LIM­ER­ICK

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - EATING OUT SEVENDAYS - AMcE AoifeMcEl­wain

As you walk into the front door, di­rectly ahead is a small dry-goods pantry, where the team at The Tide Full Inn – run 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.

Dela

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 Ur­ban­ity TheGlass House, 11CokeLane, Smith­field, Dublin7. ur­ban­i­ty­cof­fee.ie Tucked­away­on­the­lan­ethat lead­stothe­back­doo­rofRyan’s Pu­binSmith­field­is­acof­feeshop ands­mall-batch roaster, Ur­ban­ity. Thedesig­nis­min­i­mal andthes­paceisam­ple. It’s equipped­withshiny­gad­gets fromin­no­va­tiveIr­ish­cof­fee tech­nol­o­gy­compa­nyMar­coand there’sa Pro­bat­cof­feeroas­t­erin thecornerofthe­cafe, sur­vey­ing thescene.When it­comesto beans,the­se­folksmean busi­ness.

“WhenI­first­got­in­to­cof­fee back­i­naround 2006,it­was al­mostim­pos­si­bletofind­good cof­fee­beansinDublin. I’dorder the­mon­lin­e­and­prac­tise ath­ome with­my­home­cof­feema­chine. Fora whileIeven­ex­per­i­mented with­roast­ed­bean­susinga pop­corn­ma­chine,” rem­i­nisces Ja­sonMa­canT­sion­naigh, oneof 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.

The Cur­ragower Pub

Clancy’s Strand, Lim­er­ick 061-321788 cur­ragower.com ¤ 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 Ur­ban­ity’sthree co-own­ers. Mac anT­sion­naigh,who hasa back­ground­in­baran­drestau­rant man­age­ment,hada vi­sion nearlyadecadeago ofopeninga cof­feeshop with­anin-house roas­t­er­inDublin,af­tersee­ing sim­i­larset- ups on­his trav­el­sto Scan­di­navia.

“Thei­deafor Ur­ban­i­ty­is­based on­theS­can­di­na­vian­prin­ci­ple­sof roast­ing, whichisa lighter­roast to­help bringout­the­flavourofthe green­beans,” ex­plain­sMa­can Tsion­naigh. Itopened its­doors three­month­sago. Ur­ban­i­ty­buy its­green beans­from Tim Wen­del­boeinNor­way,whobuys themdi­rect­from cof­fee­farm­ers aroundthe­world. On­myvisit, Idrinkaflat white made­fro­maBrazil­ian­bean that has­been­roast­e­don theother side­ofthe­room.It hasa dis­tinc­tive­lynut­tyflavour; the tast­ing­notes­say marzi­panand al­mond,but­my­palateis­not well enough­versedinthe­worldof cof­feeflavours to pick­upon­that lev­el­ofde­tailjustyet. Itendto prefer­the­choco­late and­caramel end­ofthe­cof­feespec­trum, par­tic­u­lar­ly­in­myflatwhites(¤3 here­inUr­ban­ity) andthis­bean toast­ed­crou­tons.

Shred­ded­chunksof­moist chick­en­soaku­pasmoked toma­to­dress­ing,while a hard-boiledeg­gmakesthis a sal­a­dy­ourGran­ny­wouldbe proud­toserve.

Can­teen

30 Mal­low St, Lim­er­ick weare­can­teen.com ¤ Opend­byraw-food­chef Carolan­neRusheinApriloflast year,Sweet­BeatCaféis­plant- de­liv­er­swhatI’mlook­ing­for. Ur­ban­i­ty­hasthree grinders (most­cafesonly haveo­neon the go,thoughit’scom­mon­to­have twothese­days)which­means th­ey­caneasi­ly­of­fer­y­oua choice ofthree beans,andthus­d­if­fer­ent tastepro­files,on any­given day.

Among­th­eteam­be­hindthe coun­ter­isPaulTay­lor, whoyou mayrecog­nise­fromhis pre­vi­ous baris­taroleat Tamp& Stitchin Tem­pleBar.There’sfood,too, andinthek­itchenisAmy Rondthaler.There­ar­e­some pleas­ingsal­ad­sthatarein­ven­tive yetac­ces­si­ble. Iadda small por­tionof­sal­adto mysand­wich or­der(anad­di­tional¤2.50) and go­for theroast­ed­broc­col­i­witha sweet­tahin­isauce,an­da­por­tion ofa cele­riac,orange, ap­ple­and sumac­salad.

The­hamand­cheese sand­wich(¤6.50)doesn’tquite matchther­est ofthe­menu’s of­fer­ing,whichMa­canT­sion­naighrefer­stoasOt­toman. The hamis­de­cent­but thechee­seis dul­landsweaty. Ur­ban­i­ty­had beenso busy­dur­ing the lunchtime­wavethathit­them be­foreIar­rivedthatIlit­er­al­ly­got the­lastArunBak­ery­bun inthe kitchen,so my­op­tions were limited.AMid­dleEastern Chick­en­sand­wi­chon­the­menu lookedalit­tle­mor­ein­ter­est­ing. There­are­plen­ty­of­house-made desserts,an­da­teeny­tahini bis­cuit(¤1) goes­dow­na­treat with­my­cof­fee.

WhenI­men­tion­the­ham sand­wichto Ma­canT­sion­naigh, in­achataftermy­lunch, it­turns out­they­have­plansto shelve­o­rat leas­t­adap­tit.Theyusedto usea vin­tageched­dar­but­their cus­tomers,whoarea pre­dom­i­nant­lyle­gal­crow­don breaks fromthe­n­ear­byFour Courts, didn’tlikethep­un­gent­taste.“The cus­tomerde­cideswhaty­oudo,” ac­cept­sMa­canT­sion­naigh,with good­grace.

Cof­feeisk­inghereat Ur­ban­ity. Visit­them­from 8am­to5pm, Mon­dayto Fri­day,oron Satur­daysfrom10am­to4pm.

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