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January 17, 2020

"Tea is the only simple pleasure left to us." -Oscar Wilde

The average Irish person drinks 5 cups of tea a day, 300 liters a year. The nation drinks 15 million cups daily. Irish tea is served with milk, or cream by request. Sugar is also popular. A proper host also supplies biscuits, scones or other edibles when serving tea to guests....

January 1, 2020

A dozen native oysters on the half shell at Moran’s Oyster Cottage in Kilcolgan.

There is no flavor in the world like the firm, meaty texture and rich marine tang of the Ostrea edulis (native) oyster. They are one of the best things about an Irish winter--they are at their fattest in the coldest months.

And Moran’s Oyster Cottage may be t...

December 31, 2019

Lobster and broadbeans at Gregan's Castle in the Burren

In April, when the fresh broad beans were at their peak, chef Robbie McCauley at Gregan's Castle served this luscious stack of sweet Irish lobster meat piled on a bed of the tender beans and topped with aromatic fennel. The lobster came from nearby Liscannor Bay. It was a pretty sim...

December 30, 2019

Rare Dexter striploin with nori and elderberries at Aniar, Galway

Every dish comes with a story at Aniar, J.P. McMahon's Michelin-starred restaurant in Galway. J.P. McMahon is both an award-winning chef and a food columnist for the Irish Times. Ever the Texan, I was curious about the tender and extremely rare steak we were served as part...

December 29, 2019

Stuffed Courgette Blossoms at Paradiso, Cork

Stuffed squash blossoms are a sublime treat familiar to Mexican food lovers as flores de calabazas rellenas. Flores de calabazas are the delicate flowers that bloom on the courgette (summer squash or zucchini to Americans, calabazas to Mexicans).

To make the classic Mexican dish, you stuff the...

December 26, 2019

Duck tacos at McHugh's Pub in Ennis

Another Eire-Mex masterpiece from McHugh's Pub in Ennis! These sensational tacos featured a rich duck confit dressed with chili sauce served on Blanco Niño corn tortillas with some greens for texture. Duck confit is a perfect taco filling--it reminds me of the asados and guisadas that you find on the t...

December 24, 2019

Cod, wild mushrooms and verbena at LOAM in Galway

The cod was perfectly cooked and the mushrooms were intriguing, but it was the tart verbena sauce (it's the green puddle under the fish) that made this dish remarkable. Lemon verbena is common in Irish gardens, it's popular for tea and as a flavoring for a pitcher of water. I'm not sure w...

December 18, 2019

A Modern Irish Breakfast at Nash 19 in Cork 

The menu at Nash 19 in Cork presented an early morning dilemma. The restaurant is located on Princes Street, a spud's throw from the English Market. The kitchen staff combs the market for the highest quality seasonal ingredients, then turns their gleanings into alluring breakfast dishes and cl...

December 14, 2019

The "Spicy Devil" pizza at Fallon & Byrnes, Rathmines, Dublin

Hot chile fans will find the "Spicy Devil" pizza at Fallon & Byrnes in Rathmines only mildly picante. Nevertheless, the Toscano salami and peppery Calabrian 'Nduja sausage are a delicious combination with the creamy fior di latte (fresh cow's milk mozzarella).

There were a doze...

December 8, 2019

Shoyu Ramen with housemade noodles at Bia Rebel Ramen in Belfast:

The Tokyo ramen shop has been recreated all over the world in the last 10 years. New York,

London, Paris, and Sydney each have dozens of Japanese-style soup stalls boasting authentic ramen bowls. Much debate goes on in the food press and twitterverse about which ones are to...

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January 17, 2020

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