GALWAY is the finest city to eat in Ireland, according to the latest McKenna’s annual guide, but a number of Limerick restaurants have also made the grade, writes Anne Sheridan.
There are 29 new entries in the 100 Best Restaurants this year, including two food carts and a beach shack, among a growing diversity of restaurants in the annual guide.
Sally and John McKenna’s compilation of the 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland lists three contrasting eateries in Limerick - Canteen on Mallow Street, La Cucina in Castletroy, and 1826 in Adare.
In terms of the best places to stay in Limerick No 1 Pery Square is lauded, as is The Mustard Seed in Ballingarry, which is also listed in the prestigious Blue Book guide of the best period and country houses to stay in the country.
“What unifies these places, is great cooking. These are places where people want to be, run by chefs who have served their time in some of the world’s greatest kitchens, but choose to produce something utterly different in Ireland,” said Mr McKenna.
La Cucina, open for about a decade and run by Bruno Coppola and Lorraine Fanneran, is described as a place with “stonking Italian cooking” and an “icon of Limerick”.
Of Canteen they wrote: “Hardened restaurateurs fall hard for Canteen. They see the simplicity that envelopes Paul Williams’ little tabernacle of a restaurant and they say: ‘Genius’.”
Regarding 1826 in Adare, the authors said: “Wade Murphy (chef and proprietor) is doing something very interesting, something different, in 1826. He is cooking delicious food, of course, with a style of subtle savouriness that echoes the work of the great Paul Rankin.”
They also noted that No 1 Pery Square has “rejigged the style of their first floor restaurant, which is now named Sash.
“You could eat breakfast, lunch and dinner here all in the one day, and it would be a very good day indeed,” they wrote.
And praise is heaped upon Dan Mullane of the Mustard Seed.
Nationwide, the guide also lists “some of the hottest new talents, like Kevin Murphy of Ida’s in Dingle, Marty Murphy of Howard Street in Belfast and Dan O’Brien of Vaughan Lodge in County Clare, (who) make their debuts in the new guide.”