Great and unusual seal of Approval by John McKenna from guides.ie
"Let's call it the April Bloomfield Imprimatur.
What is it? It's the discipline of a good kitchen to focus intently on the best way of... cutting up a stalk of celery. Or a carrot. Or a piece of lamb.
Kieran's Kitchen, at the iconic Roadside Tavern in Lisdoonvarna, County Clare, operates according to the April Bloomfield Imprimatur.
How so? Well, just look at that bowl of chowder and look, especially, at the pieces of celery in the dish. The celery has been cut sharply on the diagonal, giving the greatest amount of surface area to the cook as he cooks off the vegetables to start the dish.
What's more, the celery is al dente: it is crisp to the tooth, and serves as a counterpoint to the tenderness of the mussels.
The cooking, quite simply, is precise and focused. The deliciousness is in the detail, bit by bit, bite by bite. April Bloomfield, that obsessive, maniacal genius of a chef, would be well impressed by this bowl of chowder.
And that's the sort of thing Kieran, and head chef Viv, do in the kitchen in Kieran's Kitchen: precise and refreshing cooking, served in what is one of the classic bars on the West Coast, one of the classic bars on the Wild Atlantic Way.
You see the same attention to detail in their dish of lamb stew: the pieces of lamb and carrot are perfectly and precisely cut, so they meld beautifully with the potato. My only argument with the dish would be that a handful of barley always makes a lamb stew better, but that's a personal thing. As a dish, it was simple and pure. The same was true of breadcrumbed St Tola goat's cheese, served with their own chutney and fine salad leaves. And the same was true of roasted monkfish with tomatoes, a beautiful piece of fish, served with a funky mango risotto.
This cooking is, in the professional parlance, clean: everything tastes of itself, natural and alive, the flavours liberated by modest but sure cooking technique, and it means the food eats beautifully. And it does so because the team have thought, and thought intently, about the best way to slice a celery stalk, the best way to cut a fillet of monkfish. They know that the deliciousness lurks in the detail."
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Food & Wine Magazine
In the July 2014 issue of the Food & Wine magazine, a lot of the Clare food businesses, hotels and restaurants are mentioned by Georgina Campbell in her special about the culinary delights that our county has to offer.
She didn't miss the Roadside Tavern and our Burren Brewery beers!
Georgina Campbell, well-known author and owner of the Ireland Guide website, has been writing a series of food reviews by counties, and in this month’s edition of the Food & Wine magazine, it was County Clare’s turn to be sussed out.
It becomes clear very quickly where the bulk of the food producing businesses is situated – i.e. in the north of the county. So it is not really surprising that this is the home of the Burren Food Trail considering that a lot of the smoked salmon, ice cream and other food producing companies are situated in and around the Burren area of North Clare.
In another paragraph about Lisdoonvarna, Birgitta and Peter Curtin together with John and Martina Sheedy from Sheedy’s Country Hotel and Restaurant as well as Kate and Aidan McGrath from the Wild Honey Inn were mentioned as being instrumental in transforming Lisdoonvarna into a prime destination for food lovers.
The Guardian -
26 October 2013
A great article about microbreweries in Ireland! It starts like this:
"Craft beer in Ireland: 10 pubs and microbreweries to explore
Guinness sales may be down but Ireland's craft beer scene is blossoming. We pick some of the best brewpubs for sampling the new ales."
This is what The Guardian had to say about the Burren Brewery:
Run by the Curtin family since 1893, this boozer is in the heart of the village of Lisdoonvarna, near the Aran islands and the Cliffs of Moher. Its piano may be 113 years old but this isn't a pub stuck in the past. There's a New York graffiti-style mural by artist Jim Ricks and in 2011 an on-site microbrewery started turning out pints of Burren Gold, Burren Red and Burren Black.
• Kincora Road, roadsidetavern.ie, Burren Black €3.90
New York Times -
28 August 2000
The following article written by Dan Barry has been published in the New York Times on 28 August 2000. We show here some extracts which refer to the Roadside Tavern. You can read the full article on the New York Times website.