On an elevated site with views towards Carrick on Suir and to the Comeragh mountains, this pretty white cottage with its cheerful red half door enjoys a lovely rural setting - and it's an appealing property, with two stone-faced outhouses and a small cottage alongside, and ample outside seating for al fresco dining when the weather allows.
Kilkieran Cottage has had a reputation for good food for some years, with a loyal following of customers who also enjoy the location and the ambience. It is currently owned by Ade Walsh and operating very successfully, with highly regarded Kilkenny chef Neil McEvoy in the kitchen.
It's full of character,with exposed roof beams, lots of pine, some modern paintings and a new reception and wine area, where coffee is also served – and, behind it, a service hatch, where arriving guests can see Neil preparing their meal.
In the restaurant, generous tables are set up classically with crisp white linen, rolled linen napkins, a single fresh flower and night light, good white china, cutlery and glassware making a promising setting for your meal. Neil’s food style is contemporary Irish and he is known for his commitment to showcasing local and wild foods, so you can look forward to some delicious seasonal fare.
A friendly and well-informed waitress is quick to settle diners in with menus that are keenly priced for the quality of food and cooking offered – and, although not long, they offer something a little different.
Starters might include home cured salmon - served with green beans, toasted almonds, wasabi mayo, perhaps – and an interesting dish of crisp pork croquettes with crubeen carpaccio and haw ketchup.
Pork often features among the most popular main courses too - belly, perhaps, glazed with Mileeven honey (from nearby Kilkenny), served with truffled savoy cabbage, apple compote and sage jus. Fresh fish choices may include an unusual monkfish dish which is roasted on the bone and served with braised cos lettuce, pea purée and chorizo.
Desserts that also have a ‘taste of the countryside’ are too good to resist so why not give in gracefully and finish, perhaps, with a blackberry crème brulée, served with chocolate chip cookies, and good coffee.
The wine list is short and to the point, with good tasting notes - seven white and seven red in the €25-€32 bracket. Of the four house wines (€20-26), two are available by glass (€5.50 & €7.00).
Everything has great flavour, and service is friendly and professional so, together with Neil’s perfectly cooked and appealingly presented food, this all adds up to a very good meal - and the setting is lovely.
It would really appeal to overseas visitors as the cottage has a slight ‘Quiet Man’ look and the views of the Comeragh Mountains are spectacular on a sunny day, so it’s an ideal place to bring visiting guests.