Little Fox in Ennistymon – a new restaurant with big ideas

Food File: Three-star trout pâté, wine for Indian food and a summer supper

Niamh Fox Photograph: Alison Derham

Niamh Fox Photograph: Alison Derham

 

Chef Niamh Fox’s CV reads like restaurant royalty – Ard Bia in Galway, Café Paradiso in Cork and Rochelle Canteen in London all feature – and now she has opened her own restaurant in Ennistymon, Co Clare, with her husband, furniture designer and knife-maker Sam Gleeson.

Little Fox, on Main Street, is open seven days a week, serving breakfast and lunch, Monday-Friday (8am-4pm) and brunch at the weekend (10am-5pm). The couple’s smallholding will provide some of the restaurant’s raw materials, and they are aiming to be a zero-waste operation.

Menu highlights include stuffed French toast with mascarpone and rhubarb and an almond crunch; Moy Hill farm salad of beetroot hummus, bitter greens, whipped St Tola goats’ curd, hazelnut dukkha and spiced flatbreads, and West Clare pollock, mussel and potato stew with ramson aioli.

Three-star winning trout pâté made for Simply Better at Dunnes Stores by Zanna Cookhouse
Three-star winning trout pâté made for Simply Better at Dunnes Stores by Zanna Cookhouse

A winning taste of Wexford

Smoked trout pâté made by a family firm in Co Wexford for the Simply Better range at Dunnes Stores was one of 10 Irish products to achieve the top, three-star rating at the recent Great Taste Awards in the UK.

Zanna Cookhouse was set up by Owen Mullins, who traded a 28-year career in the transport industry for chef’s whites just over a decade ago, completing the Ballymaloe three-month course and joining the kitchen team at Dunbrody House.

A sideline baking quiches grew into a full-time occupation and Mullins now employs 14 people including his wife Lorna and son David, making a range of quiches, pies, soups and pâtés for Dunnes Stores, supplying more than 40 local shops, as well as selling direct at Enniscorthy Farmers’ Market every Saturday (9am-2pm).

The winning smoked trout pâté (€4.99) is made with both cold-smoke and hot-smoked Goatsbridge trout, Irish cream cheese, crème fraiche, lemon and dill. It has only been in production since last December, and Mullins puts its success down to “getting the balance of flavours right”.

Indian food and wine pairing at Kerala Kitchen
Indian food and wine pairing at Kerala Kitchen

Wines to drink with Indian food

Indian food and wine are notoriously fickle bedfellows, but Claire O’Boyle Gallagher of Green Man Wines and Le Caveau has identified what she believes are some pairings that work really well. She will be matching five wines with five dishes prepared by the chefs at Kerala Kitchen on Baggot Street in Dublin 4, on Wednesday, August 15th (6-8pm).

On the menu are nilgiri chicken tikka (chicken marinated in green herbs cooked in a clay oven), lamb sheekh kebab (spiced minced Irish lamb), Amritsari mahi (golden fried fish), parippu vada (chickpea and lentil cakes) and kozhikkal (crisp cassava fritters), each matched with a wine.

Tickets are €35, and can be booked with the restaurant or on Eventbrite.

Summer Supper from the garden at the Ice House hotel in Ballina
Summer Supper from the garden at the Ice House hotel in Ballina

Super suppers in Mayo

The Ice House hotel in Ballina, Co Mayo is collaborating with Enniscoe Organic Market Garden to host a Summer Supper event on Thursday, August 23rd. Ice House head chef Anthony Holland sources his vegetables, soft fruit and herbs from the market garden which is located in the walled garden beside fellow Blue Book property, Enniscoe House.

The evening will begin with gin cocktails on the terrace overlooking the River Moy, followed by a four-course dinner with wine pairings. Menu highlights include Enniscoe organic tomato gazpacho with Dublin Bay prawn wanton; chorizo and cheese croquettes with Enniscoe organic cucumber and shallot relish, and baked fish of the day with Enniscoe green vegetables, organic confit tomatoes and saffron and dill beurre blanc.

Dinner, with choices of starter and main course, gin cocktail and wines, is €50 per person, with an overnight package of dinner, B&B for two, available for €289.

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