Eating out: Lucinda O'Sullivan in Ireland's Holiday Hotspots
In the second part of a series looking at excellent places to eat on Les Cotes d'Irlande, let Lucinda O'Sullivan takes you on a whistle-stop tour of eateries in Wexford, Kerry and Donegal
Whether it's a five-star luxury hotel, glamping, or a holiday home on Les Cotes d'Irlande, I hope by now you've all had the buckets and spades out! This week, I am giving you a whistle-stop tour of eateries in the holiday hotspots of Wexford, Kerry and Donegal.
Kicking off in the sunny south-east, The Kitchen in Gorey, Co Wexford, is good for all the family, with an eclectic menu that includes Thai curries, Sunday roasts and a takeaway lunch menu - so give self-catering mommas a break! See www.thekitchengorey.ie.
The Seafield Hotel at Ballymoney, County Wexford, has the Italian-inspired Ristorante Vista Mare in its golf clubhouse, with lots of Italian faves from pizzas and steaks, to antipasti platters. See www.seafieldhotel.com.
Many families take to Rosslare for the summer and here we have Kelly's Resort Hotel and Spa, with its La Marine French bar/bistro. Try the baked fillet of hake with a Toulouse sausage cassolette. Kelly's has also opened a new urban-style cafe at Drinagh. You can also pick up a takeaway or picnic food here. See www.kellys.ie.
New to Rosslare is Tides, a gastropub with a beer garden, opened by soccer player Stephen Hunt. See Tides Gastro Pub on Facebook.
Heading along the Wexford coast is Kilmore Quay where you will find the Crazy Crab doing fab seafood in simple nautical surroundings. See www.crazycrab.ie. There's also The Silver Fox Seafood Restaurant. See www.silverfox.ie. Chef Billy Whitty's Aldridge Lodge at Duncannon is a cracker. Billy's father is a lobster fisherman, so you know what to look for here! See www.aldridgelodge.com.
At Dunbrody House, check out the Champagne & Seafood Bar for their Hook Head haddock smokies. See www.dunbrodyhouse.com.
So, to the Kingdom. Kenmare is awash with eateries including the excellent Packies. At the Park Hotel Kenmare, try the lovely informal menu at their new Terrace restaurant. See www.parkkenmare.com. Casey's at the Brooklane Hotel has gastropub-style grub and is ideal for all the family. See www.brooklanehotel.com.
Bruce Mulcahy's Wild Garlic Restaurant on Henry Street, Kenmare, is outstanding. Think Kerry lamb with a cep and pistachio nut crust or crab dumplings.
On the Sneem Road, The Rose Garden B&B and Cafe is a great-value find. The French owner is a pastry chef - so great cakes, salads and hot food. See www.rosegardenkenmare.com. Look out, too, for the Truffle Pig, see www.trufflepigkenmare.com, and Jam, see www.jam.ie.
In Killarney, Quinlan's Seafood Bar does fabulous traditional fish and chips. See www.seafoodbar.ie. Its sister eatery QC's in Cahirciveen is ace too. See www.qcbar.com, while Le Petit Delice, also in Caherciveen, is worth a visit for its lemon meringue alone! See it on Facebook.
Worth finding in Killarney for excellent Italian food is the atmospheric Cucina Italiana at St Anthony's Place.
Jack's Coastguard Restaurant does excellent bar and restaurant food out by the water at Lower Cromane on the Ring of Kerry. See www.jackscromane.com. Or, if you want an actual 'right on the beach' dining experience, check out O'Carroll's Cove Beach Restaurant, between Caherdaniel and Castlecove. See www.ocarrollscove.ie.
In Dingle, kids and adults alike adore a scoop of Murphy's Ice Cream. See www.murphysicecream.ie. Those on a shellfish mission will like Out of the Blue. See www.outoftheblue.ie. Also worth checking out is the Reel Dingle Fish Take-Away at Holy Ground. See them on Facebook.
Martin Bealin's Global Village restaurant on Upper Main Street is ace, with superb local produce, amazing shellfish and a great early-bird menu. See www.globalvillagedingle.com.
Also excellent is Lord Baker's, the oldest pub in Dingle, with a wide selection of food. See www.lordbakers.ie. The Goat Street Bistro serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Try the French toast with melted Brie and maple syrup! A treat. See www.goatstreetbistro.com.
Niall and Brian O Conchuir's An Canteen is great - try spiced whole prawn tails. See www.ancanteen.com. Idas, previously at Ballydavid, has moved into town, where it has also been making waves. See them on Facebook.
The new Heather restaurant at Moriarty's at the Gap of Dunloe is a really lovely space. Check out its Glenbeigh cockles and mussels in white wine. See www.moriartys.ie.
Moving to the extreme north-west and Donegal, in Mountcharles you will find The Village Tavern, a really fabulous spot with a great seafood bar menu. See www.villagetavern.ie.
In pretty Dunfanaghy, Cafe Arnou does all-day casual food from breakfast to tapas to pizzas, as well as cocktails. See them on Facebook. Danny Minnie's at Annagry is one of Donegal's oldest restaurants doing excellent food and it also does B&B. See www.dannyminnies.ie. The Lobster Pot, a pub/restaurant at Burtonport, sports a special seafood platter for two, entitled The Titanic! See www.lobsterpot.ie.
Another good spot is the Olde Castle Bar & Fish Dock Restaurant, a landmark building in the shadow of Red Hugh O'Donnell's castle, in Donegal town. It has an extensive menu, with something for all the family, from traditional Irish dishes to local seafood. See www.oldecastlebar.com.
In Rathmullan, sitting side by side, take your pick between Belle's Kitchen cafe bistro, or its sister biz, Salt 'n' Batter fish and chip shop. Also, under the same umbrella, The Ferry Gate Wine Bar and Restaurant is open in the evenings. See them on Facebook.
Overlooking the amazing Rossnowlagh Beach, The Glasshouse Restaurant at the Sandhouse Hotel is another great place for delicious local produce and excellent seafood at good prices. Try its timbale of Burtonport white crabmeat with lemon mayonnaise and a dill dressing. See www.sandhouse.ie.