Just Ask Restaurant of the Month for April - Restaurant Sage

 The “Just Ask!” Restaurant of the Month winner for April is Restaurant Sage, Letterkenny, Co Donegal

Garvan Gallagher

Just across the road from An Grianan Theatre in Letterkenny, Restaurant Sage is the brainchild of Donegal man and hospitality professional Garvan Gallagher, who travelled far and wide before settling back here to open the restaurant of his dreams in 2013. It’s a lovely big modern room and very simply decorated - think local photographs of Donegal set against white walls. Just the right setting when you want the food to take centre stage.

Here, together with Head Chef Helen Burke, Garvan Gallagher is focused on giving a real taste of Donegal to diners and almost everything on the menu is sourced within 25 miles of the restaurant. It is a real passion and they love to share it - so, not only is there a supplier list giving credit to producers but, taking this a step further, they also go out with staff to visit their suppliers, who are then profiled on the website and FaceBook page, with links to their own sites.

Although also a trained chef, Garvan (who describes himself as a 'food fanatic') looks after front of house, so you may expect enthusiastic engagement if you have an interest in provenance, or rural life, or any of the many other things that touch on our food stories.

Restaurant Sage, Letterkenny

You'll hear all about people like the butchers Paddy Gildea and his son Lee, who farm just outside Letterkenny and have a butchers shop in the town; Gerard Noone who produces Noones Farm Chicken out on the beautiful Inishowen peninsula; John and Gareth Austin of Ballyholey Farm who supply the freshest of seasonal vegetables all year (and have a farm shop out on the Lifford road too); the Wilhare family who supply fresh organic mussels from Mulroy Bay, just 15 minutes away - which is also the source of the scallops supplied by Gerry Gallagher at North West Shellfish.

And there are many more dedicated characters in this growing band, including Declan, of The Haven Smoke House at Carrigart, who smokes organic salmon in a seriously cute traditional cottage, and does it the traditional way by hanging the fish over smoke - only in this case the smoke is produced by peat which is thousands of years old, and tempered by beechwood to give it the best possible flavour. You can see it for yourself in the Perennial Plate’s series of videos from Ireland ;-) http://www.theperennialplate.com/

It's music to the ears of food lovers, and these superb ingredients are the building blocks for Helen's contemporary cooking, so you'll taste the county's best on the plate. A starter of Steamed Mussels with Garlic and White Wine Sauce, for example, showcases Mulroy Bay Organic Mussels, and main courses include the ever-popular dry-aged steak; sourced from Gildea Butchers, sirloin is offered on the early menu (with a small supplement applied) with fillet an option on the à la carte, and Quality Noones Farm Chicken inspires a good few dishes too.

Letterkenny is blessed with a good range of quality restaurants and, with its particular focus on local ingredients, Sage enriches the town's offering for locals and visitors alike.

Restaurant Sage - dish


Restaurant Sage
A La Carte Menu

We’d like to extend our warmest welcome to you and thank you for choosing Sage as your food destination this evening…

Helen and I are keen for you to relax and enjoy the delights we offer here at Sage…

“We are proud and committed to using only local suppliers. We have spent time meeting with each of our farmers and producers to ensure that everything on our menu is sourced within a 25 mile radius of Letterkenny. Gildea’s Farm Butchers supply us with their Dry Aged Beef and Glenswilly Pork. Our Chicken is reared on the Inishowen peninsula and supplied by Noone’s Farm. Greencastle and killybegs Fishmongers supply us with fresh Atlantic fish caught off our coast. We use two fantastic family suppliers, the Gallagher’s and Wilhare’s from Mulroy Bay to source our Hand Dived Scallops and Organic Mussels. Our seasonal vegetables are grown and supplied by Ballyholey Farm and we use Donegal Rapeseed Oil to add a local touch to our sauces. If you would like any further information on our sourcing, please don’t hesitate, Just Ask…”

To Start:

Ballyholey Vegetable Soup of the Evening
Ballyholey Vegetables & Housemade Porridge Oat Wheaten Bread.

Mulroy Bay Mussels
Moules Marinieres, Toasted Parmesan & Garlic Ciabatta.

The Haven Turf Smoked Salmon & Crab Parcels
Crab Mousse, Wheaten Bread, Lemon & Chive Crème Fraiche, Pickled Cucumber.

Yeats Country Goats Cheese
Ballyholey Beetroot Three Ways, Carpaccio, Puree, Jelly, Pickled Vegetables,
Pistachio Crumb, Organic Salad.

Ballyholey Crispy Hen Egg & Clonakilty Black Pudding
Roast Parsnip, Baby Radish, Spinach Puree.

Organic Chicken & Wild Mushroom Ravioli
Housemade Pasta, Creamed Leeks, Smoked Bacon Veloute, Wild Rocket Pesto.

To Follow:

Gildea’s Dry Aged 8oz Fillet of Beef
Roast Portobello Mushroom, Confit Shallot, Spinach Puree, Red Wine & Thyme Jus.

Gildea’s Dry Aged 10oz Sirloin of Beef
Roast Portobello Mushroom, Confit Shallot, Spinach Puree, Red Wine & Thyme Jus.

Noone’s Chicken Supreme
Cranberry & Pine nut Quinoa, Roast Shallot, Asparagus Tips, Beetroot Puree, Madeira & Thyme Jus.

Noone’s Chicken Breast
Fresh Fettucine, Honey Glazed Baby Carrots, Shaved Aged Parmesan, Carrot Purée.

Doherty’s Pork Fillet in Parma Ham
Apple Compote, Glazed Baby Carrots, Sweet Potato Fondant, Carrot Purée, Creamy Cider & Chive Jus.

Doherty’s Rump of Donegal Lamb
Roasted Red Pepper & Chive Cous Cous, Confit Tomato, Crispy Kale, Spiced Aubergine Purée, Rosemary Jus.

Pan Roasted Fillet of Greencastle Turbot
Maple Glazed Chicken Wings, Garlic Baby Potatoes, Cockles, Charred Baby Onions, Wild Mushroom Purée,

Killybegs Landed Seared Seabass
Basil Orzo, Mulroy Bay Mussels, Cockles, Poached Samphire, Basil Puree.

Basil & Garden Pea Orzo
Parmesan Tuile, Fresh Peas, Pickled Courgette, Samphire, Shaved Aged Parmesan.

Lemon & Red Pepper Cous Cous
Roasted Seasonal Vegetables, Pickled Beetroot, Toasted Pine nuts, Organic Salad.

*Please note that some of our dishes may contain allergens, please ask your server for advice

On The Side: €2.95
Creamy Champ Organic Salad Garlic Baby Potatoes
Roasted Organic Vegetables Triple Cooked Chips

To Finish:

Lemon Posset
Pistachio Shortbread, Balsamic Berries, Basil Cream.

Orange & Almond Torte
Charred Orange, Honeycomb, Bourbon Vanilla Ice cream.

Mango & Coconut Cheesecake
Toasted Coconut, Macerated Mango.

Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake
Poached Apricots, Chocolate Soil, Apricot Sorbet.

Carrot, Cardamom & Ginger Cake
Candied Pecans, Orange Crème.

*Please note that some of our dishes may contain allergens, please ask your server for advice


John Graham at Ballyholey Farm - Balleyholey
Lee and Paddy Gildea at Gildea’s Butcher – Glenswilly and Letterkenny
Cahir and Hugh Wilhare at Mulroy Mussels – Mulroy Bay
Gerry Gallagher at North West Shellfish (Scallops) – Mulroy Bay
Gerard Noone at Noones Farm Chicken – Inishowen
John Molloy at Yeats County Cheese – Convoy
Steven at Doherty’s Butchers - Letterkenny
Declan and Sue at the Haven Smoke House - Carrigart
Dermot and Paul – Albatross Seafoods
AJ Lockhart at Lockhart Milk – Ramelton
David and Liam at Trio Foods – Letterkenny
William at MCM Wines – Ballyshannon
*Please Note That Some Of Our Dishes Could Contain Food Allergens, Please Ask Your Server For Advice

Pre Theatre Menu available Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from 5pm – 7pm. Available from 4pm – 8.30pm on Sundays. Pre Theatre Menu also available to groups over 10 people when booked in advance. Most items are Gluten Free, please ask waiting staff for advice.More vegetarian options are available.



Just Ask!” is a public awareness campaign that aims to encourage consumers when eating out to look for information on where the food (particularly meat) on their plate comes from, and encourages chefs to provide this information on their menus. The programme supports both large and smaller artisan suppliers, encouraging both Irish diners and visitors from abroad to support restaurants that are in turn supporting their suppliers.

Here at Georgina Campbell Guides we have always been avid supporters of the ‘eat local’ concept, and we always enjoy reading menus that have a real sense of place. The dining experience is greatly enriched by knowing that the food on your plate is inspired by the produce and traditions of the area, and sourced nearby – and we would love to see more chefs sharing that precious information with their guests.  

If you are a visitor to the area, learning a little about local food and the people who produce it adds a special extra dimension to the visit – and, for residents, it reinforces a natural pride in the good things of their locality and makes a meal all the more enjoyable.

So, we are delighted by the high standard of menus that continue to be submitted for our ' “Just Ask!” Restaurant of the Month Competition', menus that really speak of the best of Irish foods – and the dedication of both the people who make them, and the chefs who select them to create wonderful dishes with real Irish flavour for our enjoyment.





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