Mayo: Discover artisanal cheese, fresh seafood, and hearty pub grub in this scenic coastal county.
Ah, County Mayo, that wondrous gem nestled in the rugged west of Ireland, where wild landscapes blend seamlessly with culinary mastery. The breathtaking beauty of the county’s windswept coastline, imposing cliffs, and serene lakelands provides an exquisite backdrop to a dining scene that is both hearty and refined. Allow me to take you on a gastronomic adventure through the vibrant culinary tapestry of County Mayo, where traditional meets contemporary, and every bite tells a story.
Embark upon this culinary odyssey in the bustling market town of Westport, where An Port Mór Restaurant awaits, beckoning like a beacon of gastronomic pleasure. Chef Frankie Mallon weaves a symphony of flavors in his dishes, drawing inspiration from the land, sea, and sky. One cannot help but swoon over the delicate balance of the pan-seared scallops, adorned with an earthy cauliflower puree and a tangy caper dressing—a testament to Mallon’s extraordinary culinary prowess.
Journey onwards to the charming coastal town of Achill Island, where the Calvey’s Achill Mountain Lamb beckons the discerning palate. This family-run establishment is the very definition of farm-to-fork dining, offering tender and succulent cuts of their prized Achill Mountain Lamb. Each bite of their beautifully cooked lamb transports you to the rolling hills and windswept landscapes of Mayo, as you savor the taste of the wild Atlantic air and the sweet, tender meat. Truly, a feast for both the senses and the soul.
Further inland, the enchanting town of Castlebar is home to the delightful House of Plates, a culinary oasis in the heart of the county. Here, the innovative tapas-style menu takes center stage, offering dishes that pay homage to the Irish culinary heritage while incorporating global influences. Sample the sublime Lough Conn smoked trout, perfectly paired with a zesty horseradish cream and a refreshing fennel salad, and you’ll understand why House of Plates has garnered a devoted following.
In the serene village of Cong, the prestigious Ashford Castle looms large, both in stature and culinary reputation. Within its historic walls lies the elegant George V Dining Room, a testament to opulence and culinary brilliance. Under the expert guidance of Executive Chef Philippe Farineau, a decadent feast awaits, showcasing the finest local ingredients with an exquisite touch of finesse. Allow yourself to indulge in the sumptuous tasting menu, a celebration of Mayo’s rich bounty, expertly paired with an exquisite selection of wines.
Lastly, venture to the remote and breathtaking Belmullet Peninsula, where the Talbot Hotel’s Béal an Mhuirthead restaurant serves up some of the finest seafood in the county. The freshness of the catch is unparalleled, as each dish speaks of the wild Atlantic waters that cradle the county’s coastline. Savor the perfectly cooked Atlantic hake, adorned with a delicate herb crust, and you’ll understand why this remote corner of Mayo is worth every mile traveled.
So, dear gastronomes, prepare to embark on a culinary adventure through County Mayo, where the rugged beauty of the landscape is matched only by the depth and sophistication of its dining scene. Each mouthful is a celebration of the land and its rich heritage, leaving you with memories that will linger long after the plates have been cleared.