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Hot 100 Places To Eat - Part One

Hot 100 Places To Eat - Part One

Wednesday 12 July 2017

From the old Grace Kelly movie High Society to Nicole Kidman in Big Little Lies, nothing spells glamour like dining on a terrace. So don’t waste your time swabbing the deck and scrubbing your backyard BBQ this summer. Instead, think terrific terraces and elegant al fresco eating. From coast to coast and everywhere in between, the outdoor eating available in modern Ireland is top notch – if you know the right places to look. The sun may be out now, but we all know that summertime here is fleeting, so check out my 20 Best terraces in Ireland now, and get yourself in gear for some of the best food, drink and atmosphere around, not to mention some perfect perches for outdoor people watching.

Radisson St. Helen’s
They’re big into terraces here on the Stillorgan Road. Chill with a drink on the lower terrace and then slip into their Italian Talavera restaurant, or dine in the Orangerie, a conservatory bar, with its splendid main terrace overlooking the gardens, where a BBQ lunch is served on weekdays during the summer months.

Osteria Lucio
With the DART rolling overhead, underneath the arches (sic) of the old Malting Tower, Pierce Brosnan loved Michelin starred Ross Lewis’s city slick Osteria Lucio. Not only has it got a great atmospheric buzz but cracking cocktails and cicchetti, salumi and secondi, plus woodfired pizzas too.

Suesey Street
In the heart of Georgian Dublin, on Fitzwilliam Place, is one of the smartest terraces in town, shielded by a retractable awning. With lunchtime posh sandwiches and salads, or more indulgent mains, they also do a great early bird menu and a tempting a la carte. Witty 5-Star service from TV’s John Healy.  

Marco Pierre White
Tucked away under an arch in leafy D4, MPW’s Courtyard Bar & Grill lush plush restaurant has a secluded eponymous courtyard for chilling with a cocktail and people watching, followed by a Francophile classic hors d’oeuvre, grill or roast.  

Having been a private members club for ten years, the uber hip Residence on St. Stephen’s Green is now open to the public. With new Executive Chef Peter Byrne at the helm, the cool terrace here offers cocktails and casual food plus the superb fine dining Restaurant FortyOne. 

Gourmet Food Parlour
The new GFP in Northwood, Santry, is not only bright airy and colourful but its two smashing outdoor terraces are designed to create a relaxed garden party oasis in North Dublin. From daytime sambos and salads to a burger in a bowl to evening small and large plates.

More than a little bit of Provence in Co. Meath, Tankardstown embodies three great dining options in beautiful gardens, the casual Cellar, the chic Brabazon and The Tea Garden, which is perfect for a good old fashioned afternoon tea.

Fallon & Byrne
The extraordinarily pretty Victorian tearooms in the People’s Park in Dun Laoghaire was modernised a couple of years ago and provides a quite unique setting for al fresco dining, overlooking the happenings in the manicured gardens. With nibbles and sharing boards, starters, light bites and mains, there’s something for everyone here.

Avoca Terrace Café Powerscourt
An oldie but a goodie. It’s hard to beat the view from the terrace out over the Versailles style formal gardens of the Powerscourt Estate on a summer’s day. Self service salads, sambos, terrines, quiches, crumbles and pies are the order of the day.

Village Bar & Grill
With soft industrial style decor, this latest splendiferous addition to the Seafield Hotel rivals anything you might see in Milan or New York. With a terrace area to the side, an all day menu sports chowder, pizzas, rotisserie chooks, burgers and steaks.

The Strand Inn
The suntrap terrace here overlooks the fab Dunmore East beach where the Eastenders spinoff Redwater was recently filmed. Don’t worry, you won’t meet Kat & Alfie Moon, but you will encounter bar and restaurant menus with great Black Knob crab claws, pasta dishes, salads, burgers, and live music every day during summer.

White Horses
Meticulously run by three sisters in the pretty seaside village of
Ardmore, Co. Waterford, the White Horses combines a mix of the Hamptons and Cannes. Its casually chic garden to the side features Lloyd Loom chairs, rugs, twinkling lights and a pretty summerhouse. The food, with lots of shellfish, is superb, while the desserts will have even the big boys speechless.
Tel: (024) 94-040

Snuggled between the hip new Cask Bar and Greene’s restaurant at Hotel Isaac’s Cork is a stunning courtyard with an amazing feature waterfall. Cask does small plates and great cocktails while Greene’s is the fine dining end of the operation. Music covers old skool hip hop to New Orleans jazz.

Fishy Fishy
Every US tourist visiting Kinsale has celebrity chef Martin Shanahan’s Fishy Fishy restaurant on their itinerary for chowing down on lobster thermidor, warm chilli seafood salad or local oysters from Haven Shellfish. It was extended a while back to give more ground floor space but bag a table on the terrace to the front.

With spectacular views of the yachts on Kinsale’s marina, this popular cafe bistro has you covered for al fresco dining from breakfast through brunch and lunch, pizzas and evening tapas. Pianist Billy Crosbie rocks out upstairs on Thursday and Friday nights.

Park Hotel
Nothing could be finer than to be on The Terrace at the Park Hotel Kenmare, looking out at the views of Kenmare Bay, while Francis Brennan’s team caters to your every whim. The evening bistro menu has a multitude of goodies from steak tartare to veal Milanese to crab claws to pan-fried halibut.

Hotel Europe
The Brasserie Restaurant at the 5 Star luxury Europe Hotel & Resort has a fab terrace with views out over the spectacular Lakes of Killarney. Open from 11am to 11pm, it has a wonderful selection of dishes to cover every aspect of the day from light snacks to flame grilled steaks cooked in front of you.

Having proved a hit on Dublin’s Leeson Street, House Limerick, with its plush decor and garden dining area, has been settling in on Howley’s Quay. From breakfast/brunch faves to lunchtime wings, posh sambos, scampi and burgers, followed by evening boards and small plates. Check out their Friday garden parties.

Dunraven Arms
The latest addition to the Dunraven Arms in Adare, Co. Limerick, is the fab new Conservatory overlooking their award-winning gardens. With its high apexed glass ceiling, it’s the perfect place to chill and enjoy excellent casual bar food including fresh Doolin crab linquini. 

The Boat Inn
En route to Connemara and feeling frazzled? Don’t be. Have a bite on the front terrace of The Boat Inn on main street Oughterard, and watch the world pass by or unwind in their lovely walled garden to the rear. From breakfast through lunch and dinner, there’s good food at good prices. Live music at night.

Harvey’s Bar
Luxury, style, great cocktails, great food, a backdrop of the Blue Stack Mountains and views out over Lough Eske, the terrace at Harvey’s Bar at Harvey’s Point Hotel is a sure fire winner for summer days. From prawn cocktail to a Wild Atlantic Way fish gratin.

First Published In The Sunday Independent