Superstar chef Gary O’Hanlon has described John Coffey, of Thyme Restaurant, as “the most underappreciated chef in the country.” But, in the year just passed, it seems the acclaim Mr Coffey deserves has come his way: media attention; bib gourmands; an overnight sensation, after only a dozen years in business. Leslie Williams has described Thyme as “a treat of a restaurant... and the best reason to visit Athlone.” Getting great Midlands flavours is a real treat, and Coffey sources from the best producers in his zone – Mossfield Farm; Castlemine Farm; Carlow sheep’s cheese – and some of his signature dishes are sleek, modern classics, including the ham hock with crispy egg, which features celeriac velouté and treacle bacon vinaigrette; lamb shoulder with sheep’s cheese polenta; and cod with smoked mackerel sauce. Glorious food and, of course, one of the best reasons to be in Athlone.
Photos credit: Thyme Restaurant
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