Main Street, Adare, Co. Limerick Tel: (061) 396 004
Housed in a picture postcard thatched cottage, 1826 Adare has a simplistic approach to its trade – source the best local ingredients, cook them with skill and panache and people will come flocking. That’s how it’s proven to be, with Elaine and Wade Murphy’s casual dining establishment attracting both tourists visiting nearby Adare Manor, and flocks of discerning foodies who love the fact that quality Irish ingredients feature on the menu. Daily specials are chalked up on the blackboard. With signature dishes like Warm Pan-Fried Chicken Livers with Pickles, Piccalilli Aioli, Bally Greens & Almonds, it’s easy to understand why 1826 Adare is held in such high culinary esteem.
Best Dish: 1826 Adare Seasonal Harvest Vegetarian Platter – € 19.95
Tel: (061) 311 411 aroi.eu
Asian street food has been elevated to a high art internationally in recent years. Colourful dishes zinging with spice have become a feature of many Irish restaurant menus, with varying degrees of success. If you want to see how it’s done right, head to the Treaty City and visit Aroi. Grab a pew in the long narrow dining-room and order from a dazzling array of wok, noodle, curry, grilled or stir-fried dishes. Signature plates include an excellent Pad Se-law, a simple but effective combination of pork strips, Thai green vegetables, egg, keoteow, scallions & Thai soya sauce. There is an equally tasty outpost in Kilkenny.
Best Dish: Red Duck Curry with Pea Aubergine, Baby Corn, Long Beans, Lime Leaves & Cherry Tomatoes – € 15
26 Catherine Street, Limerick Tel: (085) 215 3212 wearecanteen.com
Having moved from Mallow Street to bigger premises on Catherine Street, the Canteen crew rustle up one of the best breakfasts in town with their Greek Eggs with Roast Aubergines, Feta Cheese, Mint, Eggs, Sumac & Sourdough things of unbridled beauty. The Lunch Boxes with Lemony Leek Pork & Beef Meatballs are also packed full of big, bold flavours.
Best Dish: Confit Lamb Wrap – € 6.50
LA CUCINA CENTRO
Chandler House, Henry Street, Limerick Tel: (061) 517 400 lacucina.ie
Having wowed ‘em out in Castletroy for the past fourteen years – the University Court mothership remains as busy as ever – the lovely Lorraine Fanneran and Bruno Coppola have now brought a little bit of authentic Italy to the city-centre. The antipasti, salads, pizzas, pastas and mains are all fabulous, as are the bright, modern décor and selection of Italian craft beers. If that looks like a Munster rugby player at the next table, it probably is, with team members regularly popping in to refuel.
Best Dish: Pizza Atina with Rocket, Parma Ham, Mozzarella & Parmesan – € 14.50
No. 1 Pery Square Hotel & Spa, Georgian Quarter, Limerick
Tel: (061) 402 402 oneperysquare.com
Fine dining at affordable prices is the credo in this contemporary Irish restaurant – albeit with a pronounced Gallic twist! – which occupies the first-floor of No 1 Pery Square, a literary-themed boutique hotel that backs onto the People’s Park. Breakfast is a big thing at Sash, with the Eggs Benedict top of the ‘recommended’ list. All of the boutique hotel’s rooms are individually themed, and there’s a relaxing spa attached. Overall, a gorgeous experience.
Best Dish: Menu Changes with the Season
Unit 9, Newtown Centre, Annacotty, Castletroy, Co. Limerick
Tel: (061) 333 444 tuscany.ie
The ‘A’-word gets thrown around far too liberally, but this really is as authentic as Italian dining gets locally. While the Lasagna Emiliana with creamy béchamel and Chicken Cacciatora with lashings of garlic butter aren’t designed to be kind to your waistline, there are lots of healthy options too with the Insalta Al Pollo always a safe bet. The same great ambience and food is to be found at their other restaurants in The Granary in Limerick city-centre and out by the water in Ballina, County Tipperary.
Best Dish: Seafood Stew – € 19.95