Selected by food writer Georgina Campbell and Bord Bia, the Just Ask Restaurant of the Month rewards eateries across Ireland that exhibit best practices in showing transparency in the sourcing of the food on their menus. This month, the prestigious title has been awarded to the Lemon Tree Restaurant in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.
Established in 1999 and nestled in the heart of Letterkenny along the rugged coastline of the Wild Atlantic Way, the Lemon Tree is a family run restaurant, with the Molloy brothers Christopher, Gary and Thomas in the kitchen.
Diners are treated to classic dishes, well executed and built around the passion to source local and sustainable produce. This ethos is evident from fork to glass, from the local garden herbs and vegetables to the selection of Donegal brewed beers. The philosophy at The Lemon Tree is simple: contemporary Irish cooking using Donegal produce wherever possible.
“All meats, fish and poultry are Irish sourced and everything is made freshly on site, including all breads, pastries, pastas and desserts,” they state on their informative menu.
Wonderful Donegal meats (home reared beef and lamb from Gildea Farm Butchers, Letterkenny; Angus beef from Lisnamulligan Farm, Castlefinn) and free range poultry (Noone Farm, Inishowen) all take centre stage at the Lemon Tree, along with fresh fish, seafood (Starcrest Seafoods of Donegal, Albatross Seafood Killybegs, Mulroy Bay Mussels, Errigal Bay Scallops) and traditional turf smoked salmon from the picturesque Haven Smokehouse at Carrigart.
Home grown potatoes are sourced from Derek McClure and vegetables come from the famed Ballyholey Farm Shop at Raphoe and Manus MacGonagle’s esteemed Quality Sea Veg at Burtonport. Gareth Austin supplies micro herbs and wild foods to the restaurant and Donegal Rapeseed Oil, Jordans Donegal Sea Salt and St Johnston Honey are all mentioned on the menu too.
This passionate dedication to serving local extends to the drinks list too, which displays a well chosen range of wines, but also some Donegal craft beers including Kinnegar Brewery, Boghopper Brewery and most recently Silkie Whiskey.
This post is sponsored by Bord Bia and the Just Ask Campaign. For additional information on Just Ask or to find out how to get involved, visit www.bordbia.ie.