There’s always a risk of leaving somebody out when you compile a list of 10 great anythings, but you’ll have to agree that the following restaurants deserve their rave reviews.
Lime Tree Restaurant
Shelbourne Street, Kenmare, Kerry
The Lime Tree restaurant is one of the most handsome buildings in Kenmare, and inside it is equally splendid, with gallery space upstairs and a lively atmosphere. The menu is very democratic: steamed mussels with cilantro, potato and cabbage soup, penne with black olives and Parma ham, goat’s cheese potato cakes, Kenmare seafood pot-pourri, roast Kerry lamb – a very people-pleasing assortment.
Nicks Steak & Seafood Restaurant
Lower Bridge Street, Killorglin, Kerry
Nick’s Restaurant can be found in the picturesque town of Killorglin on the Ring of Kerry route. It is a family-run business that has been operating for over 25 years, so it has established a reputation for its sumptuous steak and seafood dishes. A piano bar adjoins the restaurant, making it the perfect spot to enjoy some pre- or post- dinner drinks.
18/19 Lower O’Connell Street, Kinsale, Cork
The ‘hidden diamond’ of Kinsale, Jola’s is one of County Cork’s most romantic dining rooms. Renowned for its exceptional service and superb cuisine, Jola’s offers customers a uniquely magical dining experience, consistently using the finest seasonal ingredients from Irish artisan producers.
48 MacCurtain Street, Cork, Cork
Lunchtime brings out the relaxed side of this restaurant – haricot and lamb stew with a parmesan crust, caramelised onion and blue cheese tart – with dinnertime elaborating slightly on the theme – chicken with fresh herb salsa, fried squid with tomatoes, char-grilled burger with buffalow chips, Sauternes and olive oil cake.
The room is utterly delightful and service is friendly and excellent.
This is a big, busy, fun brasserie, with good food and great prices.
12B Merrion Court, Dublin 2, Dublin
The Unicorn’s change of ownership was a major change, not only in the life of a restaurant whose culinary ambition was modest, but in the social life of Dublin, for the Unicorn was a restaurant whose social influence was enormous.
People came to the Unicorn because it was somewhere to be seen and the mix of media folk and aspiring actor-types which filled its ageless banquettes were the main action, this vigorous social and political whirl taking place against the backdrop of simple, unremarkable but pretty enjoyable cooking.
The food remains classic trattoria fare, but the elegance of the new design and a greater sense of ambition in the kitchen, make it rather more worthy than in the past.
18 – 19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, Dublin
Housed in the basement of Dublin’s Writers Museum, this award-winning Michelin star restaurant in Dublin city centre, focuses on local and seasonal produce to create an array of modern dishes with a combination of robust flavours.
Moran’s Oyster Cottage
The Weir, Kilcolgan, Galway
People flock from near and far to Moran’s Oyster Cottage, a charming 300-year-old thatched cottage overlooking the beautiful Galway Bay. Here you can sit back and relax with an Irish coffee, a whiskey or a nice pint of Guinness, while watching the swans swim by. It also serves delicious seafood dishes and its local oysters are a real treat. It is run by the 7th generation of the Moran family and open all year round.
Spanish Arch, Long Walk, Galway City, Galway
Ard Bia at Nimmos Restaurant Galway, serves a seasonal gourmet menu of Mediterranean, Irish mix, Middle Eastern, New Zealand, Lebanese and Indian a la carte.
Linnane’s Lobster Bar
New Quay, Burren, Clare
Perched on the southern shore of Galway Bay, virtually in the middle of nowhere, Linnane’s has been awarded rave reviews by food writers from Ireland and abroad.
Located as it is, in a fishing village, it’s not surprising that the menu is predominantly seafood based, with lobster as a speciality. The menu, which includes vegetarian options, is accompanied by a small but well chosen wine list.
Traditional music sessions regularly take place at weekends.
Situated in the wonderful scenic countryside of West Clare in the lovely town of Kildysart, this pub has won the Back & White Pub of the Year on a number of occasions.
he highest standards in food and drink, quality and service coupled with great value for money makes this pub a wonderful place to visit. With music every weekend you are guaranteed a really enjoyable time here.