A recent trip to Ireland saw my husband and I enjoying many wonderful meals. I'll be trying to post reviews of all of them here within the next few days.
Overall, the Ireland eating itinerary was:
The Pig's Ear (Dublin)
Bruxelle’s (lunch, Dublin)
The Tea Room @ The Clarence Hotel (Dublin)
Brasserie 66 (Dublin)
The Winding Stair (Dublin)
The Lime Tree (Kenmare)
The Boat House (Dingle)
The Chart House (Dingle)
Global Village (Dingle)
The Roadford Restaurant (Doolin)
Dock No. 8 (Galway)
Kirwan’s Lane Restaurant (Galway)
Kylemore Abbey (lunch, west of Galway)
Dunguaire Castle Medieval Banquet (south of Galway)
The Scotland eating itinerary was:
Cavens Arms (Dumfries)
Martin Wishart at Cameron House (Loch Lomand)
The Boat House (Loch Lomand)
Three Chimmneys (Isle of Skye)
Cluanie Inn (lunch, Highlands)
The Filling Station (Edinburgh)
A few things that were true throughout our trip: we generally made reservations for when the restaurant opened, or arrived fairly soon afterward. So our meals were usually had while being the only people in the restaurant for the first 30-60 minutes. All of our dinners were at places that were recommended, usually by CHs. While we may not have liked every dish presented to us, we both agree we didn’t ever have a bad meal. (But there are a few places we would never go to again.) I’m pretty certain that every meal (except maybe a lunch) came from chef’s interested in working with locally sourced, seasonal, organic purveyors. The quality of the ingredients was very high.
Dock 8 Bar
Right at the edge of the tourist section, but feeling like it’s a world away is Dock 8 Bar. Furnished like a coffee bar, with unmatched tables and chairs, and hosting a marvelous bar, this is a great place for creative and fresh meals.
We started with the Mezze Plate – a gorgeous combination of house made falafel, dips, marinated vegetables, and crusty bread – and the Bluebell Falls goats cheese, balsamic roast beetroots, caramelised onions, walnuts & pear tart. The mezze was delicious, and I’m not a fan of falafel. The tart, however, was magnificent: fresh and lively on the palate, with a deep creaminess from the goat cheese, offset by the vinegary beets and sweet onions.
For our main, Sweetie had the Bradys of Athenry, 28 day aged, 11oz sirloin with hand cut chips and a green salad and I had the special of the day, a vegetable risotto. We both thought our dishes were perfect. The steak had a nice tenderness and rich flavor, the risotto was cooked perfectly al dente and the vegetables were spring fresh and sweet.
Dessert was the “Chocolate tasting plate”, a trio of a marquise, a brownie, and a glass of white chocolate mousse. It was divine: deeply flavorful and not overly sweet. A perfect ending to a great meal.
With two pints of Bulmer’s and two diet cokes, our check came to 67.20eu.
The Seafood Bar @Kirwan’s Lane Restaurant
Recommended to us by an Innkeeper, Kirwan’s Lane Restaurant was really hard to find. But we were glad we did. We were seated upstairs, which was great given the noise level from the main floor.
We started with the Confit Duck Spring Roll, accompanied by greens and a chili and lime dip; Sweetie had the Caesar Salad. The spring roll was delicious, rich and perfectly cooked. The salad was also good, although there was an (over?) abundance of parmesan cheese.
For our main, I had the chicken Cordon Bleu (I know, it’s a seafood restaurant! But I was just tired of seafood at that point). Sweetie had the special of the day: A nice piece of hake, grilled and in a delicate sauce. We were both quite pleased with our dishes. Each was cooked perfectly and the amount of food on the plate was just right.
With a bottle of mineral water, two glasses of wine, and a surcharge for splitting a plate, our check came to 86.70eu.
Fagan’s at the Hotel Meyrick
Venerable old Meyrick has a sweet little sports pub tucked into its basement. It’s open most of the day, and well into the night making it a good place to park a weary jet-lagged body for a pint and a sandwich.
We ordered burgers, which were gratifyingly large and perfectly cooked. The toppings (cheese and bacon) were tasty and cooked perfectly. The chips were thick cut and deliciously salty.
I’m not saying its worth going out of your way, but it won’t let you down.