Right in the heart of Dingle, Patricia Fenton’s charming restaurant has everything that visitors look for in this fascinating town - including a nice folksy atmosphere, a pretty patio garden where you can eat in fine weather and and a cosy fire for chilly days.
There's history too, as Patricia's family has been in the fishing industry here for over a century, and the restaurant is on the site of her great-grandfather's mackerel curing yard. And he'd be proud of what she's doing here today, as simple wooden furniture and cheerful artwork on the walls set the tone for relaxing meals where local foods take centre stage.
But Patricia's family background is also in farming so, although this is mainly a seafood destination, she takes pride in offering the best of produce from the land as well as the sea. Depending on the time of year, there may be lamb from the family farm and also local beef provided by the sturdy little black Angus and Dexter cattle that thrive on the Dingle peninsula. And sometimes there will be unusual ingredients too, such as periwinkles foraged in a little cove west of Dingle near their clifftop farm.
A nice little lunch menu offers appealing light bites such as oysters & Guinness (three oysters and a half pint), Dingle Bay mussels various ways, an Ardsallagh farmhouse goats cheese salad and an organic Dingle dexter chargrillled beefburger - all for under a tenner; gourmet sandwiches are also available (with a choice of soup, mixed salad or fries) and a few more substantial dishes such as roasted fillet of hake, as well as homely desserts like delicious hot brandied blackberries with vanilla ice cream.
In the evening the Fenton's Flexi-Menu offers a balanced choice and great value, although the selection of seafood will be quite limited. It pays to take your time before deciding what to go for as there are daily blackboard specials and also a wide choice on the à la carte, with around ten 'Small Plates' and a similar number of main courses on offer, including a wide range of local fish and seafood.
Highlights could include seared Dingle Bay scallops with smoky bacon, crushed potatoes & Annascaul black pudding, and hot buttered lobster from Paddock Point out at Ventry. The style is generous and it’s advisable for diners with a small appetite to check portion size with the very nice and helpful staff when ordering, as some of the starters may be suitable as main courses. The cooking is admirably straightforward, allowing the beautiful fresh ingredients to speak for themselves
As in many restaurants, some dishes on the à la carte menu can seem expensive at first sight, but everything is based on the best quality ingredients - and the special menus offer very good value. And there's an informative, neatly presented and customer-friendly wine list, offering a couple of organic bottles alongside many popular wines, a 'Quaffers Selection' (one and half litre carafes of easy-drinking house wines), four half bottles and a decent choice by the glass.
Self catering accommodation is also offered.