12 great places to eat that know exactly where their food comes from

From The Irish Times’s Delicious List 2019: This dozen are provenance proud

Chapter One, in Dublin: in love with Irish food. Photograph: Alan Betson

Chapter One, in Dublin: in love with Irish food. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

We’ve marked this year’s newcomers and used a to flag everywhere that serves a main course for less than €15

Chapter One
18-19 Parnell Square North, Dublin 1; 01-8732266
Ross Lewis Instagrams regular love letters to Irish food, marvelling at the sheen on some pickled herring finished with Lambay crab, or enjoying the shift of seasons when roots give way to shoots. The supplier list for Chapter One is where all the good stuff starts. The cheffing techniques and tweezers are deployed to enhance what has arrived through the delivery door. Catherine Cleary

L Mulligan Grocer
18 Stoneybatter, Dublin 7; 01-6709889
Seáneen Sullivan and her business partners saw the beauty of putting great Irish ingredients into a typical pub setting so the food hugs could be as warm as the boozy ones. No laurels are being rested on here, and a halo of great food has eddied out from the foundation stone that is Mulligans, turning Stoneybatter into a terrific little food village. CC

Eastern Seaboard
Bryanstown Centre, Drogheda, Co Louth; 041-9802570
It’s the small touches that I remember from a lovely meal in this Drogheda restaurant: creative, ambitious ideas like the smoked oyster mayonnaise for dipping pencil-thin bread sticks baked in the sister Brown Hound bakery, next door. This is a restaurant that started out great and keeps getting better. CC

The Legal Eagle, on Chancery Place in Dublin 7. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
The Legal Eagle, on Chancery Place in Dublin 7. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The Legal Eagle
1-2 Chancery Place, Inns Quay, Dublin 7; 01-5552971
If only all pubs could grow up to be like this revamped veteran beside the Four Courts. The evolution of the Legal Eagle under the talented restaurateur Elaine Murphy put a dream list of Irish food, craft beer and cider, and gutsy flavours into the spotlight. There are toasties here and côte de boeuf for a spendy splurge, continuing Murphy’s theme of unpretentious, always tasty Irish food. CC

Irish Times
Food&Drink Club

Exclusive events, competitions, reviews & recipes Join now

Assassination Custard
19 Kevin Street Upper, Dublin 8; 087-9971513
Everything about this quirky, friendly little place is small: the plates, the menus (handwritten on paper bags) and the prices. Well, almost everything. They go large on the sourcing of properly delicious Irish ingredients, from the monkfish cheeks from Meath Street to the weekly pilgrimage to McNally’s for vegetables. Gwen McGrath and Ken Doherty know that great food starts with great ingredients. CC

Kai
22 Sea Road, Galway; 091-526003
Jess Murphy isn’t the sort of chef who’ll fire off an email to a supplier and wait for the boxes to arrive in the door. She’s more likely to pull on her wellies, zip up her orange anorak and go down to the farm to see and taste it. If there were a Pulitzer prize for provenance, then the Irish Times cookery writer would be a contender. It’s the starting point that makes the food in her Galway restaurant sing. CC

The Seafood Cafe, off Fownes Street Upper in Temple Bar, Dublin 2. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
The Seafood Cafe, off Fownes Street Upper in Temple Bar, Dublin 2. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The Seafood Cafe
11 Sprangers Yard, Fownes Street Upper, Temple Bar, Dublin 2; 01-5153717
Niall Sabongi’s shrine to Irish seafood is the go-to spot for fresh fish in Dublin city centre. The menu changes with what has come off the boat that morning, but Dublin Bay prawns lightly fried in butter, Irish lobster rolls and crab on toast are staples (and highly recommended). Their weekend brunch features a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, complete with a prawn garnish – obviously. Lisa Cope

Sage
The Courtyard, 8 Main Street, Midleton, Co Cork; 021-4639682
Kevin and Réidín Aherne have become a serious employer in Midleton, with almost three dozen staff between the restaurant and casual-dining operation in a stone courtyard off Main Street. Their approach is proof that if you build it on what grows and grazes and swims around you they will come. Sage’s 12-mile menu always made food sense, and the success they’ve made of it shows others how much business sense it can make too. CC

Loam
Geata Na Cathrach, Fairgreen Road, Galway; 091-569727
There’s no place like Loam. Enda McEvoy is an ingredient nerd who makes it his business to get to know the people who grow, catch and farm his food. He treats every part of the food thoughtfully and is always exploring ways to turn waste into taste, but not in a preachy way. Most diners won’t even notice the quiet revolution he’s staging behind the pass in a restaurant named after the rich crumbly soil that grows the best food. CC

Restaurant Chestnut NEW
The Chestnut Tree, Staball Hill, Ballydehob, Co Cork; 028-25766

When you get your limes from west Co Cork, it shows a certain extra level of commitment to your local larder. The chef at Restaurant Chestnut, Robbie Krawczyk, Instagrammed two juicy-looking limes from Glensallagh Gardens in December, precious little green globes. The fish and seafood, foraged and farmed produce and excellent meat served in this newly starred restaurant are all testament to provenance as king of the kitchen. CC

Dela, on Lower Dominick Street in Galway
Dela, on Lower Dominick Street in Galway

Dela
51 Lower Dominick Street, Galway; 091-449252
The husband-and-wife team of Margaret and Joe Bohan specialise in plot-to-plate food at their Galway restaurant, sourcing as much produce as possible on their organic farm, in Moycullen in Co Galway, for their head chef, Sylvain Gatay, to cook with. On the farm they’re expanding their growing patches to include vegetables that would otherwise be difficult or cost-prohibitive for them to source. Think padron peppers, yellow pear tomatoes and cucamelons, alongside garlic, kalette and celery, grown sustainably and organically from seed by the Bohans. Acres of heart and soil is what makes this family restaurant so special. Aoife McElwain

Ard Bia
Spanish Arch, Long Walk, Galway; 091-561114
Aoibheann McNamara is a bona-fide trailblazer. Her team at Ard Bia, led by the restaurant’s manager, Amelia Colleran, take inspiration from McNamara’s love of travel and slow food when it comes to their menu. Vegans will love their vegan breakfast and daily vegan stew of the day; nonvegans will love Middle Eastern- and Mediterranean-inspired dishes featuring the best of Irish ingredients, such as Gubbeen cheese, Hegarty cheddar, Colleran’s ham, Burren Smokehouse salmon and Galway goat’s yogurt. Even after nearly two decades of serving food in Galway, the Ard Bia family still have their finger firmly on the pulse. AMcE

Our top 12 provenance-led restaurants feature in our list of 100 of the best places to eat 2019

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.