Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Review: Caffe Italiano, Dublin

AN ITALIAN restaurant in Temple Bar? Keep still thy beating heart and quell thy cynicism. 


Restaurant Review: Sage restaurant, Cork

A graphically well-designed menu suggests cheering possibility like a well-dressed Christmas tree levitating on a bed of beautifully-packed gifts, some labelled with your name in generous Auntie Betty’s clear, strong, knowing hand. 


Restaurant Review: Spa Seafoods, Kerry

The time is coming up to 3pm, the day is Friday, and the following conversation occurs in Spa Seafoods between a member of staff and a mature woman who has obviously been to the restaurant a few times before.


Restaurant Review: The Steakhouse, Kinsale, Co Cork

IF Percy French’s venerable sparring partners Abdul Abulbul Amir and Ivan Skavinsky Skavar still get together for a Christmas jaw-wag, to talk about old, old times when men were men, “when that son of the desert, in battle aroused, could spit 20 men on his spear”, it’s hard to think that those noble cuirassiers would go anywhere other than a proper, belt-stretching steakhouse.


Restaurant Review: Vintage Kitchen, Dublin 2

WE have been to smaller restaurants but usually they’ve been located in much larger cities than Dublin — hideaways in side streets and alleyways in Paris and New York spring to mind. 


Restaurant Review: The Pepperstack, Co Cork

The Pepperstack Bistro at Rosie’s Bar in Lower Aghada, Co Cork is a bistro like Paul O’Connell is a rugby player, like Graham Norton is an entertainer. 


Restaurant Review: Havana Tapas Bar, Dublin 2

ANY business that manages to keep its head above water for 15 years must have something good going for it, and so it proves with Havana Tapas Bar, a cosy place bang in the centre of Dublin’s Restaurant Row.


Restaurant Review: Huguenot French Bistro & Wine Bar, Cork

I’M NOT sure how many points opening — or in this case rejuvenating — a restaurant registers in the National Optimism Rebuilding Programme.


Restaurant Review: Brabazon, Slane, Co Meath

HE setting within which Brabazon Restaurant reclines is beautiful, and we’ll warrant there are few places in Ireland to beat it. 


Restaurant review: A ’square’ meal deal in Blarney

IN A WORLD where everyone of Roy Keane’s self-serving, confrontational utterances is treated as if it were a recently-discovered Heaney poem on the nature of egomania.


Restaurant review: Pump up the volume at Drury Buildings

SITTING comfortably? Let’s begin, shall we? 


Restaurant Review: Campagne, Kilkenny

AS someone obsessed by the idea of catching impossibly large and beautiful salmon in impossibly large and beautiful rivers I have had to come to understand that the hoping and wishing may almost be as exciting as the arriving and doing. 


Restaurant Review: San Lorenzo’s, Dublin

SO THERE we were, walking along Dublin’s Great South George’s Street of a Sunday morning. 


Restaurant Review: Granville’s Bar and Restaurant, Macroom, Co Cork

Many, many years ago I was involved in selecting an end-of-the-food-chain rugby team — Minor B Seconds — at a small, rural, end-of-the-world club. 


Restaurant Review: De Ville’s, Dalkey, Co Dublin

WHEN chef Keith McNally opened his restaurant, Pastis, in New York’s rundown Meatpacking area in 1999, it blew the competition away to such a degree that one of the restaurant’s most noted celeb visitors, Martha Stewart, gushed that having an eatery of such distinction was like Paris coming to town.


Restaurant review: Room with a sea view at the Seafood restaurant, Ballycotton

Pier 26 Seafood Restaurant, Ballycotton, Co Cork, 
tel: 021-2061449


Restaurant Review: The Snail Box, Ashbourne, Co Meath

THE first things you notice are the baseball caps. 

Dining room at Max's, Kinsale. The restaurant justifies the witticism: "There are some days when I think I'm going to die from an overdose of satisfaction."

Restaurant Review: Max’s, Kinsale, Co Cork

WHEN the Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali paraded his pet lobster along the Rue de Rivoli in Paris he must have seemed as exotic as anything — or anyone — led along the promenade in Kinsale.


Restaurant Review: Cava Bodega, Galway

WITH the Spanish Arch just minutes away, it makes sense to continue the Iberian trail, and so in the middle of the Galway International Arts Festival, we rocked up to Cava Bodega. 


Restaurant review: The Claddagh, The Square, Blarney, Cork

THERE are days when you just want middle-of-the-road, keep-the-show-on-the road food — days when you don’t need, or even want, poppy-seed brown bread knitted by celibate artisan bakers; days you just can’t summon up the joie de vivre needed to make the prospect of crabmeat or pan-roasted cod named after the port in which its captor buys his marine diesel, seem even vaguely uplifting. 

No sign of recession at Dunne & Crescenzi as the place hums with good conversation and good food.

Dublin: Dunne & Crescenzi

Dunne & Crescenzi,
14-16 Frederick Street South,
Dublin 2;
tel: 01-6759892,


Cork: The Black Pig Winebar

The Black Pig Winebar,
66 Lower O’Connell Street,
Kinsale, Co Cork;
tel: 021-4774101