Guest author, Jeff Helms of BetterGolfTrips, a luxury golf travel blog, takes us on a recent trip to Ireland to discover the hottest new gastropubs for golfers.
Each year, I travel with a group of friends to Ireland for a little golf. Ok, A LOT of golf. And a lot of carousing. We’re a pretty high maintenance group so over the years, we’ve found some higher end gastropubs and fine dining spots that have elevated their menus to appeal to golf tourists.
Here are some of our ‘19th hole’ excursions in search of Ireland’s great food.
Fallon and Byrne, Dublin
This contemporary restaurant that’s popular with the theatre crowd, offers a 3-course pre fixe menu. The food was only exceeded by the service. We enjoyed the smoked duck appetizer, ribeyes and courgettes and ricotta ravioli. The restaurant is situated above an open air market added to its casual ambience. A hint: most places will provide roasted potatoes in lieu of “chips”. The wine list was well stocked with mainstream brands, as well as a few nice surprises.
Out of the Blue, Dingle
Located right on the docks of Waterside, this restaurant serves nothing but seafood, more specifically, the catch of the day. The scene is rather casual where the menu changes daily based on what comes in on the docks. I enjoyed the bone in black sole – it was the best I’ve ever had, along with monkfish skewers with scallops. Their seafood is sourced from all over Ireland – not just their backyard. The kitchen is the size of a walk-in closet, but they turn out 100+ dinners a night there.
Lord Kenmare’s, Killarney
Lord Kenmare’s is a cozy, New York-style restaurant, with a touch of elegance. The wine list offers a range of excellent seelctions. The food beef and lamb were fresh and fab. Like a high end US steakhouse with your family serving you.
Jim Edwards, Kinsale
We arrived late but found the staff at Jim Edwards more than accommodating as they kept the kitchen open later than usual. Located in the town centre, the food is hearty and tasty like comfort food in a pub, but with more flair. The staff was well organized and good natured even though they had to work late. I recommend the pasta and stuffed mussels.
Started by two brothers, Bricín is a shop and restaurant that showcases Irish culture, cuisine and design. We loved the homeyness of the place, capped off with a very cheerful staff eager to please. The menu is very homey – stuff your Irish mom would make. We dined on stone crabclaws, curried lamb boxty and potato pancakes over a stew of lamb and veggies in curry.
Fishy Fishy, Kinsale
This award-winning restaurant is run by husband and wife team Martin & Marie Shanahan who personally greeted my crew. He was once a fishmonger so he serves on the freshest catch and local fare including beef and lamb. We opted for crab claws, monkfish, cod, and hake in different preparations, but all were outstanding. It felt more like a Soho bistro than an Irish pub. My advice: It’s the busiest place in town – reserve early or you won’t get in.
Be sure to visit BetterGolfTrips.com to read about good food, great wine and fantastic golf courses.