How does Louis Mulcahy’s Caifé na Caolóige manage to seem so vibrant?
Is there any good news to be taken from Athlone’s recent plight at the hands of the flood waters of the River Shannon? Yes, there is. The town has loads of good places whose food gives you just the comfort you need after a brush with the elements. Athlone is a vibrant and happening food destination. Here are some highlights from a recent tour.
Forget Batman vs Superman. Forget Marvel. Forget The Avengers.
If you are searching for something that zings like Thor’s hammer and connects like Hulk’s left fist, then you have just one destination in 2016.
Come with us to Rory Gallagher Place in Cork city, and get ready to meet the girl with the punchiest style since Violet Parr in The Incredibles.
Yup, that’s Ali Honour, firing out the food in her smart, open-plan space, Ali’s Kitchen, and knocking you for six with the best breakfast the city can muster.
Number One Pery Square in Limerick’s Georgian Quarter has featured in Megabites before, for the elegance of its surroundings and the quality of the welcome from Patricia Roberts and the rest of the team. And, of course, for their spa and their food and wine offering. The reason Pery Square are featuring today can be summed up in one word – choucroute.
If the modern mantra dictates that a new restaurant shall be managed by young men with haircuts from Barnets & Beards, who wear braces, and who work in a room whose walls are bare naked, then Cork's Zamora pushes the buttons.
It's right on trend: stripped-back aesthetic, fallen-from-the-skies design and decor and arrangement, one-pager menu; hip-hot wine selection and, of course, beards, barnets and braces.
YANNICK + LOUISE AND NEDE NO LONGER HAVE AN ASSOCIATION. WE WISH ALL OF THEM WELL.
Certain things improve the quality of urban life immeasurably. Good buskers. Good parks. Street artists. Intelligent signage. And KC Peaches.
KCP gives Dublin two of the most happening rooms in the city, places that summon the zeitgeist of Dublin 2013. And now, with the new KC Peaches Dame Street, Dubliners and visitors get a third bite of one of the town’s best spaces.
No, but seriously, like.
What can’t Grainne O’Keeffe cook?
She can do the Cordon Bleu: roasted leeks and chopped egg (and a crisp of chicken skin, just to be contemporary)
The Deep South barbecue? That’s the homemade sausage.
The Toast Thing? That’s already a classic: her grilled sourdough with hot smoked trout. You would walk to Leonard’s Corner for that alone
The French Classic: chicken liver parfait served with toasted brioche and quince.
The New Nordic? Celeriac ravioli with hazelnuts, a pure beaut.
If we say that we call it culinary mindfulness, you might ask: Well, what’s that about?
To try to explain it, take the example of Ciaran and Melanie Breslin, of Derry’s Primrose Café.
He’s a butcher. She’s a baker. If you bring the idea of culinary mindfulness to their respective skills, you ought to find the perfect collaboration in the form of a hamburger: his beef, and her breads. Their mindfulness ought to draw attention to each detail of the hamburger: the beef; the bap; the condiments.
If the mindfulness is successful, you should end up with the perfect burger.
As soon as I had Lynda Booth’s new cookery book, Fearless Food in my hands, I went straight into the kitchen and made avocado smash on bruschetta with chilli and mint oil and poached egg and feta. Good start.
Then, for lunch, I roasted some squash and served it with Lynda’s pomegranate and mint dressing and St Tola goat’s cheese. I went out to the fish shop to get a bag of mussels to cook her grilled mussels with coriander and coconut pesto.
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