Limerick Love Gourmet Week returns for third bite

Anne Sheridan


Anne Sheridan

Caroline McMahon (Bella Italia), Christian Baldnecker (No.1 Pery Square), Ruth Kelly (Bella Italia), and Mark O'Connell (Bobby Byrnes) at the launch of Love Gourmet week in the People's Park. Picture: Sean Curtin
a CELEBRATION of Limerick’s best restaurants - at a special rate - will take place from next weekend with 20 participating eateries across the region.

a CELEBRATION of Limerick’s best restaurants - at a special rate - will take place from next weekend with 20 participating eateries across the region.

Now into its third successive year, Love Gourmet Week runs from June 1 to 9 inclusive, with participating restaurants offering special menus for the duration.

These menus promise to offer “outstanding value”, according to the restaurateurs involved, for unique culinary specials with locally sourced produce during the event.

Created by the Mid West branch of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, the venues involved vary from leading restaurants to gastro bars, and renowned hotel restaurants.

As part of the week, midweek promotions will take place in participating restaurants with wine deals, cocktail specials and unique seasonal menus on offer to celebrate the event.

Special menus will be available at different rates - of €25, €35, €45 and €55 per person - depending on the establishment.

Chairperson of Love Gourmet Week, Padraic Frawley, of the Cornstore restaurant in the city, said the celebration will once again remind locals and visitors of the great restaurants the region has to offer, as well as raising the food profile of the Mid West, local producers and enhancing the Limerick and Shannon region’s foodie reputation.

“Limerick and the Shannon region have some fantastic restaurants with quality food, wine and great dining options to choose from so we’re hoping to attract new visitors and foodies through Love Gourmet Week again this year, following on from the success of the last two years,” said Mr Frawley.

It will be the first year of taking part in this event for Limerick’s newest restaurant - 1826 Adare in the town’s main street, which opened just last week.

Renowned chef Wade Murphy, former head chef at The Lodge at Doonbeg, and his wife Elaine Hourigan, daughter of the horse trainer Michael, “jumped at the chance” to open this restaurant, formerly occupied by The White Sage, when the opportunity came up.

The 40-year-old chef with 20 years of fine-dining experience under his belt in London, Dublin, Chicago and New York, often working alongside chefs with three Michelin stars, praised local chefs in the county and the city who have been raising the profile of food in the region for some time, and often go unnoticed.

“Kinsale has been doing this for years and there’s no reason why Limerick can’t do it too.”

Their food, he said, is about “clean, simple flavours” and is “not too fussy or fiddly”, often taking classics and giving them a fresh modern twist.

“I used to work with seven or eight guys in a kitchen, but there’s just a couple of lads here - everything is stripped back,” he said.

Pre-booking is advisable in all restaurants. See for more information closer to the week.

Participating restaurants are: 1826 Adare; Absolute Bar & Grill, Sir Harry’s Mall, Bella Italia, 43 Thomas Street, Bobby Byrne’s Gastro Bar, 3 O’Connell Avenue; Brasserie One, No 1 Pery Square; Cherrytree Restaurant Lakeside, Ballina-Killaloe; Cornstore, 19 Thomas Street; Dan Cronin’s Bar & Bistro, Newcastle West; Gallagher’s, Bunratty; Hamptons, Savoy Hotel, Henry Street; JP Clarkes, Bunratty; Market Place Brasserie, Newcastle West; The Carraige House, Adare Manor Hotel, The Maigue, Dunraven Arms Hotel; The Mustard Seed Echo Lodge, Ballingarry; The Oak Room, Adare Manor Hotel; The River, Strand Hotel; Tuscany Bistro, Ballina-Killaloe, and Annacotty.