Middle Eastern for southeast
Nicola Crowley and Dvir Nusery's Mezze Middle Eastern food is putting down roots on Main Street in Tramore, Co Waterford, not far from Sarah Richards's organic Seagull Bakery. The cafe and deli will have a sit-in area as well as takeaway and a retail space selling what the couple describe as "hard to find Middle Eastern ingredients", as well as Irish artisan foods.
The deli will serve breakfast, lunch and snacks, often combining Middle Eastern inspiration and local Irish ingredients. Their Mezze lavosh flatbreads, for instance, are made in west Cork and come in a seaweed variety as well as za-atar, and are made with Irish extra virgin rapeseed oil instead of olive oil.
A late May or early June opening date is slated – the intended launch date of May 15th, the couple’s 10th wedding anniversary, now looks unlikely. The deli will also open in the evening, for occasional supper clubs and cooking demonstrations.
The couple, who met while backpacking in New Zealand 13 years ago, have been regulars on the music and food festival circuit with their Middle Eastern mobile catering unit.
They now intend to combine both businesses. "We don't want to give it up, we really enjoy the festivals," says Crowley, who is originally from Waterford. Nusery is from Israel and the couple lived there for eight years before returning to Ireland in 2015 with their two young children.
Can of wine, anyone?
Wine in a can is seeing significant growth – at both ends of the price spectrum. Aldi's summer collection features an Italian rose frizzante for €1.99, and next weekend WineLab, the Irish wine-on-tap company, plans to launch a white wine spritzer costing €25 for four cans. "It's called Ramona, and it was created by Jordan Salcito, former wine director for 11 Madison Park and the Momofuku group," says Ronan Farrell of WineLab.
And it’s not just wine that is making its way into cans; Glassbox Spirits has released what it is calling “Ireland’s first ever range of small batch craft cocktails”, in 330ml cans. The pre-mixed drinks come in three varieties, gin and tonic, pink gin and tonic, and vodka, cranberry and soda, each with 5 per cent alcohol by volume.
Glassbox Spirits is a division of Na Cuana, a family-owned company which also makes whiskey and gin at Boann Distillery, brews craft beer at Boyne Brewhouse, produces Cooney's Irish Cider from apples grown in its own orchards, and Irish Cream Liqueur at RA Merrys in Clonmel.
The cocktail cans are available in off-licences, as well as selected branches of Spar, Londis and Mace in Leinster, and cost €3.49 each (or four for €10 on special offer).
Now that the weather is warming up, seats in the revamped Garden Room at Suesey Street restaurant on Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2 will be much sought-after. The 40-seater terrace now has a fully retractable roof, an outdoor fireplace, banquette seating and Foxford throws to ward off evening chills.
There's a new summer menu too, from head chef Richard Stearn, featuring Irish squid with chorizo and parsley risotto stuffing, saffron and basil mayonnaise (€16), and cod with steamed Cork mussels, clams, Dublin Bay prawn fritter, bouillabaisse, aioli and Irish kale (€27). Suesey Street's Wine Wednesdays promotion continues, with a selection from the list on sale at less than half price on that day of the week.