Formerly a bank, Peter Greany and Maeve Moore's popular café is in a three-storey building on Parliament Street, with classic black railings and a lovely Georgian doorway - a fine setting for a good business.
With natural light flooding in through tall windows and doors at the front, it’s a light and airy space and the black and white themed room makes an interesting place to eat, with a handsome Art Deco ceiling and wall lights, padded banquette seating - and a view of the chefs at work, seen through a pass hatch at the back.
Short but well thought out menus offer plenty of tempting choices, with local producers given due recognition. A member of the Taste of Kilkenny Food Trail, the focus at Foodworks has always been on local ingredients – and this really means local in their case, as much of the food served comes from the family farm on the outskirts of Kilkenny City, where they have a food production kitchen and smokery, grow vegetables and herbs in polytunnels and rear their own rare breed pigs.
The dinner menu, simply presented on A4 paper, offers about six starters and nine main courses; highlights include excellent fish cooking and, of course, their own pork – which also features at lunchtime, when the choices might include a platter of free range pork along with dishes such as, eggs Benedict, the Works burger and Fish n’chips, plus daily specials. Desserts including variations on old favourites, such as baked Alaska with lemon drizzle, may be hard to resist.
Smartly dressed young Irish staff sport the Foodworks logo on their aprons and have good knowledge of both the menu and the wine list - which includes two house wines by the glass, half carafe and full carafe.
While quite casual, the overall experience here is satisfying and Foodworks is an asset to Kilkenny.