We have been to smaller restaurants but usually they’ve been located in much larger cities than Dublin; hideaways in side streets and alleyways in Paris and New York spring to mind, but we have yet to visit one as downright charming and quirky as Vintage Kitchen (which can seat, at an all-too obvious squeeze, 30 people who will, by the end of their meal, have few secrets from each other).
The setting within which Brabazon Restaurant reclines is beautiful, and we’ll warrant there are few places in Ireland to beat it. Over 15 years ago, Tankardstown House, a period property, was in need of careful restoration and repair, and it is to the credit of owners Trish and Brian Conroy that very little expense has been spared in refitting this property so well that it once again stands tall and welcoming on the 80-acre estate.
When chef Keith McNally opened his restaurant, Pastis, in New York’s rundown Meatpacking area in 1999, it blew the competition away to such a degree that one of the restaurant’s most noted celeb visitors, Martha Stewart, gushed that having an eatery of such distinction was like Paris coming to town.
With the Spanish Arch just minutes away, it makes sense to continue the Iberian trail, and so in the middle of the Galway International Arts Festival, we rocked up to Cava Bodega. No fools us, we nabbed a table for two a few weeks before, as we had previously learnt to our cost that this little tapas place is almost always booked out at weekends.