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Eat Your Way Around Ireland

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  • I'll be in Kilkenny with a few friends in September, and we've Friday sorted in the Lady Helen, but looking for somewhere in Kilkenny town itself for the Saturday. We've narrowed it down to the Butcher steakhouse, Ristorante Rinuccini and possibly Petronellas. Any reviews from anyone down that way? I've heard good things from a few locals but always happy for more opinions.


    Rinnucinis is very good, way nicer than petronella. Butcher is good. Zuni is very good. Never eaten in Campagne. You could also try Lyrath, about a mile outside the city.




  • Can totally recommend Campagne - always a great experience! Didn’t hear anything about new owners though.




  • Social Fabric Cafe, Stoneybatter.

    This is a nice little cafe that offers a menu mainly composed of cooked to order hot sandwiches and wraps. The one or two outliers on the menu are egg dishes that come in a box.

    Prices are 7.50 and upwards but these sandwiches arey hefty blue-collar yokes, substantial to say the least. The cooking has some signs of the fancy new wave toastie thing that other places are championing, but it's overall fairly humble cooking.

    I had a cuban toastie today... Chicken, ham, pork, pickles, mustard etc. 9.50. Sizeable.

    I've also enjoyed their breakfast burrito and if you want a real gut-buster in terms of portion size the chicken cutlet sandwich is huge.

    If compare it to Griolladh, which receives rave reviews, I think the cooking is on a par (TBH not sure Griolladh lives up to the hype). Somewhere like Meltdown probably is a bit more innovative in terms of its offerings.




  • Shouk, Drumcondra.

    Probably the best Middle Eastern take out / delivery option in Dublin, in my view.

    If you want a handy lunch then hard to beat their chicken shawarma. Comes in a soft but elastic pitta (Almost like neapolitan pizza dough), full of marinaded chicken thigh, salad etc. Had one of these for a lazy dinner last night.

    For the hungry a great option is to order their large mezze, which gives you pitta, several salads and dips and a bag of falafel. Then add in something like Arayes - deep fried lamb mince in pitta - or grill your own steak at home and serve up with the mezze.

    The only warning I would give about Shouk is that they run on their own time... If your collection time is 6pm then it's not uncommon to still be there waiting (along with everyone else) at 6:30 / 6:45. They seem to actually be a lot quicker if you Deliveroo, that's the only way I order from them now.




  • Was in Kinsale for the last week - food highlights were at the Bulman pub (we ate dinner there twice), nicest calamari and fish'n'chips I think I've ever had, no exaggeration. Everyone raved about the food there.

    We got amazing sandwiches for lunch out sailing from a small cafe, FoodU, beside the Trident.

    Had a lovely meal in the Spaniard last night - rang at 8.15pm, galloped over before last orders for the kitchen at 8.45pm, and had one of the best chowders I've ever had, and great fish'n'chips again.

    We had a terribly disappointing meal in the Trident one night. Less said about that the better.


    As per the post above, Shouk in Drumcondra is amazing. I've only got takeaway from there a couple of times, but it's the real deal. The mezze platter fed me dinner for nearly 3 days!


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  • Based on a few recommendations in this thread, heading to Kilkenny and Restaurant Rinuccini on Friday, followed by the Lady Helen on Saturday. Really really looking forward to it.

    Was out in Clifden there for a weekend a month or so ago, was in Mitchell's. Seafood place and while I was apprehensive (given it's a very touristy town) - it was very good to be fair. Far better than the hotel we stayed at (meals were paret of the deal). We were in Abbeyglen Castle and while the food there was grand, it was nothing special. Good without being anything to write home about. Would happily recommend Mitchell's though.

    Post edited by Dave_The_Sheep on




  • Ate at The Lemon Tree restaurant in Letterkenny recently and it was one of the best dining experiences I've ever had.

    Great food, lovely decor, friendly and attentive service.

    Highly recommended!

    Lemon Tree - Home (thelemontreerestaurant.com)





  • I was back in Kinsale at the weekend, and we lucked out with getting an early table at The Black Pig - and OMG, it was absolutely gorgeous!!!

    Best meal of any I've had in a long time, including all the other ones I raved about in Kinsale earlier in the summer (the Bulman runs them a close second, although we didn't eat there this time round).

    Créme Brulée to die for 😍





  • Fresh Perwinkles from Lissadell Sligo, simply yumyum





  • I visited White Rabbit this evening, which has replaced Brothers Dosirak in their pitch at the back of an Asian Market on Capel Street.

    Originally I was hoping to go to Dash Burger, in their new spot at 159 Capel Street, but they were closed... Can't find details on opening hours yet anywhere, their Instagram page is entertaining (a lot of caps lock posting by the owner) but no times / days yet.

    Anyway, White Rabbit feels like a natural successor to Brothers Dosirak in that it's a Korean restaurant, but the menu is less traditional and more dirty street food orientated. They do a range of korean chicken, a k-chicken burger, a k-burger and a selection of cupbap, which are very similar to bibimap. A mixture of shredded vegetables on a bed of rice, topped with a fried egg, and served with a choice of non-traditional meat (I had korean chicken balls in hot sauce). The other element to the menu, and what was clearly the main draw for Koreans visiting, is a selection of home-made corn dogs... Sausage, sausage and cheese, cheese and potato etc. I have no idea if this is a common thing, that corndogs are big in Korean street food / fast food, but while I was there literally everyone else who came in just ordered various corndogs.

    Price wise a cupbap is just under a tenner, but the korean chicken is pricier. Seems to be aimed at sharing between 2-3. A platter of korean chicken is 20 euro and the only way to get a smaller portion seemed to be to order korean chicken balls, size regular, for 8 euros.



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  • Checked out the menu off the back of the recommendation. 13.50 for mushrooms on toast, anchovies for a fiver, Cauliflower Salad again for 13.50!?

    That's pretty pricey. I mean I get it's a wine bar and not a restaurant but jaysus that's asking a lot.





  • Four of us ate handsomely (and we were starving) - starters, mains, some were sharing plates, and one dessert with 4 spoons - with 2 bottles of very nice wine and a few bottles of sparkling water for €50 a head (including a generous tip) - for food that good, that's value in my book. And the food was really, really good.





  • I think we're going to have to get used to these kind of prices. Food prices both at takeaway level and casual dining seem to have increased dramatically.

    Fish and chips that was €8.50 pre pandemic is now €11 or €12. €10 sandwiches are becoming the norm.

    Last week I paid €11 for two thumb sized (I don't have very big hands 😊) arancini with a bit of dressing. It was, without doubt, the worst value plate of food I've ever purchased.

    Sadly, it seems that this is becoming the norm!





  • So, an eventful weekend (it finished with a horribly stressful twenty or so hour search for a missing cat, happily we got him back) with two restaurants in Kilkenny is over and done with.

    Ristorante Rinuccini was up first. They were unfortunately out of porchetta, because that was going to be nailed on, so I had very tasty scallop starter and a delicious black sole main. Partner got calamari and a cheese ravioli that was lovely. Three of us loved our food, one thought it was just OK, but I suspect that was down to bad menu choices on his part (his prawn main wasn't to his tastes). Wine was very nice. Four of us got three courses and two bottles of wine with an after dinner aperitif, came to just under three hundred including a tip. A little pricey, perhaps, but thoroughly enjoyable for that. Probably helped it was one of the first times back out again in a decent restaurant since this time last year.

    Lady Helen up next, we opted for the nine course taster menu with the accompanying wines. It was all pretty top notch stuff, highlights were actually one of the amuse bouches which was a broth with mushroom and other bits and pieces in it (**** divine), the two mains (turbot and a squab pigeon dish, sauces on both were incredible) and a potato and truffle raviolo. Oddly with the wines, we only got the one red wine of the nine courses, one rose and the rest were varieties of white. I don't pretend to know much about wine, just we noticed it was odd - no complaints though, it all worked rather well together. Staff and presentation all to the level you'd expect at a Michelin star place. Would happily endorse without fear of giving a bad recommendation. Excellent stuff.

    All in all a very enjoyable weekend, two very very nice meals and a stay in Mount Juliet (nice place). Expensive for sure, but not as if you'd be doing it often, nor have we been able to spend any money for the last year or so going out.





  • The Lime Kiln - Julianstown

    Fantastic every time I go there. Reasonable prices, great food and good service.

    LaLa - Balbriggan

    Never knew this was here, it's amazing. Food is phenomenal, setting is gorgeous and staff are lovely. High-end cafe/brunch dining. Well worth a visit from anywhere in Dublin/Meath/Louth.





  • On the matching wines...

    This is a pitfall of going with the sommelier's choices sometimes... Their vision for what is a good pairing might be at odds with what your tastes are.

    I've had pairings where, as you mention, there was clearly a trend away from reds. Over several courses if the only reds have been quite light then I would be a bit sad about that. For me ideally I would be happy to see a lighter bodied red AND a more old-school full-bodied red.

    Another recent pet peeve is where cider is substituted where traditionally there would have been a desert wine - a port, muscat or whatever. I've had two Irish tasting menus of late where the desert course was paired with an aged cider from an Irish producer. Both, respectfully, felt like a case of the sommelier restaurant "pulling on the green jersey" and show-casing local produce rather than going with the best option.

    I still do opt for wine pairings more often than not, but there's definitely a case to be made for curating your own orders if they have a decent list of wines by the glass and you know what you're doing.

    Post edited by Black Sheep on




  • We recently had dinner at Chapter One by Mickael Viljanen, which is fair to say must be the hottest fine dining ticket in town, and is likely to remain so for the next several years.

    The Michelin Guide has already visited and considering Chapter One has a long history as a one star, and Viljanen had two stars at The Green House, it seems highly likely to me that it will be announced as receiving two stars. I say that based on the pedigree Viljanen had, but also based on how the food, service and ambience were (It's about all three after the first star).

    We had the tasting menu at 150 per head, and I had the matching wines at 105. Of course it's expensive, but realistically I won't eat there again for a couple of years (Unless they reintroduce their excellent value pre-theatre menu). Personally I also feel it is "worth" it, and could even be considered "good value", but honestly this is subjective and depends on the person and their disposable income. It is a luxury expenditure for sure, either way.

    I won't go into great detail but make a few general comments:-

    • Chapter One's front dining room and the dinner service has been 'refreshed' and is very elegant and understated. The service is excellent, which is interesting considering that one of our servers told us she had only been working in the job for 6 weeks, having changed careers to become involved in fine dining and hospitality. As usual, it comes down to the restaurant likely investing in training and having very high standards and a culture of excellence.
    • The cooking will be familiar to those who visited Viljanen at The Greenhouse, some trademarks are here and there, like his use of smoked eel and sika deer. There are a couple of new elements too. I hear from a specialist fish producer he is putting pike on the menu, but it did not feature for us.
    • Instead of a single bread service they serve bread separately with a few of the early courses, with the bread matched to what you are eating.
    • The wine pairing was largely traditional and well-chosen, bar the misstep at the end in offering an aged Irish cider that is not the worst I've had but (for me) fell short of what could have been achieved by offering a more traditional choice of desert wine. Even the server, who was not the sommelier, seemed slightly dubious himself. He was a French waiter who passed on the tasting notes, which were that it was "a little bit sweet, a little bit dry", and he gave a gaulic shrug and commented that they "must not have known what they were making".

    Undoubtedly worth two stars and in my view depending on your tastes this could be the best restaurant in Ireland, it is in the top three along with Aimsir and Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud.

    If you like your cooking a little more new-fangled and conceptual I believe Aimsir might be at the top of the heap, followed by Chapter One and then Guilbaud's. If you prefer quite traditional fine dining then the order would be reversed. Chapter One is perhaps a bit of an accommodation between the two, Viljanen is innovative but this has strong old-school elements that will please everyone.





  • For those who don't want to shell out on Chapter One can I suggest that we also enjoyed a very fine set menu in the following weeks at the nearby Mr. Fox.

    Mr. Fox was a stand-out for us during COVID lockdown, their "dine at home" kits took us a while to get around to, but they were one of the strongest options available.

    Their seasonal set menu is 62 euro a head and it more or less is a mini tasting menu, with several canapes served together, and then the rest over perhaps 4 courses. I cobbled together my own wine pairing with sauvignion blanc, two reds and a tawny port to finish.

    The cooking is very good for the money, the bill was less than half the price of Chapter One. Is the food as good? Obviously not.

    The setting in Mr Fox is a little jarring, I would describe the lighting as being bright enough that it's a bit like a nightclub at the end of the night. There's also a lot of wood and restored tile, without any soft furnishings, which creates quite a noisey and echoey space.





  • Some excellent reviews there Black Sheep, thank you.

    A few years ago, we were in Chapter One, there was a couple of diners near us who were a bit worse for wear and pretty loud. We mentioned it jokingly to the Maitre d' when he next came over to our table and he said that they've gone already! The skill to get two drunk guys to leave a restaurant where no other diners noticed was pretty impressive. Unfortunately, it was the highlight of the evening as the food was pretty meh.





  • Undoubtedly worth two stars and in my view depending on your tastes this could be the best restaurant in Ireland, it is in the top three along with Aimsir and Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud

    If you like your cooking a little more new-fangled and conceptual I believe Aimsir might be at the top of the heap, followed by Chapter One and then Guilbaud's. If you prefer quite traditional fine dining then the order would be reversed. Chapter One is perhaps a bit of an accommodation between the two, Viljanen is innovative but this has strong old-school elements that will please everyone.

    I've been to Chapter One possibly half a dozen times, maybe ten, over the last fifteen years, and it's consistently excellent. I've also been to Aimsir and Guilbaud's once each. Of the three, I'd rate it Aimsir top for the "new-fangled and conceptual" as you say, Chapter One top for the traditional and I was actually very ... not quite disappointed by Guilbaud's but I certainly didn't think it lived up to it's two star reputation (and price tag). It was very very nice, don't get me wrong and I'd put it above the one star Lady Helen (just about) but I'd certainly rate Chapter One ahead of it (even back when). Aimsir/Chapter One would beat Guilbauds and the Lady Helen and both would beat L'Ecrivan which I really wasn't impressed with at all.

    Side note on Michelin places, non Irish. Casamia in Bristol is one of the best meals I've ever had. Top notch from start to finish, including a tour of the kitchens.

    We had the tasting menu at 150 per head, and I had the matching wines at 105. Of course it's expensive, but realistically I won't eat there again for a couple of years (Unless they reintroduce their excellent value pre-theatre menu). Personally I also feel it is "worth" it, and could even be considered "good value", but honestly this is subjective and depends on the person and their disposable income. It is a luxury expenditure for sure, either way.

    For sure, and it's the attitude I take with these places. It's a complete luxury, not something you're going to be doing every week (or even every month or year) so I try to go all out when I do go. I'm lucky to be able to do so so I do try and appreciate that. That and I think these places are only going to get more and more expensive as society/climate changes result in the next few decades. Might as well enjoy them now while I can. I think Campagne in Kilkenny is the only Michelin star place I've been to where I didn't get an X-course tasting menu, been there a few times too. Works well though.



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  • [quote]Side note on Michelin places, non Irish. Casamia in Bristol is one of the best meals I've ever had. Top notch from start to finish, including a tour of the kitchens.[/quote]

    I never ate there but I’ve had the tasting menu in their next door sister restaurant Paco Tapas three times! Always visit it when in Bristol. I believe it also has a star, bit of a funny one.

    There’s a Sherry pairing option that is very boozy.





  • al mezza lebanese in athlone would proabbly be my favourite restaurant in the country - although threy are havinga change in front of house staff , so guess we will ahve to see how that goes !

    la fiesta mexican in donegal town is always top of my list if im going out locally



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