CAR­LOW

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS | EATING OUT -

CEL­LAR RESTAU­RANT

Step House Ho­tel, Main Street, Bor­ris, Co Car­low, 059-977 3209, step­house­ho­tel.ie ¤¤¤ Head chef Alan Fo­ley (for­merly of Chap­ter One) is turn­ing this fam­ily-run ho­tel into a gourmet des­ti­na­tion, about an hour’s drive from Dublin and two from Cork. In the tiny vil­lage of Bor­ris, the Step House Ho­tel is owned and op­er­ated by Cait and James Coady. The Cel­lar Restau­rant, in the old vaulted kitchens of the house, is the main draw, with a French ta­ble d’hote menu of­fer­ing two and three cour­ses for ¤36/¤40 – in­clud­ing air-dried beef with onion cream, and a pithiver of lo­cal free range pork from Sal­ter’s farm in nearby Fe­nagh, Co Car­low, served with pic­calilli and apri­cots.

In fact, much of the menu fo­cuses on meat: wild sikka deer, haunch of veni­son, Breck­land duck, shoul­der of milk-fed veal and Here­ford beef all fea­ture in the au­tumn line-up, while lo­cal fish comes from Goats­bridge Trout Farm, just across the bor­der in Co Kilkenny. Desserts are de­cid­edly French, with a black fig tart, a thick, creamy orange choco­late bavarois, fruit par­fait, and cheeses – although the se­lec­tion is Ir­ish, and in­cludes Cashel Blue, Milleens and Dur­rus. An overnight stay is the best way to en­joy din­ner here, with good deals on din­ner, B&B start­ing from ¤85pp on Sun­days, or ¤125 on Fri­days and Satur­days.

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