Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My food and drink picks for March - try Brad and Angelina's wine, La Rouge and Mount Juliet for starters

La Rouge in Cabinteely

This week is all about horses for me with the Irish dominating so much of the running over at Cheltenham. 

But in the food world, seasons roll on and new restaurants open. We have seen some great Dublin and Galway restaurants close in recent months but happily other food businesses also open, become firm favourites with the public and new trends begin. Here is my This Edible Life column for March from The Gloss magazine - my monthly pick of food news from producers and restaurants. If I had to recommend one outstanding thing from this month its Sam Neill's Two Paddocks pinto noir - so gorgeous you'll want to take a bath in it.

This Edible Life 

As reviewers in New York wrestle to describe “New American” as opposed to “American” cooking, one of the restaurateurs behind “new Irish cooking” is finding great success with her Cabinteely venture La Rouge. Anne Marie Nohl of the well-loved Expresso Bar on St.Mary’s Road in Ballsbridge (dressed down celebs) joins a gathering of places slowly making the village a foodie nook.

Ed Hick's Bacon Jam
Alongside Urban café, South African influenced Pielow’s restaurant and the Spanish Las Tapas, La Rouge is easy-going but relevant with plenty of Irish dishes. As with Expresso Bar, Sunday brunch is a big attraction featuring Eggs Florentine, seared kidneys and brioche. The “La Rouge Big Breakfast” boasts sausages by Proper Butcher and food obsessive Ed Hick. For more Man Food, try Ed’s Bacon Jam made with honey, coffee and baco  from Hick’s Butchers in Dun Laoghaire and many delis. My husband is obsessed.

Mount Juliet estate

Talking of butchers good and bad, amid covering #horseburger I grabbed a few days at Mount Juliet in Thomastown (doing two radio interviews in the car en route). Binning the phones, the thick Georgian walls give rest and quiet like no other, and the food at The Lady Helen gets better and better. These are stunning plates with great sourcing; I’m sure I saw the pheasant I ate giving me a wink earlier on the avenue.

In the wine world actress Drew Barrymore tells us she is so in love with Pinot Grigio she’s decided to produce her own, Whether it will beat Brad and Angelina’s Chateaux Miramar Cotes des Provence is yet to be seen. Unlike most Pinot Grigios, I found  Brangelina’s white Cote des Provence had a surprisingly full-bodied spank, and a good story for the dining table.

Drew Barrymore
Their wine is stocked by Garry Gubbins at Red Nose Wine in Clonmel, who supplies the horsey set with finds from hobnobbing around fancy-pants estates. He also sells the actor Sam Neill’s gorgeous Two Paddocks pinot noir. Another independent wine treasure is The Parting Glass in Enniskerry owned by the lovely Dom Price, with sweets and goodies on the counter (he knows my type). Others are Gabriel Cooney’s On the Grapevine in Dalkey, Curious Wines in Cork and Cases in Galway.

If you’d like to know more on food and wine pairings, Mary Gaynor in Thomastown Kilkenny runs a lovely wine course open to trade and the public  In Dublin, Ely’s Big Tasting is on the 22nd of this month with wine, Irish beers and ciders, Sheridan’s cheeses and organic beef from the Ely farm (yes there is such a thing). Basically, if you don’t want to drink you can just eat.

Kilruddery House
For a Spring shot of the outdoors, Kilruddery Farm Markets start again on 31st March and every Saturday thereafter; foods for the larder, fresh coffees and great for letting children let off steam. It was here I first began buying Corleggy Cheese from Cavan. Despite being one of the earliest cheesemakers in the country, Silke Cropp’s cheeses from the edge of Lough Erne were new to me. Crackers, chutney, grapes, Corleggy, Two Paddocks… nothing better


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