THE SALT YARD
Friary Street, Kilkenny, 056-770 3644, thesaltyard.ie, ¤¤ Already spoiled in food terms (and in Michelin stars) Kilkenny welcomed the Salt Yard to its ranks this summer. A cool, industrial interior, nothing like your usual tapas joints, is warmed by authentic Spanish cooking from head chef Asier Cuevas Hernandez, who hails from the Basque country, and his Spanish team (the differentiation matters, we’ve been assured). Large portions – larger than most Irish tapas bars – and a combo of excellent Irish produce mixed with imported Spanish specialities make for a great addition to the Marble City food scene. It does justice to the much-mangled patatas bravas (¤6), while other menu highlights include excellent mussels in salsa verde (¤10), Salamancan chorizo cooked in local Highbank cider (¤7.95) and an interesting Basque goats-cheese ice cream (¤9).