Away from the main road to anywhere, the pretty and well-preserved riverside village of Clonegal is on the borders of Wexford, Carlow and Wicklow. And here, in a fine 18th century building, you will find Henry and Stephanie Stone's small but beautifully appointed and atmospheric restaurant.
The building has been very sympathetically converted, with many delightful details – a table beside a tiny old cottagey window in the back of the dining room allows a peep into the kitchen, for example, and a little gap in an uneven original corridor wall seemed tailor made as a shelf for a night light.
Guests arriving on a chilly night will find a welcoming log fire burning in the lovely sitting room and, in the dining room itself, a glowing stove in a big open stone fireplace has wood stacked up alongside ready for refills. Night lights flicker everywhere, and simply laid tables are graced with a stone mustard jar holding a simple bouquet of fresh flowers in season.
There’s also a pretty courtyard used as a retreat for smokers, or for dining in fine weather - and a Chef’s Table allows parties of 4-6 to dine in the kitchen and observe the chefs at work.
The warm welcome and country charm belies an impressive professionalism - Henry Stone is one of Ireland's finest chefs, and he and Stephanie make a great team so guests can relax in the knowledge that everything will run seamlessly.
Deceptively simple menus based on seasonal foods might begin with south coast crab risotto with roast pepper, or Henry's famous chicken liver paté (a big hit at the local farmers' market) served with apple chutney and toasted brioche.
Of the main courses, Wexford beef - matured for seven weeks - is a delight (ribeye steak with flat mushrooms and roast shallots, perhaps), and game - roast loin of Wicklow venison with rosti potatoes and parsnip purée, perhaps - is a treat when in season.
Although this is red meat country, seafood - perfectly seared fresh scallops with creamed leeks perhaps - will also be offered, and there is always an appealing vegetarian dish such as a richly delicious hot and sour red pepper stew with tomato, aubergine and chick peas.
Simple, perfectly cooked side dishes of seasonal vegetables might include sugar snap peas with sesame seeds and new potatoes with parsley butter, and many of the tempting desserts feature seasonal fruits - or you may want to try the local cheese plate.
Suppliers are credited on the menu and a short but well chosen wine list includes a good fairly-priced house selection as well as a number of wines by the glass.
Stephanie is an outstanding host and Henry - a talented and dedicated chef running a serious kitchen - has a well-earned reputation for enticing menus, faultless cooking and good value, making Sha-Roe well worth a detour.
Space is limited so reservations are essential, especially at weekends and for the Chef’s Table menu. After Sunday lunch, a visit to historical Huntington Castle (just around the corner) might be recommended - and this interesting place also offers B&B.