Food File: The weekly food news round-up


Chocolate d’Amour
The Merrion Hotel’s afternoon tea (€36) takes on a chocolate theme (above), to go with the Cocoa l’Amour cocktails in the Cellar bar, for St Valentine’s Day. There will also be hot chocolate (€8.50) with marshmallows to be toasted tableside on a miniature burner and melted between chocolate wafers. Sounds like fun.

At Brooks Hotel on Drury Street, chef Pat McLarnon is incorporating chocolate into options for every course in his Valentine’s menu (€39.95), after which guests can watch Chocolat in the hotel’s cinema.

Cafe Novo at the Westbury is offering a Melt My Heart menu, which features a baked, heart-shaped Neufchâtel cheese, with fig balsamic compote and toasted sourdough, served with a glass of wine (€22 for two).

Love Shack Barbecue
White linens, candles and hushed dining rooms filled with tables for two aren’t everyone’s idea of a swell way to celebrate on February 14th, so if you’re looking for a livelier alternative, TC’s Pop-Up Barbecue Love Shack returns to Itsa Cafe, on Sandymount Green for two nights, February 14th and 15th. “Damn fine, slow cooked wood smoked BBQ, in the Kansas City and Central Texan traditions”, is what will be on offer according to Roark Cassidy, an American chef and director of Itsa, who longs for a taste of home, and will be manning the grills with Irishman Phil Thomas, who is the company’s executive chef. The pair are pictured above, with Cassidy on the left. Dinner is 6-11pm both nights, and you can book by email at

Say it with cocoa
Cocoa Atelier on Drury Street in Dublin 2 is where to find these Valentine’s hearts in milk or dark chocolate, decorated with velvet cocoa butter spray and edible sugar pearls (€15.95). Cocoa Atelier has teamed up with Parfumarija in the Westbury Mall and and RARE Design in Castlemarket, to offer a luxury box with chocolates, perfume and either a bracelet or cufflinks in sterling silver, starting at €100. It is available from all three shops, and Cocoa Atelier is also running a pop-up in Arnott’s in Henry Street, on the ground floor, until February 15th.

Share the love
A medieval theatre, known as the Barn, in the grounds of the Camphill Community in Jerpoint, Co Kilkenny is the venue for a Valentine’s weekend long table dinner next Saturday. The €30 ticket includes a four-course dinner, welcome drink, music and a raffle, with funds raised going towards Thomastown’s Town of Food plans. The town needs to raise €160,000 to avail of €680,000 in LEADER funding having been successful in a county-wide search to find Kilkenny’s Town of Food. Tickets for the evening, which starts at 8pm, can be purchased from the Blackberry Cafe in Thomastown, or online at

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