New menus and decor, but the same great quality at Season’s

Fri, Oct 31, 2014

For new menus, updated decor, and a taste sensation that is not to be missed, it has to be Mulroy’s Gastro Pub, Main Street, Castlebar.

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An Púcán, a great addition to the east side

Thu, Oct 30, 2014

Many crimes against food are committed by pubs claiming the dubiously desirable title of 'gastro'. Carefully sourced artisan produce are carelessly piled into sub-standard baps. Bags of breaded mushrooms and nuggets are pulled from the freezer, deep fried, and shovelled onto local organic leaves, melting them to pondweed. A sandwich of home baked ham with a fine Irish cheese will sit on the same plate as the mass produced claggy coleslaw from the catering tubs. The intention is there, but the Devil, as they say, is in the detail.

An Púcán does not claim to be a 'gastro' pub, but its food is now so much better than many who do. Located just off Eyre Square on Forster Street, it had in the past a well deserved reputation as a great traditional Irish music venue, sometimes hosting Irish dancing. I had not often darkened the doors of this establishment for fear of one of these displays breaking out in front of me.

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Galway Restaurant Week — a seven day culinary adventure

Thu, Oct 23, 2014

Pictured launching Galway Restaurant Week, which runs from November 3 to 9: Heather Flaherty, Jonathan Gunning, Aoife Qualter, and Rosa Butler.

An initiative by the people who brought us Galway Food Festival will see the city’s restaurant owners come together to showcase the variety, quality, and standard of Galway’s restaurant scene.

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Delicious dining options at The Latin Quarter Bistro

Thu, Oct 23, 2014

The Latin Quarter Bistro opened its doors in May and has gradually made its mark on the Galway food scene. The bistro offers a diverse menu of flavoursome dishes using local seasonal ingredients served in casual and relaxing surroundings. Chef Patrick and his team carefully source their ingredients to create classical bistro dishes with a modern Irish twist.

Lunch is served from 12 noon to 3pm with traditional favourites such as tartines (open traditional French sandwiches); croque-monsieur (baked ham, emmental, béchamel sauce); the farmer’s tartine (braised beef, cheddar, rocket, horseradish mayo); salmon and chorizo linguini with chilli, garlic, cherry tomato, red peppers; and pie of the day such as chicken and chorizo, and lots more, all for under €10.

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Breakfast club

Thu, Oct 23, 2014

Having spent a few years of my teens and early twenties meat free, I am still in the habit of scanning a menu to see what is on offer for vegan and vegetarian folk. As I recall, it was the smell of a smokey bacon burger after one too many fermented apple juices on a student night out that brought me back to being a practising carnivore. Just as well really, as a column featuring vegetarian food in Galway would have been very short lived. The vegetarian option is sadly still all too often the afterthought when planning a menu.

Not so in the Library Cafe, Bar & Bistro at the Glenoaks Hotel. This budget hotel is the unlikely setting for a little bit of vegetarian heaven. The elegant bar, flanked by large, dark, wood bookcases displaying antique tomes and artefacts, provides a welcome and relaxed bolthole for residents and locals alike. Student nights like Toxic Tuesday and Shaggy Sunday (alliteration at its finest I think you will agree) are proving popular with the scholars too.

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Mexican food — it's so hot right now

Thu, Oct 16, 2014

There is something spicy happening in Galway. Mexican food, one of the biggest food trends of recent years, has gone mainstream, and Galwegians are going loco for it.

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Banana and oat breakfast muffins

Thu, Oct 09, 2014

Recently I have had to reprimand my children for their overuse of the ‘N’ word. It is something that I, like many others, find deeply offensive. I have, I think, brought them up well and feel aggrieved that this is how they repay me. Such outrageous behaviour goes against everything that I believe to be right. It started off innocently enough with the five year old slipping the odd ‘N’ word into a sentence. I may have turned a blind eye, anything for a quiet life. Then all of a sudden it escalated into using it everywhere, at every possible opportunity, to my complete mortification. Out loud and in front of other people.

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Delicious seafood at Mary’s Fish Shop

Thu, Sep 25, 2014

Mary’s children Tara and Erin, with their friend Ailish, pictured at the recent fish cookery demonstration day.

Mary of Mary’s Fish Shop would like to thank all those who attended the shop’s recent fish cookery demonstrations. Building on the success of her first demo day last Easter, Mary was joined by the Galway Bay FM roadcaster and several top chefs, all of whom seemed to be enjoying the day as much as the customers who were happy to eat the fruits of their labours.

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Heat things up at the Gaslight Bar & Brasserie

Thu, Sep 25, 2014

Summer may be over but the fun-filled nights and get-togethers continue at the Gaslight Bar & Brasserie. Boasting an ideal location in Eyre Square, the all-singing, all–dancing, rather fabulous Gaslight Bar & Brasserie offers the perfect solution for those looking for a city centre option for a party venue.

“What they have created is a superbly sociable, bright, airy, space called the Gaslight Bar & Brasserie,” said Lucinda O’Sullivan of the Sunday Independent. With its warm, vibrant, atmosphere, and DJs playing laid back soul, classic disco, and feel-good vibes every Friday and Saturday night til late, the Gaslight Bar & Brasserie is heating things up.

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Warm and welcoming lunch at the Gaslight Bar & Brasserie

Thu, Sep 04, 2014

Autumn is drawing in, hats and scarves are starting to reappear, and many people are beginning to yearn for some warmth and relaxation.  

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Il Vicolo - more of it to love

Thu, Sep 04, 2014

When the programme for the 2014 Galway Food Festival was announced earlier this year, the very first item to go on my list was the Venetian Tapas at Il Vicolo on the Taste Trail. Given the subsequent events, it may have taken a little longer than I expected, but all things considered it was worth waiting for.

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Back to school cookies

Thu, Aug 28, 2014

I shall be making these lovely cookies to celebrate my two scholars placing their little patent leather shoes back on the bottom rungs of the ladder of academia. They are a perfect after school treat with a glass of milk or bribe for a patient teacher.

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Galway's finest food tour

Thu, Aug 21, 2014

Cork and Limerick have one and Dublin has at least three, so it was well overdue for Galway to have one also. A city rich in farming and fishing history, there are many more culinary treats to Galway than meet the eye. Sheena Dignam is more than happy to share these with us on her new food tour of the Galway Market and further afield, designed to best showcase some of our tasty treasures.

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A new dining experience at An Púcán

Thu, Aug 21, 2014

On Friday June 27 this year, Galway saw the welcome return of one of its oldest bars in the form of the newly refurbished An Púcán, at 11 Forster Street just off Eyre Square. Keeping with tradition, it offers free music sessions every day, in addition to more than 150 remarkable whiskeys from Ireland and around the globe, craft beers, boutique wines, and now with a full extended food menu, An Púcán promises to be a very exciting addition to the east city dining scene.

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Sunday lunch at The Ardilaun

Thu, Aug 21, 2014

The Camilaun Restaurant at The Ardilaun hotel is now offering a three course sit down lunch with tea or coffee to replace the traditional carvery lunch with soft, live, easy listening entertainment every Sunday also as an extra touch, a perfect way to while away a lazy afternoon, all for €25 per person, with extensive children’s menu also available. It is the perfect solution for celebrating a family get together, birthday, anniversary, or christening, with a free personalised birthday cake for parties of more than 10 guests.

The restaurant overlooks the hotel gardens so there is plenty of space for families to enjoy the outdoors this summer in the pleasant and safe surroundings of the grounds.

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Take a walk on the Wilde side

Thu, Aug 14, 2014

I have always had a soft spot for Lisloughrey Lodge, enjoyed many good meals there, and slept soundly in the lavish bedrooms. Previously, a stunning job was done on Lisloughrey, transforming it from old style country house into contemporary country hideaway with bedrooms and suites individually styled and decorated, oversized beds, deep piled carpets, dark wood furniture, and the latest flat screen technology. The heart of the hotel is a magnificent period building and behind it, new accommodation was added discreetly in two-bedroom units built around an attractive landscaped courtyard with covered walkways. Set in the grounds of Ashford Castle and now in common ownership, the hotel has one of the most beautiful locations in the country. Perched above Lough Corrib, just outside Cong, the most picturesque of village with little gift shops to peruse, cafes and pubs to refresh yourself in, ferry rides and woodland walks to amuse you. Fishing, golf and even falconry are all on your doorstep.

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Service with a smile

Thu, Aug 07, 2014

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” - JRR Tolkien.

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Family dining at Mulberry's of Barna

Thu, Jul 31, 2014

One of our favourite family spots has to be Mulberry’s restaurant in the village of Barna, on the coast road to Spiddal, close enough to Galway city to be almost considered a suburb. Set back from the main road, in a line of pretty shops, this is usually a busy spot with well thought out menus and family friendly dining. The two very hands-on owners, James and Deirdre Cunningham, are blessed with a good chef, Ziggy Kolanczyk. There is real focus on local seasonal produce and James himself can often be found foraging among the rocks on the local shores. The quality of ingredients, reasonable prices, and the casual elegance of the decor all adds up to a very good dining experience, with an emphasis on seafood and European style cuisine. Parking is both ample and free and the sky blue frontage is conveniently located next door to Ali’s Fish Shop, so you are guaranteed the seafood will be as fresh as can be.

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Sunday lunch at The Ardilaun

Thu, Jul 31, 2014

The Camilaun Restaurant at The Ardilaun hotel is now offering a three course sit down lunch with tea or coffee to replace the traditional Sunday carvery lunch. The restaurant also provides soft, live, easy listening entertainment every Sunday as an extra touch, a perfect way to while away a lazy afternoon, all for €25 per person, with extensive children’s menu also available. It is the perfect solution for celebrating a family get together, birthday, anniversary, or christening, with a free personalised birthday cake for parties of more than 10 guests.

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Clarinbridge goes Rustic

Thu, Jul 24, 2014

In the pretty town of Clarinbridge, a picturesque pub, Sherry's Bar, provides a surprising venue for Rustic Grub. Recently opened in a village already well supplied with good cafes and tea-rooms, it has hit the ground running — which says a lot about chef Maria McNeela and the ethos she has brought with her. There are very few people who could match the passion and respect that she has for food, and the menu reflects this in a variety of ways. She has found a space to showcase the best that the west has to offer and cooks in the Irish tradition — unrestrained, imaginative, and dedicated to pleasure — maternalism at its finest.

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