More than two decades since the Mc Mahon family opened their doors, it's the quintessential Mayo board... Where: Loam, Galway What: Irish charcuterie is in the ascendant and Loam chef-proprietor Enda Mc Evoy dedicates a permanent corner of his seasonally changing offer to the best of West Coast charcuterie.'Today's local charcuterie' might consist of Connemara air-dried lamb from James Mc Geough butchers in Oughterard and unusual offerings from West Cork's Gubbeen Smokehouse, including moulded salami, coppa (Italian pork) and pancetta.Where: Idás, Dingle, Co Kerry What: Named after chef-owner Kevin Murphy's great-grandfather and a Dingle native, who went by the nickname of Idá, this rising star of the Southwest is dedicated to exploring the flavour profiles and aesthetic possibilities offered by locally produced and foraged food.Murphy brings an artist's sensibility to his seasonal West Kerry Tasting Menu, transforming ingredients like locally landed pollock (perhaps served with whey butter sauce, fermented turnip and seaweed oil) into visual and culinary masterpieces.A meal at Cassidy's is worth a detour; make time too for a pint by the open turf fire.Where: 1826 Adare, Co Limerick What: Ronan Byrne - aka the Friendly Farmer - produces some of the finest-tasting and most respectfully reared chicken in the land.The platter centres around a chicken liver pâté served with Stephen Gould's leaves, a Claremorris free-range egg and the house chilli relish.Rua soda bread, Cuinneog butter and Carrowholly cheese add to the sense of place.
The crab cocktail perfectly sums up Aldridge Lodge's ethos and authenticity - served with Hook Head crab fished by Billy's father, Timmy (he supplies the lobster, too). - PÓC How much: Tasting menus from €35pp (B&B with dinner from €80pp) Details: 051 389 116; If you like that, try this: Kevin and Catherine Dundon's Dunbrody House (dunbrodyhouse.com) has its own pub doing stonking wood-fired pizzas... Where: The Old Convent, Clogheen, Co Tipperary What: Dermot and Christine Gannon's Old Convent is one of the best-kept secrets in Irish food (and travel).The perfect homage to Ireland's long-reigning culinary matriarch... Where: The Tannery, Dungarvan, Co Waterford What: If you've ever wondered what purple heather, wildflowers and mountain spring water taste like, order Comeragh Mountain Lamb at The Tannery, reared by local farmers on the nearby mountainside.You can actually taste the animal's natural diet in the subtly flavoured meat that it produces.The ever-present carrageen moss pudding is still made to Myrtle Allen's recipe and served with soft brown sugar and softly whipped cream.Wonderful waitstaff might recommend it with seasonal poached rhubarb, grown here from plants that once grew in the walled garden of Mrs Allen's childhood home in Cork.
The results are inspiring travel like never before. Owner Eithna O'Sullivan brings something special to the simplest of dishes.