Lobster rolls, lamb kebabs and purple-potato fries with cheese foam, cooked in an Airstream trailer by the team from a restaurant with two Michelin stars, sounds like a takeaway worth a detour. But there's a catch: to be a customer of this particular Covid-19 initiative you've got to live in Co Kildare.
Aimsir restaurant at Cliff at Lyons, near Celbridge, was forced to close at midnight last Friday, when the regional lockdown came into force, confining residents of Cos Kildare, Laois and Offaly to their home county for two weeks. Restaurants and pubs that serve food are closed temporarily, but takeaways are allowed to operate. So this Friday, Saturday and Sunday the team will work out of the trailer, parked in the Cliff at Lyons gardens, in front of the restaurant’s polytunnel.
The pop-up venture, which they are calling Every Cloud, will be open from 1pm to 6pm (or until the team run out of food), and collection slots will be available to book at aimsir.ie from noon on Wednesday, August 12th. Payment is by card only. Food and drinks will be served in compostable containers and cups, to be taken away, or consumed in the restaurant's extensive gardens or the nearby canal bank.
Jordan Bailey, the restaurant's head chef, and Majken Bech-Bailey, its general manager, describe the pop-up's menu as being "rooted in the same Aimsir ethos of serving the very best Irish ingredients, cooked with love, but with a totally relaxed and casual weekend approach".
Lobster rolls (€16) will be served in a brioche bun with burnt chive emulsion, pickled cucumber and crispy onions; lamb kebabs (€14) will be in flatbreads with sheep’s yogurt, nasturtium and wild garlic; and the Ballymakenny purple-potato fries (€8) will come with warm cheese cream foam and grilled garlic scapes. For dessert there will be brown-butter ice cream (€7) with butterscotch and caramelised hazelnuts; and organic strawberries (€8) with whipped cream, meringue and wild roses. Wines and champagne from the restaurant’s list, beers from the local Lock 13 brewery, and Bech-Bailey’s juices will also be on sale.
The Aimsir initiative follows the successful temporary reinvention of another two-star, Noma in Copenhagen, as a burger and wine bar. Noma reopened in May, after the Covid-19 lockdown, selling €20 cheeseburgers and natural wines, to be eaten outdoors, and diners queued for up to three hours to order. The restaurant has since reverted to its summer menu, served indoors.