The Menu shall be donning his kitchen togs once again to aid his old friend, Clare O’Brien, (formerly Farmgate chef in her sister Kay Harte’s English Market Restaurant and now the Baker/Proprietor of Gan Gluten Bakery) in turning out a three-course pre-concert dinner on February 13, at 6pm, in On The Pig’s Back Café & Restaurant, in Douglas, to be followed by a concert featuring the very wonderful Greenshine (begins at 8pm, tickets for the concert only can be purchased separately, www.onthepigsback.com).
Curiously, The Menu has yet to encounter flustered females rampaging around the garage forecourt at closing time on Valentine’s Day desperately seeking flowers not sorely in need of defibrillation, possibly because any right-thinking woman will have snapped up well in advance of the big day a gift of the Teeling Whiskey Experience, on February 12-14, for her swain, the distillery tour finishing up with Skelligs Chocolates and fine Teeling’s Whiskey cocktails. (teelingdistillery.com).
Dingle Cookery School Chef Mark Murphy is offering a special Valentine’s cookery class (February 13) for couples, covering starters, mains and desserts, followed by a sit-down dinner of same.
Make a weekend of it and come along for the Friday Night Supper Club on February 12, (dinglecookeryschool.com for local accommodation deals).
And, finally, those in the market for a spot of ‘amore’ in Kilkenny city would do well to check out Ristorante Rinuccini, for some good old-fashioned romantic candlelit dining with great food and wine to boot (rinuccini.com).
It is well known to one and all that The Menu’s first port of call when food shopping is the local farmer’s market and the Douglas market — Saturday mornings, 9am-2pm — is a special favourite, carrying a humungous range of the very finest and freshest local, seasonal Irish produce.
But changing circumstances means the Douglas Market stallholders have had to seek new lodgings.
It didn’t really require much brainpower for the obvious solution was their former temporary Christmas abode, on the concourse right outside the main entrance to the Douglas Village Shopping Centre, next to Mark’s & Spencer’s.
This time, however, the move is permanent and this infinitely superior location helps reclaim for the local people an area that had become rather lost to the automobile in recent times and it is a heartening sight indeed to see Douglas citizens flock there on Saturday mornings for a most convivial and community-based shopping experience (douglasfarmersmarket.com).
With Dear Old Sainted Mother Menu very partial to afternoon tea in Hayfield Manor, The Menu highly recommends their new White Glove Afternoon Tea Service being launched (February 9) in support of the Cork Simon Community (hayfieldmanor.ie).
Barrie Tyner’s chicken liver & garlic pate is only available from his stall at the Mahon Point and Midleton markets.
Most chicken liver patés contain garlic but Tyner’s version wears its ebullient garlic honk with such bravado it deserves a special mention.
Not in the least overpowering, it is countered by the mellow, herby mouth-feel of one of the smoothest, creamiest and most flavoursome patés... perfect with a few slices of freshly toasted sourdough, some green salad and a good Cotes du Rhone!
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Rascals Ginger Porter, 4.8% ABV, 330ml — €3.15
Bradleys, Matsons, O’Briens, Baggot Street Wines, Mchughs, Drinkstore
Released in 2013 on draught, this won a bronze medal at the Alltech International Beer Competition in 2014.
The 2016 Alltech festival is on in the Convention Centre in Dublin this weekend.
I’ve been a fan of Emma Devlin and Cathal O’Donohue’s Rascals Beers since their first brew in 2013, so was delighted when they began to appear in cans last December.
This is made with fresh ginger and has a fine spicy character balanced by chocolate and coffee flavours with a clean fresh ginger kick on the finish.
Try with some beef curry or mushroom risotto.
— Leslie Williams