2014 Award Winners NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR 2014
Clashganny House Restaurant, Borris, Co Carlow
This is always one of our most hotly-contested wards – by which I mean that the ‘short list’ is anything but - and how could it be otherwise when the establishments under consideration are all fresh and new and full of enthusiasm? It’s mainly the closures that have been hitting the news in recent times, of course, but a surprising thing about the last few years is the number of openings there have been.
The majority of recent openings have been in cities, especially Dublin, so it is particularly pleasing to give recognition to an excellent new rural restaurant opened by a talented and experienced husband and wife team - Robert & Karen White - especially as it is close to a lush beauty spot, and with one of Ireland’s most famous scenic views nearby.
Signed down a narrow road, it’s in a fine old mid 19th century granite house and may look a little bare (they only opened a couple of months ago) but it’s set in woodland and the garden will soon grow in again. Two smartly furnished dining rooms flank the front door and, as you enter, you’ll notice the kitchen door is open at the end of the hall, so you can see the chef at work - a welcoming touch.
Fine dining is the style, but with a good dash of rural realism added - yes, you can get a good steak here, albeit a classy version. With warmly professional service and accessible pricing it’s a great addition to the area and set to become a key destination for discerning diners.
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