'Just Ask!' Restaurant of the Month for August - Waterfront House & Restaurant, Enniscrone, Co. Sligo

Poised promisingly just across the road from Enniscrone's famous beach - and a couple of doors from the even more famous Kilcullen’s Seaweed Baths (est. 1912) - this pleasant boutique hotel came into energetic new ownership in 2018.

This marked an important change for the town, and the new team - Jason Horkan, Daniel Mayr and their partners Yvonne Kathrein (head chef) and Sonata (front of house), all of whom have extensive experience in hospitality - lost no time in establishing Waterfront House & Restaurant as a destination for food lovers.

The busy restaurant is the beating heart of Waterfront House and it has become the go-to place for discerning locals and visitors alike. Overlooking the sea, it's a pleasantly atmospheric space on two levels, with warm and welcoming staff who quickly make arriving guests feel at home.

Menus leaning towards seafood and steak have a strong sense of seasonality and local provenance and there's a fascinating Artisan Producers Map on display in the restaurant.

Nailing their colours to the mast when it comes to declaring a commitment to supporting small producers and conveying a sense of place, the map provides vividly presented information about the quality suppliers that they regularly use in the local area and around Ireland, and it can also be accessed on the website. “Our local suppliers are very important to us and our story,” says Jason Horkan, “We love to promote them on our menus and as much as we can on our social media and website."

Key suppliers mapped include McHale Meats of Castlebar, for beef and poultry, and two specialist pork suppliers - Michael Carr Foods of Ballina and Andarl Farm near Claremorris - and there are many more. Garvin Seafoods of Ballina and Connemara Smoke House near Clifden supply fresh and smoked fish respectively, for example, and Falcon Fruits in Ballina and Kilglass Organic Gardens supply the fresh fruit and vegetables. Their dairy producers are especially interesting as they are distributed all around the country. Near to home, Dozios cheese from neighbouring Mayo may be new to some diners, while another lesser known ingredient to try is Gaelic Escargots from Co Carlow which are the stars of an unusual risotto.

Menus offered include dedicated vegetarian and vegan menus, an excellent Sunday lunch menu and proper food for kids as well as an à la carte evening menu and a tempting late lunch/afternoon menu that’s served in the bar. All share the same sense of place and a wide ranging drinks offering also includes plenty of Irish craft beer and spirits - with Connaught Whiskey of Ballina and Reel Deel Brewing Company of Knockalegan among the local heroes - as well as an extensive wine list.

Given the exceptional location, this is a place that could easily coast and it's greatly to the credit of the team that genuine hospitality, great local food and good value are its USPs.

Sample Menus and Producers Map can be found here

Waterfront House & Restaurant
Cliff Rd, Carrowhubbuck South, Enniscrone, Co. Sligo, F26 P9Y2
T: 353 (0) 96 37 120
E: relax@waterfronthouse.ie
W: https://www.waterfronthouse.ie

“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 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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