Potager, Skerries: The best money you’ll spend on food in a Dublin restaurant

Review: It’s the work of ex-Chapter One head chef Cathal Leonard and his partner Sarah Ryan

Potager Skerries. Photograph: Mark Broderick

Potager Skerries. Photograph: Mark Broderick

It’s full summer outside but It’s a Wonderful Life is on a loop in my head as we sit at a large round table in the corner of Potager. Jimmy Stewart could come through the door in a flurry of snow any minute and dash into the bank vault in search of a lost deposit. He would find it filled with wine, bottles nestled where once there were bags of cash in this former bank building on Church Street in Skerries, Co Dublin. 

Potager is the work of former Chapter One head chef Cathal Leonard and his partner Sarah Ryan. It has the thick carpet and linen-table-cloth feel of that Parnell Square basement where the world outside melts away, but here it’s blurred behind etched glass in the windows with the words The Munster and Leinster Bank Ltd. Much of the ground work on the building was done by the Red Bank Restaurant and now it’s Potager, which is the word for a kitchen garden. 

As names go, this one is bang on for this part of north Co Dublin, the vegetable basket of Ireland. We pass some sadly empty-looking greenhouses on the way. (Another pane cracks each time we reach for the supermarket 39c Spanish-grown veg specials.)

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