Author: Food, Wine, Travel, Fun

Galway – A Visitors’ Guide – Where to Eat

So now that you have decided to visit Galway and booked your accommodation, you need to figure out where to eat whilst you are here.  Galway has so many great and varied restaurants, it can be difficult to know where to start. Fine Dining? There are many “Fine Dining” restaurants in the city.  There is one Michelin Starred restaurant – Aniar.  (See separate post on this site). This is a small restaurant so if you plan to visit, you will most certainly need to book in advance, particularly if you wish to visit on a weekend night.  The restaurant now has a new Head Chef – welcome Ultan Cooke!   www.aniarrestaurant.ie If you like Fish, then you really must visit O’Grady’s on the Pier in Barna (again, see separate post on this site).  The restaurant is easily accessible from the city centre by car or taxi and is well worth the trip.  It really is one of the best restaurants in the Galway area and its setting on the beach at Barna is truly magical. http://www.ogradysonthepier.com

The Galleon Restaurant, Salthill, Galway

The Galleon Restaurant in Salthill, Galway has been serving satisfied customers for the past 45 years making it an absolute institution in Salthill.  There really is something for everyone on their extensive menu and they will cater for any dietary requirements.  The restaurant is very family friendly with young guests provided with pictures and crayons to play with whilst the adults eat and drink. The staff here are super friendly and if you have a “cupla focal” as Gaeilge, they will happily return the chat!  They also have a separate area to the back of the restaurant area which can be used as a function area, perfect for celebrating confirmation, communions etc.  And another real bonus – free wifi – well done guys! As mentioned, the menu is extensive covering all meals from breakfast through to dinner or if you just want to pop in for a coffee and a scone, then that’s there too. The menu is well priced with a list of daily specials available from 12pm to 5pm.  Main courses off this …

Principato – Pinot Grigio Blush

It’s a Pinot Grigio – but it’s Pink! Background: The Principato Pinot Grigio Blush is a light, crisp and refreshing Rose from the Vinezie wine region, Trentino, North West Italy.  Principato means Princely Realm in english and the winery began production in 1978 and is now one of the most popular and affordable Italian wines. Description: The short fermentation on the skin gives this modern Pinot Grigio a delicate pink, coppery colour.  It is a floral wine, with soft fruit characters with notes of peach and an off dry finish. Alcohol Content: It has an alcohol content of 12%. Serving Suggestions: Serve on its own, with light appetisers, with seafood dishes or with Asian or Mexican inspired cuisine. Stockists: Available at Morton’s Galway for E12.99 currently.

Galway – A visitors’ guide – Where to Stay

I am very lucky to live close to Galway City which is a truly wonderful city with a holiday feel all year round.  Its beauty, charm, many attractions and summer festivals make it a magnet for tourists.  For first time visitors, it can be difficult navigating through the accommodation options around the city of which there are many.  Visitors can choose to stay in the City Centre, in Salthill or further out along the coast such as in Barna or Furbo.  There is also a wide variety of accommodation to be found from Hotels to B&B’s to Hostels. Here are some options to consider if you are in the process of booking a trip to our wonderful city.  City Centre – Hotels Hotel  Meyrick – 4 Stars This most central of hotels is located in a landmark building beside the train station and fronts onto Eyre Square.  This hotel will cater to your every whim offering spa treatments, dinner in the Oyster Grill, cocktails in the Oyster Bar, afternoon tea in the Lobby or sports …

Aniar, Galway

Aniar Restaurant on Dominic Street, Galway was awarded a Michelin Star in 2012.  I had visited it twice prior to the award and last week visited it for the first time since it acquired the star.  I really enjoyed my first visit.  My starter of Pork Cheek was truly sublime and was certainly the best dish I have had at Aniar.  That first visit I had Slip Sole for Main Course and a parfait for dessert.  All in all, I left after that visit enthusing about the place. The second visit was also enjoyable though I though I chose badly for my starter, a chicken liver parfait – not something I would usually pick – it wasn’t to my taste though it was well executed.  My Duck main and another parfait for dessert were very nice.  Although not enthusing as much as I had following my first visit, I left looking forward to returning again. And now to my latest visit.  I was really looking forward to seeing the impact of the Michelin Star and …

O’Grady’s on the Pier, Barna, Galway

One of my favourite restaurants of all time is Michael O’Grady’s seafood restaurant O’Grady’s on the Pier in Barna just outside Galway City.  And even better is that it is a local restaurant for me! The restaurant is renowned for its seafood and has won many awards including Best Seafood Experience at the Restaurant Association of Ireland Awards 2011 – an award it is shortlisted for again this year.  It’s location is another huge plus factor being right down on Barna Pier with gorgeous views across Galway Bay. I have been to O’Grady’s both for dinner and lunch a number of times and it is always a treat.  The location is equally stunning on a stormy winters day as it is on a sunny summers day.  And when the sun does shine, there is the option of eating outside facing the sea. I love Sunday Lunch at O’Grady’s where you can have a three course meal for E27.95 (or each dish is individually priced if you don’t wish to have 3 courses).  Starters typically include …

Pizza Dozzina at The Twelve Hotel, Barna, Galway

I am very lucky to live close to The Twelve Hotel in Barna which is a real hub for the community and offers plenty of variety – and quality – in the food and drink arena.  Their latest addition is an Artisanal Pizza/deli called Pizza Dozzina.  It’s really a takeaway but the pizzas can be ordered directly from and eaten in The Pins bar so its a win win.  The hand made pizza oven was shipped directly from Naples and really adds to the authenticity of the operation. The menu is split into two types of Pizza – the Classics and the Locally Inspired.  The Classics include the expected Italian varieties of Quattro Formaggi, Pomodoro, Calzone, Marinara, Sicilian, Parma and Funghi.  The Locally Inspired menu is a wonderful creation of locally named pizzas made with additional gourmet (and homegrown) ingredients.  These pizzas include The Twelve Pins (Tomato, Confit Duck, red onion relish, percorino, rocket and apple salad topped with thyme oil), The Prom Walk (Breakfast pizza with Clonakilty black pudding, streaky bacon, mushrooms, McGeough’s turf …

Gorgeous new takeaway Coffee in Galway – The Jungle Cafe at Go Dutch, Forster St.

As I am constantly on the lookout for the next “best” coffee in Galway, I noticed with interest the soft opening of a new cafe – The Jungle Cafe – at the Go Dutch florist on Forster Street, Galway.   The cafe will serve food but began by serving takeaway coffees only for its first week. The coffee used is from boutique coffee roasting company Badger and Dodo from Fermoy, Co. Cork.  This is a company who pride themselves on the quality and freshness of their product and who carefully vet each new establishment before supplying them – ensuring there is an experienced barista in place. A superb takeaway cappuccino was enjoyed there this week and I look forward to sampling their food offerings (and more of their coffee menu) when they are up and running.   Watch this space!!!

IL Vicolo Cafe, Galway

Il Vicolo Cafe is a lovely Italian cafe and wine bar located on the corner of St. Augustine Street and Buttermilk Walk in Galway. I visited for lunch on a busy Saturday of a bank holiday weekend.  The cafe is very small and we had to wait a few minutes for a table – but it turned out to be well worth the wait.  The cafe serves breakfast, lunch and dinner but you can also pop in for coffees and cake or a glass of wine.  The lunchtime fare consists of soups, two pasta specials and a selection of paninis, bruschettas and salads. There were two of us for lunch and we ordered the two specials.  My dish consisted of penne with spicy sausage, pancetta and chard in a cream sauce.  It was incredible – cooked to perfection and definitely one of the very finest pasta dishes I have ever tasted and well worth its E9.50 price tag.  The second special was gnocchi with a quattro formaggi sauce and pesto and was also pronounced very …