The Courthouse, Kinlough
Two Leitrim venues, The Courthouse, Kinlough and The Cottage, Jamestown, have made it into The Sunday Times 100 Best Restaurants.
Now in its 5th year, The Sunday Times 100 Best Restaurants is the definitive guide to eating out in Ireland featuring a wide variety of places to dine.
The Sunday Times 100 Best Restaurants were chosen by John and Sally McKenna of the McKennas' Guides alongside a nationwide team of editors (all of whom are food critics in their own right). Restaurants that made the list in 2019 are re-visited at least once throughout the year, while new entries have been visited on more than one occasion.
The Judges wrote of the The Courthouse, Main Street, Kinlough: "Piero Melis is a precise and fluent cook, a chef whose Sardinian background colours and animates every dish he offers: smoked tuna carpaccio with lemon oil dressing, duck spring roll with white ragu, linguini with blue fin tuna ragu, house-smoked duck with calvados foam. This is elegant and accomplished cooking, with flavours you don't expect to find near the Leitrim-Donegal border. Value for money is excellent, the room is simple and relaxing and all of the staff are local charmers. Make sure you try the Sardinian wines that Melis imports- rare and special bottles- and make a night of it in one of the simple rooms upstairs before enjoying Piero's stonking breakfast."
Meanwhile The Cottage was described as follows:
"Sham Hanifa is that rare being: a truly original cook. What other chef uses turmeric in a potato gratin? Who else puts soya and chili with Friendly Farmer chicken? Who dares to put star anise with poached rhubarb? Who has the confidence to put hoisin and sesame in a glaze with Thornhill duck? Using the lessons of his Malaysian grandmother, and his work in Europe and Ireland where he worked his way up from kitchen porter to chef, Sham has birthed something original in the welcoming space of the Cottage. A precise and cool temperament underlies his cooking. With polite and attentive service, excellent value for money, and the singular food on the plate, it all explains his success in Jamestown."
Sham Hanifa of The Cottage, Jamestown