It is fair to say that Irish cuisine is perceived globally as possibly being bland. Thankfully, the wave of immigrants to our shores over the past two decades that helped boost the economy has also brought an appreciation of cuisine from around the world that has encouraged a restaurant boom. One hidden gem of a village that is leading the way is Doolin Ireland. The town has mostly been known for its traditional music but it is the great food in Doolin hotels, pubs and restaurants that is attracting a new wave of gastronomes.
For fans of good seafood, Cullinan’s Guesthouse and Restaurant in the village provides a a great range of dishes that make the most of the locally caught seafood. The service is professional and the owners have added some extra special touches, such as choosing dessert wines to complement your desserts, which make dining here all the more memorable.
For a romantic dinner, food lovers are beating a path to Ballinalacken Castle on the outskirts of town. The menu is full of classic French style dishes with an Irish twist that make good use of the seafood, beef and organic produce from the region. The experience is complemented by the decor of the castle’s dining room and the panoramic sea views of Galway Bay.
If you are undecided as to what type of dining option your group wish to take then the Aran View House Hotel overlooking Doolin village has plenty of options. The informal option is to take the bar menu and enjoy the vistas out to the Aran Islands (from which the hotel gets its name). The hotel restaurant also is slightly more formal (and does include a-la-carte options) for a proper sit down dinner.
A trip to Doolin though would not be complete without experiencing a traditional Irish music session in one of the town’s bars. McGann’s pub and O’Connor’s pub have nice bar menus which, while not at the gastro-pub standard seen in other European countries, are full of hearty Irish dishes with seafood chowders and stews being popular choices.
The variety of dining options to be found in Doolin hotels and restaurants can prove to be a pleasant surprise for visitors following the tourist trail along the west coast of Ireland and goes to show that Ireland’s culinary skills are not limited to just the bigger towns.