The pretty little village of Multyfarnham is only a few miles from Mullingar, a perfect short detour off the N4 if you're travelling and need to stop for a meal or as a destination in its own right.
Niamh and Paul Murphy's restaurant is a low, grey stone building next to the bridge on the main street, with the name inspired by the hearth that provides the focal point in the main room - on chilly days day, a welcoming open coal fire makes the room beautifully snug and cosy.
The menu is fairly evenly split between crowd-pleasers such as fried goat's cheese with Cumberland sauce, mussels with garlic, white wine and cream, steak with brandy pepper sauce, apple tart and creme brulee and more inventive dishes like paprika-spiced monkfish with a nettle cream sauce, a trio of pork with a sage and apple jus or a pea and shallot risotto with ginger. Either way, though, the cooking is confident and well balanced.
In the Guide's experience, portion sizes are extremely generous: a starter roulade of salmon, for example, may be large enough to pass as a main course and you could be hard pressed to finish the wheel of fried goat's cheese. Main courses are even more plentiful and come with a selection of vegetables on the side.
They do a particularly good lunch trade, especially for people coming from the Longford side, and their early bird and Sunday lunch set menus (€20 for two courses or €25 for three courses) are great value for money.
Service is very friendly and unobtrusive and, while some diners may be disappointed by an apparent lack of seasonality or mention of provenance, An Tintain strikes a balance between comforting old reliables and more creative dishes, all prepared with a light touch and unexpected flourishes.
Well worth a stop when you're in the midlands.