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23 March 2009

The News...

Kevin Thornton is opening up in Belfast, in the new Menu by Kevin Thornton, in the Fitzwilliam Hotel. What Mr Thornton will be hoping to achieve will be even a little bit of the success of the runaway Made In Belfast. You have to book a month in advance to get a weekend table at this funky Restolounge, where bric-a-brac meets bricolage, and with some ace cooking from chef Gerry O'Kane, formerly a Rankin empire cook. Shabby chic is the order of the day, chips come in an enamel mug, burgers on wooden boards, the cutlery is flimsy and rather blunt, and no one minds a bit.

The brilliant Jennifer and Francois Conradie of Skibbereen's superb Over The Moon have introduced new menus, including an early dinner menu where you get 2 courses for €25 – a real West Cork bargain. This Thursday, the 26th, sees their Taste of Morocco night, and Thursday April 30th is A Taste of France, with 4 courses for €40, more amazing value. We are great admirers of Mr Conradie's cooking, which has both discipline and panache.

It's the year for anniversaries: 20 years of us writing guide books, 25 years of the brilliant Scally's supermarket in Clonakilty, West Cork. Twenty years of L'Ecrivain. Twenty years of Paul Rankin cooking in Belfast.
And twenty years of the brilliant Carol and Kevin working in Chameleon in Fownes Street in Temple Bar. In fact, the first five years were when Carol ran The Cellary, with The Chameleon following in 1994. May sees the anniversary, so congrats for their perseverance and endurance, and their inspiration.

We have written about the brilliance of the wines sourced from the Rhone Valley by Simon Tyrrell of Sallins, but if you want a chance to see, hear and taste for yourselves, then an upcoming tasting class at the Lyons Village in County Kildare with 3 Rhone superstars – Stéphane Montez, Stéphane Ogier and Christophe Bonnefond – will give you a chance to see how these guys have become the celebrated winemakers they are.
The wines to be tasted include Domaine de Monteillet's Condrieu and the stunning St Joseph; Viognier, Syrah and Cote-Rotie from the Ogiers, and 4 Cote-Roties from Christophe and Patrick Bonnefond. €45 euro gets you an introduction to the guys and their wines, and a supper dish. You'd be crazy to miss this. Book with the Village on 01 630 3500

Tyrrell & Company,
Main Street, Sallins, Naas, Co. Kildare, Tel: +353 45 853 944