One of the most sentimental songs in the Irish repertoire, made famous by Bing Crosby, is “Galway Bay,” which, although written in 1947, paints a beautiful albeit entirely rural portrait of a city where “Women in the Meadow McCain make hay.” Or” in the highlands dig “praties”. You won’t see any of these activities taking place these days in Galway, which has been a trading port for centuries and is now the fourth most populous city in the Republic of Ireland.
In 2020, it was named the European Capital of Culture and in 2018 a European Gastronomy District. This last distinction can be found in the city’s food culture, which can be better appreciated by joining in Galway Food Tours, which offers six programs ranging from 65 to 130 euros, which include day and night food tours, cycling tour, whiskey tour and more. (https://galwayfoodtours.com/corporate-tours/]
There are quite a few attractions in this seaside town, which has more of a city feel, centered on Eyre Square in front of the railway station, and home to a seated statue of the poet Patrick O’Connor, looks good. Like Tony Bennett or Chico Marx. Galway Cathedral, beautifully located on the river, is a fine example of Renaissance architecture. Also next to the train station is the hotel named HardmanBuilt in 1845, it remains the best of Galway and is now completely modernized with every comfort.
It’s a quiet town, and the Hardman Hotel is a quiet hotel with 103 rooms and 19 luxury suites, all of which were recently renovated – and have an impressive atrium – but maintain some traditional design elements. Breakfast – a large meal including a full Irish version of eggs, sausage, black and white pudding, roasted tomatoes and pancakes with berry compote – is included in the room rates. At the moment the hotel is running a special offer for two nights in a double room and one dinner for 588 euros.
There are two eating places, the main Gaslight Brasserie With a good bar and counter, excellent lines of mirrored walls with tall windows, glowing chandeliers, flowers on every table and scattered palm trees. Dinner options include a warm duck salad with chard figs and feta cheese (€14.50); Seafood soup with perno and coriander cream (€9.50); And a duo of lamb with baby shepherd’s pie and garlic corn feet (26 euros).
Smaller dining area is very joyful oyster bar, where, after a morning train ride, I slid into a cloth-covered chair comfortably stuffed with sunlight (a rare thing in Galway) streaming in through the windows and much enjoyed a pleasant lunch of hot golden cod infused with beer. Pea chips with wasabi, lemon and tartar sauce (18.50€), lightly spiced curry chicken sauce with fragrant basmati rice, papadum crackers and mustard sauce (19.50€). There is a selection of farm cheeses priced at 12 euros.
land of me in Nimmos (“high food” in Gaelic) Near the quaint but unassuming Spanish Arch overlooks the Claddagh Basin from a two-storey stone house dating from at least 1651, a long place frequented by local sailors and merchants from the nearby docks. Various owners in 20The tenth Century used it in many stores until it was acquired by Harriet Linder in 1991, then Uibhen McNamara, with Chef Ronan Reynolds for the past twelve years.
Among the most ridiculous things is ignorance Michelin Guide Ever printed that Ard Bia has a ‘shabby chic bohemian style’, a far cry from the truth about this extremely charming rustic space with gorgeous bones, vibrant colours, and a comfort level similar to dining on the very tasty Irish kin’ home. Triona Lillis of the Tweed Project designed the interior with a “mood board” of pictures, a chestnut high bar table, Donegal tweed pillows by Giusy Degano and handcrafted terracotta lampshades by Spiddal potter Martha Williamson, with white painted walls, simple wood furniture, And wine bottles on the shelves, botanical filigree on window doors, rustic flowers in coffee pots and rustic wooden tables studded with stoneware. Everything looks as it should.
Menus change all the time in Ard Bia. Start the Kraken brom with a ginger beer infused with chili (10€), and there is a short but well selected wine list, although no wines. I enjoyed Galway Bay Brewery’s Lost at Sea Stout.
The night I dined at the Ard Bia, the meal began with exquisite bread and butter, a garnish of pork dumplings with dates, Chinese cabbage, and apple and fennel salad with beautifully reduced pork jus (13 euros) and Connemara lobster with sauerkraut, radish, burnt apple and a squid ink cracker (14 euros). Harissa NdojaSesame seeds and orange (12.5 euros). Ripe hake fillet with mussels comes in a purple potato broth, topped with fennel, broad beans and a savory flavor. verdee sauce (29 euros), while the good and rare ribeye from Morgan comes with hasselback potatoes, oyster mushrooms and chimichurri (33 euros).
You can always tell when a restaurateur is crazy about their desserts. The end of our meal (all €9) included a sweet and sour chocolate mousse with delicious roasted peaches and a piece of mascarpone; vanilla and buttery milk panna cotta with lemon crumbs, tangy almonds, rhubarb and pistachios; Banoffee bread with chocolate ganache and vanilla ice cream.
The rain came and went, and our walk back into the city center smelled of sea and ozone, which is probably what happens when you visit this city where
A spell or two of rain is likely, although locals never pack an umbrella.
Now eleven years strong, Kai (22 sea road) Its name is taken from the Maori word for food, which is not something one would expect in a city like Galway. But New Zealand-born owner-chef Jess Murphy is as forcefully a Kiwi as she is now Galweg, and a Kai nestled among the winding streets of the city’s West End, which are now bustling with restaurants, bakeries and bars.
The management proudly proclaims, “What’s in season is what will be on the menu,” listing the bronzing sources, and its decor as inviting as you wish, with gorgeous large pendant lamps warming the atmosphere above wooden tables, stone walls, stone floors, apple baskets, an antique iron-faced fireplace and photography. Strong local black and white.
There is a very fair and fixed price menu, which may include, on any evening, cured meats or carrots crudo. Of course there’s Claire’s local lobster, with celery and pumpkin seeds (14€); The silky and pink Serrano ham is enhanced with fior de latte Mozzarella cheese and transparent apple slices (12.50 euros). Here the hake is simply served with borlotti beans and romesco sauce (27 euros). soca, Nice weekend snack, made with nettles, beans and almonds (€25.50), and pork chop was fantastic, with spiced mash beet and chimichurri (€27). In season there will be venison.
Desserts are a tasty bonus to finish off your dinner, with malt ice cream topped with ripe strawberries and milk (10€); Crispy Pavlova meringue with rhubarb and lemon (€9), almond pudding with burnt butter ice cream (€9), and raspberry-basil syrup with a Viennese cookie (€8.50).
The decently priced wine list goes up to around 40 labels, with plenty of options under 50 euros.
Like everywhere else these days, Galway is brimming with casual Italian restaurants, and Trattoria MagnetiOn Quay Street, a bright storefront with clean, modern lines. Owned and operated by brothers Sean and Marco Magnetti, it was originally opened in 1989 by their parents Sergio and Marie, and all excellent fresh pastas are made on the premises. It is well known that their pasta sells to other shops around the city. I found ravioli stuffed with Irish beef mortadella, Parma ham in a white wine sauce studded with peas (€11.50) is really luxurious, and Tagliatelle With pancetta, thyme-scented mushrooms and a white wine cream sauce (10€) very rewarding.
When you sit down you get some warm bruschetta topped with sweet bits of tomato drenched in olive oil. There are eight pizzas and calzones that are as good as any I have in most major cities, including A Diavola (11.50) with sausage, salami and chili Veneta (11.50) with creamy gorgonzola, sweet pear slices and parmesan ham.
There are 30 wines from unusual Italian producers and they are poured in three sizes, with an average full bottle of less than 30 euros.