Jim & Anthony Smith’s attractive two-storey restaurant is just around the corner from the Tourist Information Office. Set on the lovely pedestrianised St Kieran Street, it has a smart and very appealing frontage, with a bright awning over outside tables.
First appearances are deceptive, as it seems to be quite small on entering through doors that open out onto the pavement, allowing some tables to be semi-alfresco - an attractive feature on hot summer evenings.
A blackboard menu outside lists out some of the treats to be had, and once inside you will find a warmly informal wine bar in terracotta and cream with a flagstone floor, exposed walls and décor inspired by the paintings of Toulouse-Lautrec creating an atmospheric vibe. Friendly, well-informed staff are quick to meet and greet, offering iced water with mint leaves and sliced cucumber and explaining anything necessary on varied menus that offer something for everyone.
The ‘tapas’ label just means more smaller plates and a more sociable way of eating and sharing dishes, but everything on the seasonally changing menus is cooked to order as before and based on locally produced ingredients.
There’s a full bar (with Murphys stout available on draught) but for most people wine is the obvious accompaniment for tapas and the wide ranging wine offering includes many bottles sourced from small New World producers.
Children are made welcome and a Kids Size Me menu is offered - also home made gluten-free bread.
With tasty cooking, warmly informative service and good value, the atmospheric casual dining experience at Lautrecs promises to be very enjoyable.
*A sister restaurant, the Stonehouse, is in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.