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Restaurant review: ‘The cooking in Saint Francis Provisions is on a par with the best to be found anywhere in Ireland’

Creative, confident and respectful of the West Cork larder, our restaurant critic has a perfect meal in Kinsale

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Lamb with labneh and broad beans

Lamb with labneh and broad beans

Smoked potatoes with creme fraiche and cod's roe

Smoked potatoes with creme fraiche and cod's roe

Mackerel with chermoula

Mackerel with chermoula

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Lamb with labneh and broad beans

I saw some snippiness on Twitter a while back in an exchange about the town of Kinsale and its supposed status as ‘the gourmet capital of Ireland’. The detail of the scrap eludes me now but the gist was that ‘gourmet’ is a word that should long since have been retired and that an abundance of restaurants doesn’t necessarily mean any of them are any good.

I have to agree about ‘gourmet’ — and its successor ‘foodie’ for that matter, why can’t we come up with something better? — and I know well that mediocrity can prevail in restaurant hotspots, even when you’d think competition would keep standards high. Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.


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