James and Carol Cullinan's stylish and comfortable little restaurant overlooks the Aille river, where you may even be entertained fishermen fly fishing while you enjoy your meal.
The Cullinans are known for their hospitality, the care and simplicity of James's cooking, and their commitment to promoting local foods and artisan producers - suppliers are listed on the menu. Their loyal following is well earned and, if you plan to stay here, it is advisable to make a dinner reservation at the time of booking your accommodation..
An open fire welcomes guests to the front sitting room where Carol - the perfect host - offers an à la carte menu and (if you are dining early) an attractive early dinner menu which gives great value, with three or four choices (including vegetarian dishes) on each course.
Although other excellent choices are offered, the speciality here is seafood, all of which is caught off the West coast, and delivered each morning by their local supplier, Garrihy's Seafoods, before being filleted and portioned by James.
The cooking style is modern Irish with a French influence, and seafood showcased on menus includes Burren smoked salmon, Doolin crabmeat and Aran scallops; depending on season and availability the range offered usually includes prawns, salmon (fresh as well as smoked), cod, monkfish and john dory, to name just a few examples.
And carnivores are well looked after too, with Burren lamb among the specialities and other meats and poultry to choose from too, such as Black Angus fillet steak, duck breast, cornfed chicken and delicious starter a terrine of port and ham hock.
To finish there are tempting, dramatically presented home-made desserts - a gorgeous warm rhubarb and ginger crumble, vanilla pod ice cream and baked Hawaiian Alaska, roasted macadamia nuts, passion fruit juice, perhaps - or Irish farmhouse cheeses.
A local wine supplier travels to France regularly and this quite extensive wine list understandably favours France; it is well organised by style (crisp fresh dry white, smooth medium bodied etc), with many wines available by the glass and plenty of half bottles too.
Genuinely caring hospitality and excellent service from Carol is an outstanding feature of a meal here, from start to finish - and James is a well known fiddle player, so you may well also have the opportunity to enjoy another side of his talents later on in the evening.
Seats 25; D Thu-Sat & Mon-Tue, 6-9. A la carte; early D €24.50/29.50 (Mon-Fri, 6-6.45pm). Children welcome. House wines €22. SC discretionary. Closed Sun & Wed, Nov - Easter.
There is a sitting room for guests' use and ,although they vary depending on their situation (some overlook the river at the back) the eight en-suite guest rooms are all attractive and well-appointed, with comfortable beds, power showers, phones, flat screen television, tea & coffee making facilities.
Expect comfort, warm hospitality, and a tasty breakfast - the traditional Irish Breakfast of course, but also alternative such as Eggs Benedict, and very good homemade brown bread. All make this conveniently located guesthouse a good place to stay, at a reasonable price.