The culinary scene in Ireland is growing and getting better with each passing year, the recent Michelin guide alone saw three new stars for the rebel county Cork, and new Bib Gourmands awarded around the country. From fine dining to pub grub, our little island has an abundance of good food. Here we have rounded up our top picks for gastropubs and bars that are serving up exceptional food. Read on to find out all about these gastro delights.
The Legal Eagle has firmly been put on the map with their clever cooking and an impressive and extensive wine list featuring lots of organic, natural and biodynamic wines.
Wine manager Sean Gargano works closely with owner Elaine Murphy and executive chef Ian Connolly to create an interesting and accessible wine list they recently won the accolade of Wine Spectator 2018 Award of Excellence.
Taking inspiration from English gastropubs they serve up innovative dishes using Irish produce. Some dishes include Mutton, Caramelised Onion Suet and Curried Cauliflower Fritters as well as Monkfish Liver Paté. They have a stellar value neighbourhood menu of two courses for €26 and three for €29, which is definitely worth a sample.
For more information log onto www.thelegaleagle.ie
L.Mulligan Grocer are passionate about Irish produce and great drinks, especially whiskey, gin and a large collection of craft beers. The menu changes with the seasons and according to what’s available from suppliers.
As well as the a la carte menu, there is a pre-cinema menu available from Monday to Friday offering two courses for €20 and three courses for €24.50.
Dine on gastronomic delights such as Irish Goats Cheese Bon Bons, Beer Battered Coley and Ballinwillin Wild Boar Chop.
For more information log onto www.lmulligangrocer1.weebly.com
Open since 2009 The Chop House in Dublin 4 has long been a staple on the Dublin dining scene. As the name would suggest meat is the star of the show, which they source only from Irish suppliers.
Guests can expect excellent service in a laid back, pub-style setting. Order the famous ‘Meat Board’ where you can indulge in Ribeye, Fillet, Porterhouse, Sirloin as well as Lamb and Pork options.
The restaurant is also home to The Beef Club, a bimonthly event where members enjoy special evenings dining on the finest cuts of meats. One of my personal favourite chefs, Anthony Bourdain also paid a visit here with owners Kevin and Jillian while filming his TV series.
For more information log onto www.thechophouse.ie
Ashtons is a modern gastropub overlooking the River Dodder in the heart of Clonskeagh and is the sister restaurant to Hartes of Kildare and The Dew Drop Inn.
The menu features lots of local provenances, using suppliers such as Cashel Blue, Wrights of Marino and Skeaghanore Duck to name few.
Ashtons have a wide variety of menus including lunch, a la carte, early bird and a Sunday lunch. Choose from delights such as Ham Hock Terrine, Goatsbridge Smoked Trout Risotto Fritters or 8 Hour Braised Blade of Beef.
For more information log onto www.ashtonsgastropub.ie
Chef and patron Aidan McGrath has developed a unique style of cooking based on classical French cuisine, using Irish produce.
Influenced greatly by the Burren that surrounds the restaurant and the wild Atlantic coast there is an abundance of local produce on the menu.
This Co.Clare pub run by Aidan and his wife Kate, is the only pub in Ireland to be awarded a Michelin star.
For more information log onto www.wildhoneyinn.com
Technically you may not call Bow Lane a gastropub, but the food and drinks here are just too good to miss. The restaurant menu features modern Irish dishes. Enjoy West Cork Wagyu Beef Burgers, Confit Duck Flatbread or Roasted Monkfish in Columbo Spices.
If you’re just stopping in for a cocktail and fancy a few bar bites try the Duck Sliders, the Ham Hock & Pork Belly Pie or the Truffle Fries.
They have recently launched a ‘Free Flow Supper Club’ where guests can enjoy delicious dishes and bottomless drinks for a memorable night out. They have the same offer at weekends for boozy brunch, an essential meal in my book.
For more information log onto www.bowlane.ie
Owners Eugene Brennan and Jean Grace built the award-winning Brown Bear restaurant on Eugene’s family farm and have been running it since 2008.
Offering a la carte, early bird and lunch menus that are sure to whet all appetites. Indulge in Pork Belly with Pine Nut and Apricot or Cod with Cauliflower and Prawns.
For a lighter snack over a pint try the Charcuterie Plate with Sourdough and Pickles.
For more information log onto www.thebrownbear.ie
The Old Spot stock a wide range of craft beers and bespoke cocktails alongside an impressive selection of wines, so you will be sure to find your favourite tipple.
Daily dishes include mouthwatering Rare Seared Tuna, Watermelon, Ponzu, Sesame, Avocado or Ivan Fitzpatrick’s Pork Belly with Roast Heirloom Carrot, Burnt Onion.
For the savvy diners amongst you, The Old Spot offers a bargain-priced neighbourhood menu offering two courses for €22 or three courses for €27. Enjoy dishes such as Soft Hen’s Egg, Pressed Pork, Brioche Soldiers or Fish Croquette, Fennel Salad and Samphire.
For more information log onto www.oldspot.ie
The boutique cocktail and food venue Cask, recently nabbed the prestigious title of ‘Bar of the Year’ at the bar of the Year Awards 2018.
The menu is filled with dishes inspired by street food and tapas with culinary flair from the one and only, chef Bryan McCarthy. Dine on delights like Bao Bun with Pork Belly and Katsu Chicken Wings sourced from the Cork English Market
Every twelve weeks Cask unveil a new cocktail menu as they use ingredients foraged themselves and sourced from local suppliers.
For more information log onto www.caskcork.com
Set in a 16th-century terraced building Mikey Ryan’s Bar and Kitchen has a long history within the Cashel community as a grocer and public house.
The menu is full of local, seasonal produce from artisan producers such as The Good Herdsmen and Annie’s Organic Farm. Diners can choose from delicious dishes such as House Smoked Atlantic Salmon, Horseradish Cream and Wheaten Bread or Chicken, Bacon and Tarragon Pie.
In warmer months you can order drinks from the outdoor Horse Box Bar and sample the famous ‘From the Horses Mouth Cocktail’.
For more information log onto www.mikeyryans.ie
Sinéad is a Culinary Arts graduate from DIT. She is a passionate cook with a love of fine dining and modern Irish cuisine. A gin lover, Sinéad loves seeking out cosy new pubs and sampling a variety of craft beers.
If she’s not dining out, Sinéad loves travelling the world exploring new cultures and cuisines. Working with TheTaste allows Sinéad to fully immerse herself in the Irish food industry.