As the summer season kicks off, we look at a few of the best places to enjoy fresh local produce
With the arrival of spring comes the arrival of a whole host of Irish-grown produce that’s now in season. As the impact our eating habits have on the planet become clear, we love eating locally sourced ingredients more than ever. However, it’s not always easy, especially when eating out. You can be pretty certain the avocado in your guacamole wasn’t grown down the road, but it’s trickier to tell if your salad leaves took an international flight to get to your plate.
For a meal that makes the most of the ingredients our little island has to offer, we’ve rounded up four restaurants that relish in using local produce, so you’ll know you’ve probably travelled farther than your meal has.
The Duck Gorey, Wexford
Marlfield House is a small luxury hotel loved by many. Run by the Bowe family since 1978, it is set in 40 acres of grounds, including a plentiful kitchen garden. The Duck Terrace Restaurant, opened in 2016, was built in restored courtyard buildings. It has doors that open out onto a terrace overlooking the kitchen garden, where many of the ingredients on your plate will have come from. The beautiful gardens are also the perfect place for a post-lunch stroll. marlfieldhouse.com
The Green Barn Athy, Kildare
This restaurant at Burtown House has the impressive accolade of being almost entirely self-sufficient. They only serve what is grown in their one-acre walled organic vegetable garden, so you are guaranteed the freshest seasonal dishes. Their meat is sourced from an organic local farm, and their cheeses come from Irish cheese makers, but the homegrown produce always takes centre stage. Come in the morning for homemade jam and delicious potato cakes, or try fresh soups and salads at lunch. burtownhouse.ie
Airfield Estate Dundrum, Dublin
Overends Kitchen focuses on seasonal, sustainable, and local ingredients, while avoiding food waste. Under the leadership of chef Luke Matthews, the ethos of the restaurant is about eating in tune with the land. The 38 acre farm provides milk, meat, fruit, vegetables, eggs, and even honey to the kitchen. Afterwards, you can explore the woodlands, farmland and gardens where your meal came from. airfield.ie
Mustard Seed Ballingarry, Limerick
Over three decades owner Dan Mullane carved out a reputation for The Mustard Seed as a must-visit for great food and standout service. Now under the ownership of John Edward Joyce (who worked with Dan for 25 years), Mustard Seed Restaurant is stronger than ever with a kitchen garden and orchard supplying fruit, vegetables and herbs to the restaurant. mustardseed.ie
Featured image: Burtown House