The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS - AMcE AoifeMcEl­wain

by Mar­i­anne Krause and Joseph Hay­den – sell a well- cho­sen se­lec­tion of good­ies. There is DeCecco pasta, Or­tiz an­chovies and Periquin smoked pa­prika among the ex­tra vir­gin olive oils and Mo­dena bal­samic vine­gars.

The wine list is short and pre­dom­i­nantly Ital­ian, though a few French, Span­ish and New Zealand bot­tles get a look-in. There is also a house white and a house red on tap, at ¤6 for a quar­ter litre. Ir­ish craft beer is rep­re­sented by bot­tles of Stonewell Cider (¤5.20), and the full 8 De­grees Brew­ing range (¤4.90 per bot­tle). Non-drinkers are well looked af­ter thanks to the Lus­combe range of le­mon­ades, made in Devon, Eng­land.

There is good-qual­ity bread and olives to start (¤3.50), and the piz­zas are daz­zlingly enor­mous. The La Mamma pizza (¤12) on the Pizza Bianco (a pizza with a moz­zarella base in­stead of tomato sauce) calls out to me. I’m re­warded with a mon­ster per­sonal pizza topped with melted gor­gonzola, dot­ted with chunks of Ital­ian sausage and slices of mush­room. The Dolomiti (¤13.50) fea­tures a tomato sauce with moz­zarella, porcini mush­rooms, and speck, topped with large hand­fuls of crispy rocket. Also on the menu are crowd-pleas­ing pasta dishes such as lasagna (¤9) and the lo­ca­vore-friendly lin­guine with Clar­in­bridge clams (¤12). The lo­cals who rec­om­mended The Tide Full Inn were right; this pizza is re­ally good. They’re open ev­ery day, ex­cept Tues­days, from noon to 10pm. Keep them in mind for your next ad­ven­ture out West.


51 Lower Do­minick St, Gal­way 091-449252 dela.ieg Wife and hus­band Mar­garet and Joe Bo­han opened Dela in 2013, in the space that used to house JP McMa­hon’s Cava res­tau­rant. The menu of­fers com­fort food clas­sics such as steamed Kil­lary mus­sels with chorizo, fen­nel and white wine (¤6.50 starter) and the dela sweet potato tagine Hot Pot (¤14.50).

I’m cu­ri­ous about the Mid­dle and Far Eastern in­flu­ences that run through the vege­tar­ian op­tions in the brunch and din­ner menus. The ap­pear­ance of a falafel and hum­mus on a Scandi-in­spired Ir­ish res­tau­rant, among the free-range mus­tard chicken and seared steak sand­wiches, feels a lit­tle off mes­sage. But it all tastes great. The veg­gie break­fast (¤8.50) comes with crispy falafel and a lightly bat­tered cau­li­flower pakora. Paired with fried pota­toes, mush­rooms, eggs and fried toma­toes, it’s a big plate of food and a wel­come hang­over buster. My but­ter­milk pan­cakes (¤8.50) are made in the Amer­i­can style, stacked tall on the plate, driz­zled with maple syrup and served with good-qual­ity ba­con.

The break­fast bur­rito is not a break­fast op­tion I’m a fan of – too messy, too big, too Guy Fieri – but Dela does an elegant job of it. The brunch bur­rito (¤7.50) is wrapped in a toasty tor­tilla that doesn’t go soggy half­way through. The flavours of the scram­bled eggs, the rel­ish and the co­rian­der and lime salsa are bal­anced well. Dela is open for brunch and din­ner only.


155bRath­garRoad Dublin6 Fi­aCafésit­sona cross­road­son Dublin’sRath­garRoad,be­tween thevil­lages ofRath­mines and Rath­gar,al­most op­po­sitethe im­pos­ingChur­chofThree Pa­trons.Acus­tomerofFia,who has­beenaround theneigh­bour­hood­longerthan­most, re­mem­ber­stale­so­fafa­mous butcher’stha­ton­cethrivedinthis space.Un­til Fi­a­camea­longjust last­month, thisspot had­been emp­ty­for­some­time.

Fi­aCaféis­the­brain­child of friend­sand­busi­ness­part­ners AlanandDerek.While re­search­ing­cof­fee­and­cafesinthecity, theytried­some Roast­edBrown cof­feefrom ThruTheGreen in Dun­dru­mandlovedit.They con­tact­edFergBrown­from Roast­edBrown,who in­turn rec­om­mend­edKei­thCole­man, for­mer­ly­ofTheFum­bally, as some­onewho­could­helpthem se­tupthe­menu.Cole­man­came onasacon­sul­tant chef, but­liked

The Cur­ragower Pub

Clancy’s Strand, Lim­er­ick 061-321788 cur­ ¤ Lookingou­ton­totheRiver Shan­non,across­the­wa­ter fromStJohn’s Cas­tle, is­the Cur­ragow­erBarandRes­tau­rant. Along­with­his busi­ness­part­ner Bri­anMur­phy, CianBourke in­herit­edthe­barin2008.

Un­dertheir watch, the Cur­ragow­er­has­be­come renowned­forits­food­of­fer­ing, get­tingn­ods fromMcKen­nas’ Guides,Ge­orginaCamp­bell and theIr­ish Res­tau­ran­tAwards, amon­gothers.Cur­ragow­erchef Bar­ryHayeshasa se­lec­tionof gourmet­sand­wiches,sal­ads, soup­sand­spe­cial­son of­fer­for lunchtime,while anex­tended menuisof­fered at­din­ner­time that­in­cludes­dishes­suchas­the Cur­ragow­erFall­sBurgerand Din­gleBayCrabClaws.

Alo­cal tellsmethatthe seafood­chow­der(¤7.50)isa must, an­dit livesup­tothe­hype. Pink­piece­sof­salmon,plump mus­sels­from Dooli­nand­chunks of­spud­sliewithin the­ex­cel­lent creamysoup­base.

It’sagen­er­ous por­tion, served­withtwo slice­sof­good home­made­brown­bread.Abowl of­fat,gold­enchips(¤3.50) make agreat­tool for­chow­der dip­ping. The­club­salad(¤11.90) im­presses,too. This­large­pla­teof crunchysal­adleavesistopped with­strips of­salty­ba­co­nand toast­ed­crou­tons.

Shred­ded­chunksof­moist chick­en­soaku­pasmoked toma­to­dress­ing,while a hard-boiledeg­gmakesthis a sal­a­dy­ourGran­ny­wouldbe proud­toserve. I’m not­sur­prised thatthis­pub­has­been­win­ning awards.It’s the­un­der­stated at­ten­tion­tode­tailtha­tre­ally catch­es­my­eye.. whatthe­duowant­edtodoand has­be­comea per­ma­nent­fix­ture inthis­cafe’smod­estly­sized kitchen.

In­theearlyassem­bling ofthe Fi­aCafeteam,Cole­man rec­om­mend­edAis­lingMcHugh who­had­worked­inDublin8 brunch­stal­wartBiBi’s, and Roast­edBrown lent­the­café their baris­taJohnny North­cutt, whois mak­ingth­eim­pec­ca­ble­brews (¤3for a flatwhite)with­Roasted Brown­beans­the­day Ivisit.

Thetoastie(¤7.50) isa pan-fried­sambo ooz­ing­with Gubbeencheese­andGubbeen smoked­ham.“Be­foreIde­cided on­the­menu,”sayschefKeith Cole­man,“Isat­dow­nand­looked atallthe­sup­pli­er­sIwant­edto use.”That­mean­tGubbeen­ham and­cheese­woul­dap­pear, alongside­pro­duce­from McNally’sFam­ily Far­mand­black pud­dingfromMcCarthy’sin Kan­turk.

My­lun­chisPea­sonToast (¤8),a dishthatu­napolo­get­i­cally make­suse ofthe­good­nessin frozen­peasby top­ping­toasted sour­dough­with­plen­ty­ofthem, and­cov­er­ingthem with­chunksof McCarthy’stremen­dous­black pud­ding. Asoft­lyfriedegg sits atop,a sprin­klin­gofherb­salt makin­gi­tallthe­mor­ein­ter­est­ing.

There­are­four­break­fast Opend­byraw-food­chef Carolan­neRusheinApriloflast year,Sweet­BeatCaféis­plant­based,asop­posed­tove­gan.“We be­lievethatthetermplant-based is­more­ac­ces­si­ble. Some­times peo­ple­fearthe­word­ve­g­anand areafraid to try­itout­be­causeof cer­tain­neg­a­tive­con­no­ta­tions dishes(served­from9amtonoon) andthree lunchdishes(served from­noon­to4pm).Cole­man us­es­two dai­lyspe­cial­sasa way to­triald­ish­es­for their­week­end brunch­menu.Ratherthana soup, he­of­fer­samore­sub­stan­tial broth-based­hot­pot(¤7), a style of­cook­inghe­had­pre­vi­ously caught­my­at­ten­tion­with­inThe Fum­bally.

Vil­lageDairy or­gan­icmilk goesin­tothe­cof­fee­an­dis­also used­fortheirhome­made yo­gurt, whichCole­man­makes­ona reg­u­lar­ba­sis.He­likesthes­low pro­ces­sof­mak­ingyo­gurt. This dairypro­duct­de­mandsy­our at­ten­tion,andI­canseethe respiteinslow­er­pro­cess­es­for a multi-task­ingchef.

Cole­man­isakeen­for­ager, andthewil­dgar­lic­that­lacesmy lemonyyo­gurt­sauceintheother spe­cial– aFilo Pie(¤10)–was pickedtwo day­sear­lier­froma patch­inPhoenixPark.TheFilo Pieisamixof­size­a­ble­spinach leaves­fromMcNally’sFam­ily Farm,lightlysteamed, and par­celled­in­tosheets of­filo alongside­bay leaves, rose­mary, dillseeds, mint, dill, Greek feta fromLil­liputS­toresinS­toney­bat­teran­deggs. It’sa sat­is­fy­ing­take on­the­clas­sic­spanako­pita. Cole­man­makeshis­brown­ies (¤2a mini-slice)us­ing­miso, which­helps­makethem ex­traor­di­nar­i­ly­fudge-likeyet­not overlysweet.

The­menuwill change reg­u­larly,and­will be­in­flu­enced by­whatCole­man’ssup­pli­er­scan of­fer­him.

“It’san­ice­wayto plan­the menu,”saysCole­man.“Itryto useev­ery­thingIorder. IfI­don’t us­esome­thin­gor Iover-or­der,I try­topick­le­orde­hy­drate in­gre­di­entsto makethe­mostout ofthe­p­ro­duce.”

In­deed,whenI­first popmy headthroughthe­door,Isee­him car­ry­ingtwo traysofde­hy­drated onion­sin­tothek­itchen, des­tined toadd adis­tinc­tive­layer of flavour­toa dish­hereat Fia.

Visi­tonTues­dayto Fri­day from7.30am­to4pm,and Satur­day­toSun­dayfrom10am to4pm.

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