Thirty years ago when my wife and I first traveled in Ireland as students there were no meals like this to be found. The food game in the country has been stepped up significantly, likely owing to the obvious reliance on tourism within the Irish economy. You can't give tourists crappy food at every turn and expect good reviews. Well, the most sophisticated meal we had on our recent trip to Ireland was at the restaurant in the Park House Hotel in Galway. As we were checking in around lunchtime the smells from the restaurant and bar were floating around the lobby, and they were heavenly. Go ahead, trust your own instincts and walk into that lobby around 1PM, see what you think. The hotel is right off the main square near the bus and train stations. Bad food doesn't smell like that. After a little discussion with the guy checking us in about proper preparation of lamb, combined with a quick glance at the menu, we decided to have dinner at the hotel's restaurant. The service in the restaurant is quite good, but not suffocating. The menu is varied with meats, seafood, even a vegetarian dish or two. On the advice of the front desk, and not being the biggest fan of lamb but being here and wanting to sample the famous Connemara lamb, I ordered the lamb chops medium-rare. I'm no expert in lamb chops, but I was given very strong advice to order them "under medium," essentially as rare as you can take it, because the lamb will continue to cook up a notch after leaving the fire, and if they reach medium they are wrecked. So, I took that advice and even told the waitress to be sure they were pink when they made it to me. They were. As our three dishes arrived at the serving table next to our dinner table, not knowing this was our food, my wife (a lover or rare meat) said covetously, "Wow, someone has some beautiful rare meat coming." That was me. And man-oh-man were those chops ever perfect. Tender, round chops clung to each bone. Seasoned and cooked spot on. My wife and daughter, neither of whom ever eat lamb (baby animal and such), were drooling over that meat and snagging little chunks of it. The mint sauce, not jelly but sauce, was out of this world. The lamb didn't need it, but when applied the meat was taken to 11. Sometimes, rarely, but sometimes you eat something that tastes unlike anything you have ever had (in a good way!). That mint sauce was it. Slightly spicy, slightly sweet, a little runny, the mint leaves fresh and mashed. I don't know how they did it, but it was nirvana. My daughter had a perfectly cooked wild salmon filet with a delicate creamy lightly citrusy lemon sauce. If my lamb wasn't so otherworldly I would say her meal was tops. But as it was the salmon finished second. My wife had the duck breast, which, though really good, came to the table at about medium, which is too far for duck breast. It had barely reached that stage so it wasn't tough, but she is a fan of seared-outside-rich-pink-inside duck breast. I believe she ordered it medium rare. Probably should have made clear that the duck needed to have pink running through it. The one little hiccup. But the duck meat and sauce nevertheless tasted delicious. There were other things, potatoes, vegetables, bread. But those were the standouts. My advice: Get the lamb and be absolutely certain you make clear that it must come to the table pink. If you order it medium you are making a mistake. And then be prepared for a spectacular dining experience. The total with wine was 90-100 Euro. (We also had breakfast there in the morning. Outstanding as well. Try the oatmeal porridge.)
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.