All posts tagged: restaurants

Review – Pullman Restaurant – Glenlo Abbey Hotel

The closest I’ll ever get to Laurence Olivier is a very unique dining experience at Glenlo Abbey. The star of my favourite version of my favourite book by Emily Bronte, “Wuthering Heights” (it feels like they invented the word brooding for the way he played the leading role of Heathcliff) used to take The Pullman Carriage on its Brighton run which saw it carry actors from London’s West End to tread the Brighton boards. The Pullman Carriage, now happily stationed at Gleno in Galway, was built in 1927 where it went on its glamorous Russia, Monaco and Istanbul routes. You might also recognise it from “Murder on the Orient Express”, the 1974 Agatha Christie film. It was also used during World War II by Sir Winston Churchill and his family. In fact its last journey was in 1965 taking Churchill’s remains and funeral cortege back near Blenheim Palace where he would be buried. This is a very special kind of dining experience. There is something about getting on board a piece of history, being greeted …

Dining in Donegal 2018

Donegal is magical, majestic and full of mischief. My home county is the most beautiful in the country. Of course I’m going to say that, but it’s true. You’ll find warm people, freezing North Atlantic waters crashing onto dreamy beaches, good food, cosy pubs, rich Gaeilge and the song and story that comes from it, and us. Then there are sights like Mount Errigal, Malin Head, Sliabh League and the magnificent Glenveagh National Park. Trust me, you haven’t lived until you’ve been warmed by a Donegal turf fire, its fizzing and crackly breath embracing you into the very heart of its mountains, its sea, its people and its soul. Grá mo chroí.   Here are some of my favourite restaurants: Harry’s Bar and Restaurant What can I say about Harry’s? I’ve written a longer piece here about this fine restaurant, but what makes it so special is how much they care. The owner Donal Doherty and head chef Derek Creagh are passionate about using local produce that comes from the surrounding area of Inishowen and …

Recipe – Derry Clarke – Roast spicy, sweet and sour chicken

There’s nothing like roast chicken to soothe the soul. Chef Derry Clarke, owner of Dublin’s Michelin Star l’Ecrivain, has kindly shared this lip-smacking recipe for spicy, sweet and sour roast chicken to warm up your Sunday lunch. He suggests serving it with roasted vegetables seasoned with spices and it is also delicious with a Mediterranean cous cous. Ingredients 1 whole chicken (not too big: about 1.3 – 1.8 kg or 3-4lb) For the paste: 2 red chillies (- and chopped) 2 tablespoons of curry powder or any spice mix 50g ginger chopped 6 cloves garlic chopped 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons chopped thyme 1 tablespoon chopped sage 1 tablespoon sea salt 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar Method Preheat oven to 190C Mix all the paste ingredients together except the oil and vinegar. Rub the chicken with the olive oil and vinegar and sprinkle the dry mixture over the chicken. Season with some freshly ground black pepper. Roast the chicken for about two hours (30- 35 minutes per 500g/ 25 – …

Recipe – Earl Grey Tea Cured Salmon by Stephen McAllister

This elegant starter recipe is a signature dish in Stephen McAllister’s restaurant ‘The Pig’s Ear’ in Dublin. He has kindly shared the secret to getting the beautifully delicate balance of the tea infusion just right in this recipe. Stephen said: ‘This salmon recipe has been on The Pig’s Ear menu in some way, shape or form ever since we opened in 2008 and has always been a big hit with our guests. It’s also a great dinner party starter as all the work is done ahead of time leaving you free to mingle with your guests.’ Earl Grey Tea Cured Salmon, Apple, Cucumber, Yogurt & Dill Ingredients : (serves 4) 500g organic Irish salmon, skin off & pin boned Zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon 70g sea salt 90g sugar 30g dill or fennel Tea from 2 Earl Grey tea bags 100g yoghurt strained in a muslin cloth over night 1 Granny Smith apple, sliced into crescent shapes 1 cucumber, one half sliced thinly length ways, seasoned with salt to soften The other peeled and …

Restaurant review: The Vintage Kitchen, Poolbeg Street, Dublin 2

This is a restaurant review from my previous website from March 2013. It was a special evening as I met my dear friend Paolo Tullio (R.I.P). You will find his review of the restaurant here. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. THIS was a blustery, rainy night that you wouldn’t be leaving a toasty house for, if at all possible. But the promise of an evening in the company of Paolo Tullio, and a quick scan of ‘The Vintage Kitchen’s’ menu was more than enough to get the brolly out. The Vintage Kitchen is only taking baby steps in getting its name out there in Dublin. However, if they keep the kind of standard we enjoyed, there will be some trouble in getting a table. Situated on Poolbeg Street, conveniently beside Mulligan’s pub (perfect for a digestif), it’s got a few achingly cool little touches. They play only vinyl records, and you can bring your own which they (might) play. If you’re cool enough. It was joyous to hear The Ronettes in a restaurant. …

Restaurant Review: The Chef’s Table at The Pig’s Ear, Dublin 2.

Stephen Mc Allister is a talented boy. I’ve known him since the days when I was making his tea as a runner on ‘The Restaurant’ series for RTE, back in 2007. He was, like the other kitchen team chefs Gary O’Hanlon and Louise Lennox, essential to magic of the show and making the guest chef feel relaxed. So I made good tea. Fast forward, and while I was lucky enough to get to produce and direct the show, he went on to open the wonderful ‘The Pig’s Ear’ restaurant on Nassau Street. It is my brother’s favourite restaurant and a place where I have had many a treasured evening. Stephen is very good at keeping his supreme talents hidden. He is modest and any compliment is met with a ‘Ah go ‘way,’ but his food won’t let him away with that humble nonsense. He’s recently opened the very special ‘Chef’s Table’ at the top of the restaurant. It seats eight people in a gorgeous room overlooking Trinity College. I have had the good fortune to …

Restaurant: Coppinger Row

We are not equipped for sunshine dining in Dublin. It rains, we are quite aware, thanks. Neither are we all that equipped for in-between time dining. We’re all clamouring for a table at 1pm or 8.30pm. Does the food taste better at these times? Try getting a proper menu after lunch and before dinner and options are limited. Coppinger Row gets a big fat kiss for doing both of these. In fact, if I wanted a table at 3pm in the sunshine with a pretty decent menu, I’d go here. By coincidence, I had recently been here for both those reasons. A sunny Friday evening called for an outdoor table, and then a late lunch meeting meant all rows led to Coppinger. In the evening, you will inevitably wait to get a table. They are always humming. I’ve never been in company that’s booked ahead, so always end up waiting for a table. It’s actually probably an excuse to try one of their outrageous ‘Flo & Basy’ cocktails with Agave and Elderflower. These should be …