Although this attractive restaurant on the square is quite modern, it is in a Victorian building and proprietors Cillian Murphy and Mary Redmond have retained period features to keep the authentic atmosphere of the former pub.
Cillian is an ex-fishing skipper who ensures the freshest fish possible and the effort that goes into ensuring the best from suppliers shows, in succulent, well-flavoured food. He is in charge of front of house, and Mary is the chef - a winning combination that has earned Murphy Blacks a reputation well beyond the immediate area.
Although Mary's menus have a leaning towards seafood - and her specialities include crab tartlet and a superb main course of cannelloni of plaice - meat eaters are well catered for too. You'll find classics like rack of lamb and steaks, and there is always a vegetarian choice.
A board outside the restaurant lists specials such as scallops Mornay, pan fried turbot and crab claws, while the regular menu is likely to offer the likes of seafood pie, chargrilled prawns with Thai green curry sauce, deep fried plaice with red onion and caper butter sauce along with wholesome dishes for meat-lovers such as steak, kidney & oyster pie and lamb shanks.
The selection of home-made desserts changes monthly and a balanced, accessibly priced, wine list includes a good choice of half bottles.
Aside from the restaurant and its good food, Murphy Blacks is the place to come for local knowledge, generously dispensed. Cillian is Chairperson of Loop Head Tourism and, tireless in his promotion of this wonderful area, he likes nothing better than talking to visitors about all the special places they should see and the endless interesting (and, in many cases, unique) things there are to do.
Kilkee is like that.