Restaurant Reviews

The dining room at Belleek Castle features crushed-velvet seat covers and a curving oak staircase straight out of a fairy-tale forest.

Mayo: Breaking the mould at Belleek Castle

The Restaurant, Belleek Castle,
Ballina, Co Mayo;
tel: 096-22400;

The Strasbourg Goose's pricing policy seems to have paid dividends but this forces its own limitations.

Cork: Strasbourg Goose

Strasbourg Goose,
17 French Church St,
tel: 021-4279534

The menu at Harte's Bar & Grill, Kildare, ticks all the boxes, offering a choice of five starters and eight mains.

Kildare: Harte's is a polished gastro pub

Harte’s Bar & Grill,
Market Square, Kildare;
tel: 045-533557;


Cork: Bathe in the calm light and muted sounds of Café Serendipity

Café Serendipity,
30 Palace View,
Western Road, Cork.
021 2410466,

Dining at the chef's table in the kitchen of Chapter One puts you right at the heart of Ross Lewis's award-winning kitchen.

Dublin: Chapter One, at the heart of Ross Lewis's kitchen

Chef’s Table, Chapter One,
19 Parnell Square N,
Dublin 1;

O'Donovan's is an off-site find, it has no website and relies on word of mouth.

Cork: Go east for a feast at O'Donovan's in Midleton

O’Donovan’s Restaurant,
58 Main St Midleton
Co. Cork,
021 4631255

The Nando's phenomenon continues to grow and it has over a 1,000 restaurants worldwide, with eight in Ireland — seven in Dublin and one in Cork's Mahon Point centre.

Dublin: Nando’s

Nando’s, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 16;

Food fashions may come and go, but Jim Edward's restaurant, in Kinsale, is a solid producer of fresh local produce.

Cork: Jim Edwards' Kinsale, always in food fashion

Jim Edwards’ Bar Restaurant,
Market Quay,
Kinsale, Co Cork;
tel: 021-4772541;

The dining room at MacNean House & Restaurant: A high watermark in destination dining from the man who's often referred to as the Daniel O'Donnell of Irish food.

Cavan: MacNean House & Restaurant

MacNean House & Restaurant,
Blacklion, Co Cavan;

Hassett's Restaurant, The Glen, Crosshaven is one of three outlets in county Cork, the others are in Carrigaline and the city's Adelaide St.

Cork: A place for society

Hassett’s Restaurant,
The Glen, Crosshaven,
Co Cork;,
tel: 021-4833030


Wicklow: Wild at heart

The Strawberry Tree, Brooklodge Hotel & Macreddin Village, Aughrim, Co Wicklow; 0402 36444;

DINING DELIGHT: The Tannery, Dungarvan, where service is immaculate, high professionalism leavened with easygoing warmth.

Waterford: The Tannery Restaurant has star quality

The Tannery Restaurant,
10 Quay Street, Dungarvan,
Co Waterford;

777, run by restaurateur John Farrell. One man's shabby-chic is another man's shabbiness — customers walk through the kitchen to get to the loos.

Dublin: Pablo Picante

4 Clarendon Market;
777: 7 South Great George’s Street;

BRIGHT FUTURE: the Perry Street Market Café is a clean, light, wholesome space, in contrast to the premises' previous incarnations as a dusty furniture store, and a dingy nightclub.

Cork: Perry Street Market Café

Perry Street,
tel: 021-4278776


Hale and hearty at L Mulligan Grocer

L Mulligan Grocer, 18 Stoneybatter, Dublin 7;
Tel: 01-6709889;

Charlie Mac's in Fermoy delivers huge portions.

Cork: A meal to feast on in Charlie Macs

Charlie Macs,
20 McCurtain
St, Fermoy,
Co Cork,


Dining with an elegant Lady

Lady Helen Restaurant, Mount Juliet, Thomastown, Co Kilkenny; 056-7773000;


Cork: Christmas spirit in Greene's Restaurant

Greene’s Restaurant, MacCurtain St, Cork;
tel: 021-4552279;


Antrim: Ox serves up treats

Ox Belfast, 1 Oxford St, Belfast; +44 28 9031 4121;

The Pepper Brasserie & Grill is situated in The Bram Stoker Hotel, Dublin Bay, where chef Peter Clifford is proving he's one to watch.

Dublin: Peppered perfection

Pepper Brasserie & Grill at The Bram Stoker Hotel,
225 Clontarf Rd, Dublin 3;
tel: 01-8532000;

Bistro One has survived for 22 years and is "cruising in its comfort zone".

Dublin: Bistro One is one of a kind

Bistro One,
Brighton Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18;
tel: 01-2897711;