February 13, 2012

Lunching Around Ireland

Last week saw me trapse through the bottom half of Ireland for a mixture of business and pleasure. This whistlestop tour brought me to Wexford, Limerick and Galway and it was the perfect opportunity to try out some new places I wouldn't normally get too. Now as we all know the locals always know the best places to go so I got a few to divulge their secrets on where to go to for a lunchtime feed and I think I have found some gems!!!

La Dolce Vita - Wexford

This Italian cafe might be one of the best kept secrets EVER. Having lived in Italy I am notoriously hard to please when it comes to Italian restaurants. A lot of restaurants entice me in with promises of perfect pastas, pizzas and tiramisu but few deliver. La Dolce Vita is perhaps the BEST Italian food I have had outside Italy in a long time!! Forgive all the capitals but I really can't emphaize how special this little place is!!

The menu in La Dolce Vita offers paninis and other lunchtime fare but we were here for pasta. Or so I thought until I saw the specials menu - swordfish, venison, ossobuco - Oh where to start!! So after having a few quick steathly peeks at what other diners were eating we settled on two specials - Spagetti with Taleggio and Tomato and Ossobuco with Germolata.

The spagetti was delicious perfectly cooked and really flavoursome with the taleggio melted through it.

The Ossobuco was divine, the meat was falling off the bone and the sauce was light but tasty and it was covered with wondefully fresh gremolata. The portions size are huge and perfect for sharing. Great if you are looking for a Valentines lunch this week!! Of course then we decided it would be rude to leave without trying the tiramisu and an espresso, both of which rounded off the meal.

One other lovely thing about this restaurant is that the owner was really involved in the running of the place and would come out to check on us and make sure we were enjoying ourselves. It was a lovely touch and the fact that he gave me one of my favourite italian chocolates on the way out has endeared him to me forever!! The only thing wrong with this place is that it isnt closer to Dublin!!

La Dolce Vita don't have a website but you can find them on Menupages here

 La Dolce Vita on Urbanspoon

The Sage Cafe - Limerick

Our Limerick local told us to get down to The Sage Cafe early as the place is jammers at lunch and as soon as we arrived we could see why. This cafe is easy to spot with its inviting green exterior and funky decor. All the food looked very inviting from their daily specials right down to their desserts which are homemade along with all their breads, jams and chutney. After crawling intently through the menu we both finally settled on the fish pie. The pie was gorgeous not too dense and topped with fluffy mashed potato. This is a great lunchspot and so if you are in Limerick why not give this little spot a go and team it with a visit to the Milk Market for a perfect food filled morning out. Apparently Mike Hogan from the Cranberries owns the restaurant too. Now there is a prime bit of local gossip for you!!

For more info on the Cafe click here

Cava Spanish Restaurant and Tapas Bar - Galway 

This is a tapas restaurant but lunch is served here daily. The menu includes loads of gorgeous Bocadillos (Spanish Sandwiches), lovely soups and salads, stew and some specials which are changed to relect what's in season. I was very tempted by the sounds of the chickpea stew with chorizo and meatballs but instead I went for their great offer of a soup, sandwich and coffee for only ten euros. So for ten euros this is what you get:

 And look at that for a sandwich, full of serrano ham and manchego:

 And a delicious bowl of broccoli soup:

The lunch food here is tasty, filling and great value. I will definately be back for a return visit and hopefully I can fit in a dinner visit next time.

For more info on Cava Spanish Restaurant click here 


  1. Love Sage cafe but you definitely need to be in early to get a space. At least the food is worth waiting for!

    1. It's a lovely cafe since being down there I have been given a few more places to try so the list for Limerick is getting longer with Sage at the very top for a revisit!!