Setting the bar at The Dáil

the Galway Appetiser

No, not that Dáil Bar, where politicians run up huge tabs after controversial late-night sittings. The other one, on the corner of Cross Street and Middle Street. Although it has the same name as the bar in Ireland's house of parliament, ('Dáil' translates from Irish as a place where people meet to discuss, debate, and talk ), our Dáil is much better craic. Over the years, the building has been a family home, a toy shop, and most recently a licensed premises known as Tí na nÓg. Since 2008, the pub is in common ownership with The Front Door, Tom Sheridans, and Brasserie on The Corner, and as such has a higher standard than most others. It enjoys an ideal location in The Latin Quarter, just around the corner from Quay Street and Galway's tourist and shopping hub.

Despite the name this is not an Irish pub in the traditional sense, there are no leprechauns and shillelaghs here. It is based more on the American sports bar business model. You are never very far away from a big screen showing all of the latest sporting action and the bar sponsors Connacht Rugby. While the exterior is a flower strewn riot of colour, the interior is timeless, filled with dark wood and ornate decoration throughout the pub and well lit bar. There are, of course, warm fires and welcoming, well drilled, staff, under the expert guidance of the general manager, Ger McTague.

The Dáil Bar is a popular spot for a night out, and one of the most atmospheric venues in the city. If you care about what you imbibe and want to sample a broad range of brewed delights then this is the place to do it. The bar has a short wine list which offers reasonably priced wines by the glass, and bottles under €20. There is a good selection of world beers and a top quality yet exceptional value cocktail menu, with drinks starting at €6.95. If you consider yourself somewhat of a whiskey aficionado then look no further. This bar is on the Galway Whiskey Trail and showcases an impressive selection of Irish whiskeys. Their selection includes blended, grain, malt, and pot stilled whiskeys and a member of staff is always happy to talk about the story behind each of the them and suggest the perfect option to suit your taste. House favourites include Yellow Spot and the Midleton Barry Crockett single pot stilled whiskey. In the evenings, live music and resident DJs regularly feature attracting a mixed crowd of locals and tourists, a fun place to finish off the night.

The Dáil Bar is more than just a party pub, however. It is also well known as a reliable restaurant serving good pub grub at pocket friendly prices. Food is served all day every day starting with breakfast from 9.30am. The menu is anchored in traditional bar food, it offers the usual crowd pleasers such as fish and chips and beef and Guinness stew — with some more innovative options. Vegetarians could have a sweet potato and chick pea Thai curry, with the option of adding chicken for the non-practicing or lapsed veggies, with plenty more options from the salads or lighter bites selections. There is a strong emphasis on locally sourced seafood, a good selection is offered throughout the menu and in the daily specials. The Dáil caters for those who want gluten free or healthier options, and there are a few sandwiches and wraps at lunchtime also.

We recently enjoyed their seafood linguine and a shredded duck salad with an oriental dressing, both well executed and in large portion sizes. With the most expensive item on the lunch time menu topping out at under €12 and plenty to choose from under €10, it is hard to beat for value for money. Unlike some other pub/restaurant settings it is also exceptionally child friendly with plenty for even the pickiest eater to choose from and staff that are happy to interact.

The menu of desserts is short and sweet, they are made in house and served with vanilla ice cream and freshly whipped cream. Finish with apple or banoffi pie, or a sticky toffee pudding and at only €4.95 — it might even be a good idea to skip lunch in favour of one.

The varied menu and confident kitchen takes The Dáil Bar above and beyond traditional pub fare. Offering great value across the board, The Dáil Bar has become a firm favourite to Galway residents and visitors alike. This tight knit team have earned their popularity.

The Dáil Bar, Cross Street, The Latin Quarter, Galway. Phone 091 563777. Email [email protected]. Website: www.thedailbar.com

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