Situated in what was once the stables and dairy of Kilkenny Castle - and overlooking the craft courtyard - Kathleen Moran's deservedly popular first floor restaurant is situated above temptations of a different sort, on display in the famous craft shop.
Also on the ground floor, The Foodhall features local artisan food and lovely displays of the in-house baking (breads, gateaux, meringues...) and preserves, along with prepared dishes and soups in refrigerated units. With posters of local food champions on display, visitors are left in no doubt about the food philosophy here - and the stairwell up to the restaurant is lined with large black and white images of the kitchen staff, as well as fruit and condiment displays.
The restaurant itself is impressively decorated with previously unseen works by the artist Jane O'Malley, who lives in the area. During the day, it's a self-service restaurant and has long been known for wholesome and consistently delicious fare showcasing local produce.
The day begins with breakfast for guests staying at Butler House (see entry), as well as non-resident visitors, and offers a changing array of goodies, and it is a popular lunch destination.
This excellent and reasonably priced Kilkenny restaurants well-designed to provide an accessible display of wonderful food, all freshly prepared every day. Home baking is an especially strong point, and there is plenty of hot food to choose from as well - seafood chowder with home-made soda bread, for example, and beef & pepper casserole with button mushrooms or a speciality chicken & broccoli crumble with local Lavistown cheese. The lovely crumbly Lavistown cheese is also used in great salads, which are always colourful and full of life - fresh beetroot, asparagus, spinach, red onion, coriander & Lavistown, for example, combine to make a salad worth travelling for, and the selection changes all the time.
Anocht Restaurant: On late week evenings (Thu-Sat) and bank holiday Sundays, the first floor room is cleverly transformed to create an appealing ambience for dinner. [See separate entry]