasty local foods bullet-pointing the dishes – Kilkenny beef with gratin dauphinoise and béarnaise; Knockdrinna goat's cheese with balsamic beetroot, walnut crust and rocket. The vegetarian choices are imaginative – truffle polenta with roast cauliflower and wild mushrooms; pearl barley risotto with sage and butternut squash – and value for money is really sharp.
See also Cafe Sol in Kilkenny: http://www.guides.ie/recommendations/cafe-sol
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