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Archive for August, 2017

Amuse Bouche

A post by Cork Billy at RESTAURANTS AND FOOD

I prefer cognac

Ringo offset his notorious dislike of onions and spicy foods – he was the Beatle who brought baked beans with him to Rishikesh in 1968 – with an everyman diet. “I’m easy to please,” he said of his palate. “Fish, meat, nothin’ fancy. I don’t need your curries and chop sueys. Garlic and onions kill me. I prefer cognac.”

But his history of intestinal troubles caught up to him in April 1979 while he was in Monaco….  Continue reading »

Taste of the Week
Glendalough Beech Leaf Gin

You may have to hurry if you want to get your hands on our latest Taste of the Week, the Beech Leaf Gin from Glendalough Distilleries. They haven’t made much of the latest addition to the award-winning range! It is a limited edition with a “beautiful colour”.  Continue reading »

Amuse Bouche

A post by Cork Billy at RESTAURANTS AND FOOD

Still, when he beheld his breakfast on its sunny yellow plate, his resolve began to decay. He couldn’t help but think of properly fried bacon, of hash browns, and fluffy free-rangers, of a coffee upon whose bronzed crema a spoonful of sugar might wallow, like a cherub upon a cloud. As he struggled with some aberrant species of ham-and-cheese croissant that clung to his gums like denture glue, he began to wonder if he might just man up after all and make a dash for Bub’s.  Continue reading »

The Brussels Brewing Projects

A post by The Beer Nut at The Beer Nut

The missus is moving jobs, which seems likely to bring an end to the regular supply of odd beers from the off licences of Brussels. Today’s post concerns the final three, all from companies based within the city itself, where brewing is very gradually starting to become a local industry again.
¡Déu N’Hi Do! is a hell of a name for a beer, and I’ll leave it up to you to pronounce.  Continue reading »

Dine by the Water

A post by Cork Billy at RESTAURANTS AND FOOD

Dine by the Water
Superb food and superb views

Bunnyconnellan’s

I’ve been very lucky this past few years to have dined in some well placed restaurants and cafes, places from Cork to Donegal that have a dining room with a view over water. Sometimes over a river, maybe over an estuary, over a lake perhaps, and then sometimes over the ocean. I was lucky too to have brilliant weather in most of the places.  Continue reading »

A Grand Sparkler and a Little Scamp!

Meyer-Fonné Crémant d’Alsace (AOC) Brut Extra NV, 12%, €26.85, Le Caveau
Crémant is the term for any French sparkling wine produced by the méthode traditionnelle, outside of the Champagne region. Subject to similar rigid guidelines, Crémant d’Alsace is produced at the highest level of quality, but available at a fraction of the cost. The Alsace version scores well on quality and price and Crémant d’Alsace is a top-seller in France.  Continue reading »

Achill: sound?

A post by The Beer Nut at The Beer Nut

A little background before I start in on today’s reviews. There has been a brewery on Achill Island in Co. Mayo since last year. Its beers don’t get very far from it so I hadn’t had a chance to try them when one showed up on The Fine Ale Countdown podcast recently. The guys didn’t log a formal review because the bottles they had were considerably less than fresh, but they were not fans of what they found, to say the least.  Continue reading »

My “North Cork” CollectionIncluding the Old Butter Roads Food Trail

Corrin Hill, one of many walks in North Cork area.

The Old Butter Roads Food Trail, launched earlier this year, is a cooperative effort between restaurants, producers and accommodation and activity providers in the North Cork area. North Cork is not an administrative area but then neither is West Cork. The boundaries are a bit flexible.  Continue reading »

I have a bit in common with apricots. I can be a bit dull and uninteresting, often outshone by others. However, like apricots, if I’m pickled in brandy for long enough, I too am transformed into a thing of glorious beauty and attractiveness. Perhaps I might abandon the analogy at this stage as this personal transformation only goes on in my head, the effects don’t last and the memory tends to make me shudder with guilt and remorse.  Continue reading »

Taste of the Week
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On the double: Crépinettes and Cider

Just west of the city, Mark Hennessy raises a few free range pigs.  Continue reading »

The incredible growth and creativity that the Irish cocktail scene has exhibited in the past few years is a wonderful cause for celebration. The parallel explosion in the Irish spirits industry, including whiskey, gin and vodka, has given Irish bartenders expanded access to top quality ingredients for their creations. 

Many bars and hotels now have a cocktail programme of one form or another, which can range from the pedestrian but decent, to the original and highly creative.  Continue reading »

The styles for summer

A post by The Beer Nut at The Beer Nut

Saisons, lagers, wheat beers, and the inevitable IPAs: it’s been a busy couple of months on the Irish beer scene, from festival to pub to beer launch. Here’s what I’ve been drinking lately, in my attempt to keep up with it all.
There wasn’t a huge amount of fuss about Marching Powder, perhaps surprisingly. This new IPA from Black’s of Kinsale is the first in the country brewed with lupulin powder, the next stage in ingredient evolution, past whole hops and pellets.  Continue reading »

Amuse Bouche

A post by Cork Billy at RESTAURANTS AND FOOD

Beer for the men

Most of the men dined on egg and chips with wine or beer as they couldn’t afford much else. Officers and other ranks generally dined at different premises. Officers were allowed to drink spirits when not on duty but soldiers were not. Some cafes ignored this rule and put spirits into the men’s coffee…. it became necessary for military police to conduct spot checks.. and smell the cups the soldiers were drinking from.  Continue reading »

Amuse Bouche

A post by Cork Billy at RESTAURANTS AND FOOD

I was thirteen years old and running the kitchen as though I had been a faithful and refined domestic in a previous life.

Big Mama was an inspiration. In the kitchen stirring the pots, she was a culinary sorceress. I watched her thin, elegant hands. Dusted with flour, they gently pressed out dough for cobblers. Under running water, they scooped blackberries from down the hill where the McAdoo family lived. With a magician’s grace, they pulled pin bones from fish.  Continue reading »

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Quantum juice

A post by The Beer Nut at The Beer Nut

It took Gail Ann Williams of the San Francisco-based Beer by BART blog to bring The Session around to the inevitable topic of New England IPA, a style which seems to be just clinging on as the current darling of the beer-geek-at-large. It is, of course, not without controversy, breaking many of the hard rules of brewing IPA in the American style, where cleanness was once king, and accepted as the best way to optimise quality hops.  Continue reading »

Azienda Ampeleia ‘Un Litro’ Costa Toscano (IGT) 2016, 12.5%, €21.95 Le Caveau
Vines in the Wild

This relatively new estate – Ampeleia is the Greek for wine – is certified organic and biodynamic; it is biodiverse with the vineyards interspersed with chestnut and cork oak forests as well as scrub.  Continue reading »

The Aresti Family, Highly Rated Chilean Winemakers

Jon (right) with Yours Truly

Though established in 1951, it was 1999 before the Aresti family began producing wine under their own label on their Bellavista estate in Chile’s Curicó Valley. Now, according to Wines of South America, they have “one thousand cultivated acres”.  Continue reading »

Coq of the walk

A post by The Beer Nut at The Beer Nut

It was a surprise to find beers from venerable Estonian brewery A. Le Coq on the shelves at SuperValu. I snapped them up, of course. It’s not every day that beer by appointment to his imperial majesty shows up in suburban west Dublin. Am I supposed to curtsy?
First in the trilogy of lagers is Imperial Gold.  Continue reading »

The traditionalists amongst you might be a bit horrified at the prospect of drinking red wine with fish. Particularly with a fish as ‘white’ as hake. The key is the other ingredients in this sort of stew / soup / bowl of deliciousness. When you have got over your shock at my suggestion of red wine with fish, I encourage you to try Poached Hake in Tomato and Red Wine Sauce. Anybody who enjoys a good read will love preparing this.
You will need a couple of things to get this to work.  Continue reading »