Archive | Restaurants

Discovering a Taste of Italy at Talavera, Dublin

A taste of Italy at Talavera Restaurant, Dublin. Photo: Ken McGuire/AnyGivenFood.com

A taste of Italy at Talavera Restaurant, Dublin. Photo: Ken McGuire/AnyGivenFood.com

Between gigs, work projects, a break away, a family wedding and an exhibition launch, it’s been a fairly hectic few weeks so it’s only now I sit down to write about a great night enjoyed at Talavera, the Radisson Blu St. Helen’s Italian restaurant on the Blackrock end of the Stillorgan Road in Dublin.

A few weeks ago I had been invited as part of a small group up to the hotel to hit the kitchen with chef Giancarlo Anselmi for what would be a journey across Italy from top to toe with some gastronomical hidden gems unconvered and cooked up. Continue Reading →

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Photos: Pintxos night at The Salt Yard, Kilkenny

Pintxos at The Salt Yard, Kilkenny. Photo: Ken McGuire/AnyGivenFood.com

Pintxos at The Salt Yard, Kilkenny. Photo: Ken McGuire/AnyGivenFood.com

Open around four months at this stage under the watchful eye of proprietor Padraig Enright, The Salt Yard is the only restaunt of its kind in Kilkenny specialising in Spanish-driven cuisine presenting a fine fusion of Spanish and Irish ingredients across a huge tapas, pintxos and platos menu. We were in house on the opening night for what turned out to be a fantastic meal (one that kept us stuffed for about two days given the amount we had consumed) but last night I was back in the restaurant myself for The Salt Yard’s VIP Pintxos night. Continue Reading →

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The Salt Yard, Kilkenny

A collage of photos from The Salt Yard in Kilkenny including an interior shot, cheese board, mussels and dessert.

The Salt Yard – Kilkenny’s newest restaurant, opened Friday 4 July 2014

Update 21 September 2014: While I appreciate the dozens hundreds of calls and texts that I’ve received to book tables at the Salt Yard, alas, I’m not the restaurant. Read to the end of this post to get the restaurant’s contact details, then tell them I sent you.

The Salt Yard is Kilkenny’s newest restaurant venture, located at the old ESB offices / Halifax bank building (depending on your memory of Kilkenny) on Friary Street, just opposite Rafter Dempsey’s.

The proprietor is Padraig Enright who opened the doors just last Friday so myself and Mrs. Any Given Food did a drive-by early on Saturday morning to get a number for a booking, grabbed a window table for 7pm and hit The Salt Yard to find out what it’s all about. Continue Reading →

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Kilkenny Double Winner at Irish Restaurant Awards

Campagne, Kilkenny

Campagne, Kilkenny, winner of Best Restaurant in Ireland at last night’s Irish Restaurant Awards

When I mentioned on Twitter last night that we really do have some kickass restaurants in Kilkenny, that may have been before Campagne continued its winning streak since the its doors opened locally, by being named Best Restaurant in Ireland at last night’s Irish Restaurant Awards or “the food oscars”. Continue Reading →

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A Wild Dinner at Inishbofin House Hotel

Ever have a soft poached egg, then fried and served over shredded ham? Neither did I until last night, and it's unreal.

Ever have a soft poached egg, then fried and served over shredded ham? Neither did I until last night, and it’s unreal.

So, Monday night was an eye opener to the ‘west west’ of Ireland as I like to call it. That point where you’ve reached Galway and just keep on driving, all the way through Connemara, through Clifden, on to Creggan, park up, have a pint in the sun, then hop the ferry to Inishbofin for the night. Continue Reading →

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The Chapter House Tea Rooms, Kilkenny

June 2013 was my first visit to the Chapter House Tea Rooms at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Kilkenny and having had some a good impression made by the friendly staff, good food and cosy sub-church atmosphere, myself and herself have been back a few times, the most recent being last weekend.

Nut Loaf at Chapter House Tea Rooms

Nut Loaf at Chapter House Tea Rooms

You’ve got free wifi, a fresh rotation of desserts, plenty of salad options and a mix of daily mains from soups to curries, nut loafs to fish cakes, pasta dishes and plenty more besides. Continue Reading →

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Brewery Corner’s Savage Black Pudding

Craft beer battered black pudding. Let the words roll off your tongue before your mouth starts to water.

David Thompson is at the helm in the kitchen at Brewery Corner in Kilkenny, Kilkenny’s only dedicated craft beer bar and the short but sweet menu there is top of the range.

Craft Beer Battered Black Pudding

Craft Beer Battered Black Pudding

Dishes are cooked to order and at the top of my list for the moment is the battered black pudding. Certainly not a delicacy in every county in the country but this one rocks. At €8.50 or €11 bucks if you want to grab a pint as part of a combo. Continue Reading →

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It’s Been A Week Of Eating

THERE MAY be some truth to the notion that people let themselves go a bit after getting married, at least if the past week is anything to go by.

Spring Rolls at Springhill

Spring Rolls at Springhill

The wedding was Saturday last but I don’t think I’ve cooked dinner at home since at least the 2nd of the month, kicking off the marathon of eating and dining out with a second Christmas dinner with the now in-laws.

Please wait to be seated

There was a pre-wedding tapas night out, followed by all the food across the day in Langton’s, taking in Cleere’s on Sunday, Café Mocha and Hotel Kilkenny on Monday,  Zuni on Tuesday, Oldtown Hill,  Cafe Sol on Wednesday, The Courtyard, Orange (formerly Yum Café) and Primo on Thursday, The Vintage Tea Rooms on Friday and more breakfast, lunch and dinner out in between. As it happens, breakfast this morning is pretty much the first thing I’ve cooked at home all year.

Goats Cheese Tartlet at Cafe Mocha

Goats Cheese Tartlet at Cafe Mocha

Foodworks, Campagne and one or two others are still on the list for the week to come.

We decided early on (considering we only spent about 4-5 months trying to organise the wedding) to park a honeymoon (in the going foreign sense of the word) out to later in the year, instead spending time with mates at
home, day-tripping, hanging out in coffee shops and soaking up all that Kilkenny has to offer – pretty much being tourists in our hometown. And you know something? It’s pretty cool.

Breakfast at the Courtyard Bar & Grill

Breakfast at the Courtyard Bar & Grill

Granted, I’m pure stuffed after the past week and with another week off to come, I reckon I’ll be well set for a detox come 20 January.

Vintage Café Latte at The Vintage Tea Rooms

Vintage Café Latte at The Vintage Tea Rooms

In the meantime though, there’s more food to explore locally, before finding out what London has to offer during the week. Thanks to those who’ve sent tips my way on places to eat. If there’s anything I should be checking out around Picadilly, just shout!

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Lunching at Stathams Bar & Restaurant, Kilkenny

Coffee to start at Statham's Bar & Restaurant, Kilkenny

It starts with a coffee, until you realise that it’s well past lunchtime, closer to dinner time and you haven’t sat down to a full meal for the day. I spent the morning filming the latest cookery and meal planning demos at Furnace Fitness which, if the closeups are anything to go by, should turn out to be great. So with a morning sampling salads and steaks behind me, the dawning realisation mid afternoon that you haven’t had a solid meal brought the two of us to Statham’s on Patrick Street in Kilkenny to continue our intention of eating in new places or places we’ve not been to in a year or so locally. Continue Reading →

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Cava Is Dead, Long Live Cava Bodega

JP McMahon, Cava Restaurant

Last November, myself and Mrs. Any Given Food-to-be (she’s got about 4 months or so left with that name) had one of the best tapas-fuelled nights out at Cava in Galway in its then Dominic Street residence, next to Aniar. In typical fashion we ordered a little of this, a little of that, a platter of this, a bottle of that, having no idea what the portions would be like and not at all expecting that we would need to pull in a second table or spend an hour walking around Galway after the meal trying to recover.

Bottom line, it was a top night of food, great atmosphere all with lovely service – the complete package for us. We picked up lunch from them at the Food & Wine Show in the RDS in December but less than  two months later, however, owners JP McMahon and Drigín Gaffey closed the doors.

Flash forward to May of this year and it was announced that Cava would be coming back, the pair in talks to take over the old Mustard unit on Middle Street in Galway’s Latin Quarter, opposite the Cornstore. Skip to the present and the newly named Cava Bodega is in the final stretches towards opening for the middle of next month, taking residence over two floors which includes a new Pinchos Bar on the upper floor with seating for 20 while the downstairs level will have seating for 40 with a more cellar-like feel. Continue Reading →

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