Behind a smart marble frontage, John and Heather Dyson’s restaurant in the centre of Portumna is an attractive premises on two floors, with a few tables in the ground floor reception area - used mainly for early dinners and anyone who finds stairs difficult - and the main dining room on the first floor, with a pleasant decked area off it for use in fine weather.
The interior is bright and uncluttered - pale wood floor, darkwood tables, comfortable upholstered chairs in brown or cream leather and good modern seascapes on the walls - and the simplicity is effective.
John, who had experience in some distinguished kitchens abroad before settling here, takes pride in sourcing the best of ingredients locally where possible, with an emphasis on organic foods, fish brought in daily from Galway - and the polytunnel produce that they grow themselves.
His menus offer about half a dozen starters (including a Galway Bay chowder, perhaps), and 10 main courses - which sensibly include several steak options as well as wide range of other choices, including some sophisticated fish dishes and perhaps some dishes with traditional influences as in grilled rack of lamb with cassoulet of bacon & cabbage.
Portions are generous (as are the well-made sauces - it can be a good idea to ask for sauces on the side), so you may have to plan ahead to save room for classic desserts like molten chocolate pudding, crème brulée with caramelised plums or lemon meringue pie.
A short but well assembled wine list also emphasises organic production and the house wines are great value.
Good food, pleasing surroundings and friendly service make for an enjoyable outing - this restaurant is a great asset to the area.