Food Month Digest: The good, the bad and the ugly of restaurants in Ireland

This week saw restaurant and takeaway reviews as well as cheesy recipes to keep you warm this winter

The 10th annual Food Month at The Irish Times has hit its halfway point, but there is still so much more to come. This digest brings you a rundown of the must-read articles from this week, and gives a sneak-peek at what’s coming next.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Honesty is at the heart of our restaurant reviews, and sometimes the truth can hurt. This week Corinna Hardgrave tried out celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s new Dublin restaurant. “This is the celebrity restaurant that no one ordered,” she wrote, with a dessert that “would not be out of place in the chilled section of Tesco Finest” and a main course that she described as “a crime against lamb”. There were some redeeming factors, however: the food was hot. Read the full review here.

It’s not all bad, though. In fact the restaurant behind this week’s takeaway review brings two delicious treats together: pizza and chicken wings. There are 12 New York/Neapolitan-style pizza options and free-range chicken wings that come with a choice of buffalo, barbecue, lemon pepper or Gochujang sauce. Read the review here.

Delicious food at home

If you’d prefer to dine at home, we have plenty of recipes for you to try. Our Frugal Feasts series has a new recipe every weekday that can feed a family for less than €10. This week’s include: Theo Kirwan’s super green noodles, Graham Herterich’s cauliflower and potato curry with naan and raita, Mairead Ronan’s chicken, mushroom, bacon and tarragon casserole, Devin Toner’s one-pot salmon linguine and Nadiya Hussain’s chicken shashlik.


Meanwhile, our newest cookery columnist Gráinne O’Keefe shares three pasta recipes that can be elevated with a good Irish cheese. “Cheese is one of my favourite ingredients and I firmly believe Ireland has some of the best cheeses in the world,” she writes. Find the three recipes here.

Keeping it Local

If there is one thing lockdown helped this nation appreciate, it is local businesses. This week we chat to Ireland’s new shopkeepers stocking local, high-quality produce, from fresh fruit and vegetables to hand-made, dairy-free ice-cream. And, contrary to popular belief, there are “surprise savings” to be made if you choose quality over quantity: “Who hasn’t purchased a bag of salad leaves from the supermarket only for it to turn into stinky mulch after a day or two? This writer has bought leaves from The Fumbally that have been crispy and fresh for well over a week.” Read the full piece here.

And if that’s not enough, a list of some of Ireland’s best independent grocers for food shopping can be found here.

Coming Soon

There is plenty more to come this week including five more Frugal Feasts recipes, including Currabinny cottage pie by social media stars and food truck owners James Kavanagh and William Murray. It’s said to be the ultimate wintery comforter to soothe you on chilly evenings. Staying on that theme, Jolene Cox will bring you three winter warmer flask fillers that the entire family will love.

We’ll also have a look at different coffee machines for the home, air fryers on the market and slow-cooker recipes.

Reader events coming up this week are; a meat-and-greet with Richie Wilson for a beef-tasting experience at FIRE Steakhouse & Bar on Tuesday (tickets here); a coffee and crafting morning with Lilly Higgins at the cafe in Books Upstairs on Thursday (tickets here); and Fried Chicken Friday at Chimac Terenure to celebrate its opening, where you can be the first to sample new dishes and help form the menu (tickets here).