NEW CAFÉ RUA
New Antrim Street, Knockthomas, Castlebar Tel: (094) 902 3376 caferua.com
Having previously wowed the daytime hordes with their hearty breakfast and lunch menus – Achill Smoked Salmon with Scrambled Eggs & Rua Brown Soda and Kelly’s Sausage Blaa with Melted Maryland Cheddar & Slow Cooked Onions are the respective stars – brother and sister Aran and Colleen McMahon are now packing ‘em in on Friday nights as well. The Crumble For Two with a Jug Of Custard is irresistible, as are the generously endowed € 12 Mayo Mezze Boards.
Best Dish: Friendly Farmer Chicken Milanese with Rosemary Sautéed Spuds, Basil Mayonnaise & Salads – € 18.95
AN PORT MOR
1 Brewery Place, Westport Tel: (098) 26730 anportmor.com
Serial award-winner Frankie Mallon revels in the rustic style of cooking, creating quirky dishes with big flavours in this essential Wild Atlantic Way stop-off. An Port Mor is one of the best in the west for showcasing freshly landed fish and seafood.
Best Dish: Linguine Pasta with Crab Meat, Garlic, White Wine, Tomatoes, Fresh Herbs & Clew Bay Lobster Bisque – € 24
LA FOUGÈRE AT KNOCKRANNY HOUSE HOTEL
Tel: (098) 28600 khh.ie
Westport is one of Ireland’s great destinations – and Knockranny House Hotel is a particularly attractive place to lay your head down, in what is a beautiful part of the country. But not till after you’ve enjoyed the delights of the hotel restaurant, La Fougère. The Head Chef, Seamus Commons, has been described as one of the great contemporary Irish talents. He spent three years as Head Chef in L’Ecrivain, which is about as good a recommendation as you could get. The food here is all about great ingredients sourced from local producers and the fruits and vegetables grown in Knockranny’s very own garden.
Best Dish: Menu Changes Daily
Mulranny Park Hotel, Murrevagh, Westport Tel: (098) 36 000 mulrannyparkhotel.ie/nephin-restaurant.html
This charming country restaurant in the four star Mulranny Park Hotel, has unspoilt views of the Atlantic Ocean along with Croagh Patrick. The world class cuisine has earned a 2 AA rosette status for culinary excellence. Expect classic Irish dishes prepared with flair and a modern twist and try the Achill Island Blackfaced Mountain Lamb for an authentic taste of the west.
Best Dish: Pan Seared Tail of Atlantic Monkfish with Spinach & Chorizo, Tiger Prawns & Curried Broth – € 30
WILDE’S AT THE LODGE Ashford Castle, Cong Tel: (094) 954 5400 thelodgeac.com
From the Foie Gras to the Loin of Fallow
Deer, the Wilde’s Menu is a glorious culinary rollercoaster ride. Flavours that sometimes seem disparate fit together perfectly under the watchful eye/spoon of Jonathan Keane. It’s great value too at € 65 for five courses. Locally sourced meats and fresh Galway Bay and Connemara star in such signature dishes as Cannelloni of Wild Mushrooms or Duck Breast on a Pan Of Smoking Pine - no, really! - and leave room for an utterly decadent dessert. Residing on the palatial Ashford Castle estate, The Lodge also offers tapas-style dining in its Quay Bar & Brasserie and takes immense pride in its Full Irish. Best Dish: Pancetta-Wrapped Monktail with Gnocchi, Herb Crumb, Cauliflower & Vadouvan Puree – as part of the € 65 Five-Course Dinner Menu
NEPHIN: View to a thrill