John Coffey knows how to source ingredients and, once he gets these good things in his kitchen, he knows exactly what he wants to do with them. The result is to make Thyme restaurant sure-thing destination, and one of the best places to eat in the Irish Midlands.
Mr Coffey is the kind of cook who can do something cheffy and fancy – he serves Friendly Farmer chicken three ways, with a beignet of the legs, a confit of the thighs, and the breast pan-roasted – but the technique here is all used at the service of showing the distinctive and delicious flavours of the bird, so the dish comes home with flying colours, completed with some smoked potato, chestnut mushrooms and purple broccoli. This confident flourish of skill is evident throughout the menus – Castlemine rib-eye with thyme and garlic purée; Kilmore Quay hake with aubergine; duck pastrami with a date purée – and Mr Coffey's confidence shows in the fact that he even conjures up his own Thousand Island Dressing(!), served with salt beef and Coolea cheese and Beechlawn farm leaves. The room is comfortable, value for money is truly excellent and service is well-informed and, Thyme is a great modern Irish restaurant.
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