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Just Ask Restaurant of the Month March - King Sitric Restaurant

The “Just Ask!” Restaurant of the Month winner for March is King Sitric Restaurant in Howth, Co Dublin.


Long before it was popular or profitable to do so (indeed, ever since he opened Howth’s premier restaurant, in 1971) Euro-Toques proprietor-chef Aidan MacManus’s philosophy was to source the best possible local produce and tell his customers about it – and that dedication has never waivered.

King Sitric Restaurant - Howth County Dublin IrelandInformative notes on menu covers include a listing of Irish fish in six languages, and a statement of the restaurant’s commitment to local producers, some of whom are named – including Nicky’s Plaice, whose smoked salmon comes from the last traditional smoking kiln in Howth; Nicky McLoughlin (recent recipient of a well-earned Irish Food Writers’ Guild Lifetime Achievement Award) and his son Martin smoke salmon to order for The King Sitric.

With all this, plus excellent service by long-serving staff under Joan MacManus’s management contributing to what some see as an ‘exclusive’ restaurant, it may come as a surprise to find that is also a very value-conscious and extremely customer friendly in terms of pricing, offering a range of menus suitable for differing times, pockets and occasions which few other restaurants anywhere in Ireland could match.

Perched at the far end of Howth harbour, with views across to Ireland’s Eye and over Balscadden Bay (where you may be lucky enough to see local lobster fisherman, John Sheridan, raising pots full of treats for your dinner), The King Sitric is of course primarily a seafood destination, and there are many special occasions to honour particular species and the changing seasons, including a Lobster Special in July.

But another speciality is wild Irish game, which becomes a high point of the various menus offered in winter - a real treat is the Oyster & Game Menu, offered in September to welcome the change of season, and a Game Tasting Menu is also available throughout winter.

More surprising, perhaps, is a recently introduced ‘Baily Beef’ menu – Aidan takes great pride in the local beef, from the Bellingham family farm at “The Cliffs” up at Baily, on the Howth peninsula. Supply is very limited “only about 12 or 16 cattle per year - the cattle graze free-range for the final summer of their lives, and thanks to the complex mix of grasses and plants, achieve wonderful condition and weight.” This very special local product is a seasonal treat, and the Baily Beef Tasting Menu is only offered for a couple of weeks in the autumn.

And, still on the carnivorous theme, regular menus offer limited choices for non-seafood eaters, but they are the best – that much-maligned dish Chicken Kiev, for example is made with breast of free- range chicken from Green Acres Farm, Co Cavan.

Take time to browse the menus below (not the full range), and enjoy a culinary tour of the best produce the area has to offer – customers at The King Sitric are genuinely welcome to ‘Just Ask’, and there is always something of interest that isn’t mentioned on the menu, but in truth there’s not much they haven’t thought of already.

SAMPLE MENUS

"A deft flick of the wrist could launch a fish from Dublin Bay into a waiting pan in Aidan MacManus' kitchen. As it is, the ocean's finest tends to travel the 400 yards from Howth Pier in a rather more sedate fashion since only the pick of the morning's catch passes muster in this renowned fish restaurant. We have nurtured a network of trusty suppliers who can rustle up everything from locally caught lobster and crab to organically grown vegetables. Most of our fish is landed here in Howth and is sourced for us by Oceanpath, Nicky’s Plaice and Beshoffs to our specifications. Incidentally, our Smoked Salmon comes from the last traditional smoking kiln in Howth, in Nicky’s Plaice, and smoked to order for us by Nicky & Martin McLoughlin. (Well worth a visit – all are welcome). Lobster and crab come from Balscadden Bay, only a stone’s throw from our front door, where our friend John Sheridan fishes exclusively for us. Other shellfish, such as Oysters, Mussels, Clams etc come from approved beds in various locations, according to season. Where we can, we source our vegetables from local organic growers. Similarly, our cheese-board features only Irish Farmhouse cheeses. Wild Game in Winter is also a favourite. "

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A Tasting Menu in Honour of our Local Beef from the Bellingham family farm at “The Cliffs” up on the Baily. Plenty of Fish in Howth but not much Beef!– only about 12 or 16 cattle per year. The cattle graze free-range for the final summer of their lives, and thanks to the complex mix of grasses and plants , achieve wonderful condition and weight.

Starter Plate

Carpaccio
Silverside
Roast Rib Eye
Steak Tartare

***
The Soup Collection

Consomme
Oxtail
Windsor

***
Baily Beef Salad
Tongue in Cheek with a little Tail!
Mustard Dressing

***
Sirloin Steak
Red Wine Sauce , Pepper Sauce or Garlic Butter
Sauteed Onions, Grilled Mushroom & Chips

Or

Steak & Kidney Pie

***
Coffee & Petit Fours €50.00


With Thanks to Ray Collier, our local Butcher

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Game Tasting Menu

In winter when the weather turns cold and stormy and the nights dark, our minds turn to the warmth and wholesomeness of Wild Game. We are very fortunate in Ireland to have a wonderful supply of wild birds and venison. All our game is sourced and supplied by Wild Irish Game in Glenmalure, Co Wicklow. Our Game Tasting Menu features many of the varieties available.


Starter Plate
Pressed Duck Breast
Game Terrine
Veal Stuffed Quail
Pigeon Breast

***

The Soup Collection
Consomme
Pheasant A Leekie
Hare Veloute

***

Warm Salad of Snipe & Woodcock

***
Double Duck
Mallard & Widgeon, Plum Sauce
or

Venison Steak
Grilled Mushroom, Red Onion Compote & Juniper Jus

or
Half Roast Pheasant
Traditional Garnish of Game Chips, Bread Sauce & Game Jus

***

Coffee & Petit Fours €50.00


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DINNER MENU

Nicky’s Smoked Salmon & House Marinated Salmon

Rope Mussels Mariniere from Roaring Water Bay, Co Cork

Caesar Salad with Avocado & Local Shrimp

Tempura of Local Squid, Spicy Tomato Sauce

4 Crumbed Oysters, Fried, Cucumber Noodles & Mustard Dressing

***
Prawn Bisque, Crab Chowder or Today’s Vegetable Soup

***
Fillet of Red Gurnard
Cream & Mushroom Sauce

Baked Cod
On a bed of Ratatouille, Curry Butter

Fillet of Brill
Pearl Onions, Bacon & Red Wine Sauce

Chicken Kiev
Breast of Free- Range Chicken from Green Acres Farm, Co Cavan

Sirloin Steak
Sauteed Onions, Red Wine Sauce

***
Choice of Dessert or Irish Farmhouse Cheese

***

Minimum of 2 Courses €28.00 3 Courses €35.00 4 Courses €42.00
Tea or Coffee of your choice served with Petit Fours €4.50

An Optional Service Charge of 12.5% will apply to parties of 6 or more

Winter Hours (Oct-April) Dinner Wed- Sat from 6.30pm Sundays 1 -7.00
Hugel Wine Bar from 6.30pm Thurs – Sat., 4pm Sundays


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A LA CARTE


Native Irish Oysters from Micheal Kelly, Kilcolgan, Co Galway 6 €18.00
Served raw on the Half Shell 9 €26.00
12 €34.00

Rock Oysters from Micheal Kelly 6 €12.50
Served Raw in the half shell or 9 €18.00
Crumbed & Fried, Cucumber Noodles & Mustard Dressing 12 €23.00

Balscadden Bay Crab Mayonnaise or Mornay €14.00

Rudd’s Black & White Pudding with Seared Scallops €12.50
Red Onion Compote & Pesto

Prawn & Shrimp Cocktail €16.50
MAIN COURSES

Piccata of Organic Atlantic Salmon €28.00
Sauteed Cucumber & Wholegrain Mustard Sauce

Fillet of Turbot €32.00
With Prawn Sauce & Local Shrimp

Black Sole Meuniere Regular €36.00
Large €44.00
Lobster from our own pots in Balscadden Bay 570g/20oz €38.00 Dublin Lawyer or Butter Sauce 740g/26oz €50.00

Lobster, Grilled or Steamed 450g/Per Lb €30.50

Lobster Share (2 persons) €115.00
Experience the distinctly different tastes of Lobster Steamed, Grilled & in a Dublin Lawyer Sauce

Dublin Bay Prawns Starter €25.00
Grilled with Garlic Butter, Mornay or Tempura Main €38.50

Sirloin Steak
Sauteed Onions & Red Wine Sauce €28.50

All Beef & Meat served in this Restaurant is Irish.

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VIEW ALL JUST ASK RESTAURANT OF THE MONTH WINNERS



Just Ask!” is a public awareness campaign that aims to encourage consumers when eating out to look for information on where the food (particularly meat) on their plate comes from, and encourages chefs to provide this information on their menus. The programme supports both large and smaller artisan suppliers, encouraging both Irish diners and visitors from abroad to support restaurants that are in turn supporting their suppliers.

Here at Georgina Campbell Guides we have always been avid supporters of the ‘eat local’ concept, and we always enjoy reading menus that have a real sense of place. The dining experience is greatly enriched by knowing that the food on your plate is inspired by the produce and traditions of the area, and sourced nearby – and we would love to see more chefs sharing that precious information with their guests. 

If you are a visitor to the area, learning a little about local food and the people who produce it adds a special extra dimension to the visit – and, for residents, it reinforces a natural pride in the good things of their locality and makes a meal all the more enjoyable.

So, we are delighted by the high standard of menus that continue to be submitted for our ' “Just Ask!” Restaurant of the Month Competition', menus that really speak of the best of Irish foods – and the dedication of both the people who make them, and the chefs who select them to create wonderful dishes with real Irish flavour for our enjoyment.

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