“Just Ask!” Restaurant of the Month for April - Black Cat, Galway

A distinctive black and white three-storey building just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean, the Black Cat in downtown Salthill has been a casual dining destination of choice for discerning Galwegians - and a happy find for visitors to the city - since it was opened by Joanna Paszkiewicz and Chef Leon Mellsop in 2011.

The simple billing 'Wine-Tapas-Jazz' gives a good sense of this relaxed and warmly atmospheric venue, and the special ambience - plus consistently excellent cooking and great staff - are among the secrets of its success. And another is the partnership that they’ve created between a Mediterranean cooking style and Irish ingredients, as Black Cat specialises in high quality, locally sourced food with an emphasis on casual tapas style small plates.

While many fans come especially for the tapas style dishes, there are sharing platters and salads too and plenty of appealing traditional dining options, including evening specials like venison loin or Colleran's char-grilled angus sirloin steak available after 6pm.

Somehow managing to achieve a rare combination of quantity and quality, Black Cat sets out its standards very clearly with a sourcing statement on the menu ('Our beef and chicken are Irish and locally produced') and the culinarily curious will also find some fascinating supplier information on the website. The suppliers’ list highlights Colleran's Butchers of Galway city (“we couldn't trust another more!”) and specialists such as The Village Dairy (organic milk) and Steve Gould (organic grower) as well as regional heavyweights including Castlemine Farm, The Friendly Farmer, Ali's Fishmarket, Marty's Mussels of Killary Harbour and Sheridans Cheesemongers.

And the drinks menu is equally interesting, offering well selected wines supplied by family owned wine importer and distributor, Mackenway Wines, a good choice of beers and ciders (including some local names) by Grand Cru Beers who specialise in the best brews from home and abroad - and no less than 12 different flavours on the tea list, including the exotic sounding 'ayurveda & rooibush'... Quite a place.

Black Cat, 179 Upper Salthill, Galway https://blackcat.ie/
Opening Hours: Sun-Wed 12-9, Thu-Sat 12-10.
Bookings: (091) 501 007

Black Cat menus can be viewed online here with detailed supplier information here.

For additional information on Just Ask and previous Just Ask winners, or to find out how to get involved, visit www.bordbia.ie/justask

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