THE BALLYMORE INN
Ballymore Eustace Tel: (045) 864 585 ballymoreinn.com
Located on the Wicklow/Kildare border in the picturesque village of Ballymore Eustace, you’d be tempted to call this place a hidden gem if its glowing reputation didn’t already precede it. Bono and JR Ewing – no, really – are only a couple of its more high-profile satisfied customers, attracted by unanimously rave
reviews for Georgina O’Sullivan’s inspired blend of wholesome and imaginative cooking. The relaxed, welcoming atmosphere is another plus, as are its child-friendliness and great value Back Bar Menu.
Best Dish: Duncannon Fillet of Salmon with Crispy Courgettes, Lemon Sauce & Tomato Relish – € 25.75
4 Main Street, Celbridge Tel: (01) 627 4967 canteencelbridge.com
The food is as complex as the décor is minimal in this understated Kildare gem, which James Sheridan and Soizic Humbert launched three years ago after bequeathing their original Blackrock Market premises to the Michelin-starred Heron & Grey. The three to four starters/mains/desserts menu means that everything has lots of love lavished on it.
Best Dish: Barbecued Pork Jowl with Dublin Bay Prawns, Cauliflower & Langoustine Bisque – € 27
THE HANGED MAN’S
Milltown, Newbridge Tel: (045) 431 515 hangedmans.ie
The mission statement in Pat Keane’s highlyrated canalside eatery is to serve outstandingly good fresh food in an interesting and unusual way. There’s a strong French influence, but with a distinctively Irish twist. Meat is the star turn here, with a variety of steaks, beef and duck all to the fore. The atmosphere is of a welcoming haven – warm, cheerful and friendly, making it a great stopping-off point at any time of the day or evening.
Best Dish: Surf & Turf Pasta – € 22.50
Kildare Village, Kildare Town, Co.Kildare Tel: (045) 535850 dunneandcrescenzi.com
Crostoni of Toasted Altamura Sourdough with Irish Free Range Poached Eggs, Mushroom Pate & Italian Truffle Olive Oil is our favourite way to kick off the day when we breakfast in this wonderfully authentic Italian, brought to you by the folk from Dunne & Crescenzi. They serve great antipasti, pastas and Italian sandwiches, along with their signature Tiramisu al Vinsanto dessert.
Best Dish: Amatriciana Spaghetti with Tuscan Pancetta Bacon, Tomato, Chilli & Pecorino – € 16
5 Canal View, Sallins Tel: (045) 853 768 twocooks.ie
Josef Zammit and Nicola Curran Zammit are the husband and wife team behind this charming modern eatery and wine bar, which won Michelin Bib Gourmand status for its European influenced dishes and excellent hospitality. Expect a relaxed, family-friendly dining experience, overlooking the Grand Canal in Sallins.
Best Dish: Duck Breast with Sprout Tops, Chestnut & Spatzle – € 29
TWO COOKS: In for the grill