Just Ask Restaurant of the Month for September

 The “Just Ask!” Restaurant of the Month winner for September is Hotel Doolin, Co Clare

Hotel Doolin - Restaurant

Visitors exploring bustling Doolin village often come across one of the country’s most unusual hotels almost by chance, through its speciality food and wine shop, The Doolin Pantry, which has entrances from both the street and the lobby - while browsing the great range of local and Irish speciality produce on offer (including their homemade jams, breads and baking - try the porter cake...), you can easily find yourself in the hotel, with the temptation to have a bite to eat.

And that would be a good move because this privately owned hotel has a vibrant local food philosophy (‘wherever possible using local produce, organic and homemade, homegrown ingredients’) that has earned it a reputation well beyond Doolin, or even the county.

The energetic and inspiring Donal Minihane, who has been General Manager since 2011, has a lot to do with this and, unusually for a small hotel, Hotel Doolin offers several dining options ranging from a stylish interpretation of modern Irish and European cooking in the smart Chervil Restaurant, to informal meals in the cheerful Stonewall Café & Pizzeria, and wholesome fare in Fitz’s Pub (also famous for music sessions).

Head Chef Danny Craughwell specialises in fish cookery and the House Speciality - The Aran Curragh - is a favourite: this three-tier sharing platter for two, includes steamed wild mussels, fish bites, Doolin crab claws, fish cakes, smoked mackerel, salmon rillettes, oyster, fried calamari, prawns marie rose and salmon on brown bread - and, in case that’s not enough, they serve it in Fitz’s with hand cut fries, breads and dips...

Hotel Doolin - Bar

Danny’s ‘a keen fisherman, a pig-farmer, a connoisseur of all things foraged and a BBQ fanatic' and, once you know that, you can see where he's coming from in all the hotel's food operations - and the philosophy is so pervasive that there’s no way you could be in the building for five minutes without getting the message.

They’re members of Slow Food Clare and The Burren Food Trail, where local produce is key, of course - they keep their own ducks and hens and the hotel gardens produce some of the fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs in season.

Other suppliers, including well known local names like Burren Smokehouse salmon (Lisdoonvarna), are proudly listed too - main suppliers include butcher Noel O'Connor (who sells his own beef and meats, including Kilshanny lamb, from other local farmers) and Eamon & Vincent at Garrihy's Seafood, Doolin, who supply fresh fish daily.

And, as well as selling some of Ireland’s best craft beers on draft, they even have their own Dooliner Beer range - and offer a tasting of three beers on an Irish Craft Beer Board, with one to match for whiskeys too. A remarkable place all round.

SAMPLE MENU: Chervil Restaurant


• Hot Oysters three ways Rockefeller, Kilpatrick and Creole €13.95

• Crispy Crab and Parmesan Arancini Fish Cakes, Fire Roasted Red Pepper Relish €9.95

• Crispy Fried Buttermilk Chicken wings iced Celery Sticks and Cashel Blue Cheese Dip €11.95

• Warm Crab Claws Bacon and Garlic Butter, Sour Dough Toast €12.95

• Creamy Doolin Chowder Homemade Dooliner Brown Bread. €6.95

• Real Prawn Cocktail With Fresh Irish langoustines €10.95

• Burren smoked salmon, Spiced Potato Salad, Lemon Cream Cheese, Curried Pancakes €12.95

• Tournafulla Black pudding, Poached Egg Salad, Wild Garlic Hollandaise, €8.95

• Super food Salad, Quinoa, Watermelon, Beet Shoots, Bean Sprouts, Broccoli, Toasted Almonds, Vanilla Bean Dressing €8.95


• Braised North Clare Beef Cheek, Creamy Champ Potatoes, Crisp Pancetta, Buttered Baby Vegetables, Dark Chocolate and Porter Sauce. €17.95

• Seafood Linguini, Monk Tail, Tiger Prawns, Mussels and Salmon in a Lightly Spiced Thai Curry over poached Linguini. €19.95

• Whole grilled lobster, Wild Garlic Hollandaise, Watermelon, Vanilla Bean Salad Market price

• Trio of Burren Lamb, Lamb T-bone, Lamb Cannon and Shepherd’s Pie, buttered Baby Vegetables, Redcurrant and Port Jus. €23.95

• 8oz fillet of O’Connor’s North Clare Beef, Fried Mushrooms, Onions with a choice of Cashel Blue Cheese Sauce, Creamy Peppercorn Sauce, Garlic Hollandaise, Fries and Salad €24.95

• Dooliner Beer Battered Cod, Twice Cooked Hand cut Chips, Mushy Peas, Broccoli and Caper Tartare. €16.95

• Homemade 10oz Beef Steak Burger, Dooliner Beer and Onion Relish, Smoked Bacon and Monterey Jack Cheese, Toasted Brioche Bun, Hand cut Fries. €16.95

• The Aran Curragh - Three tiers of hot & cold Seafood - Crispy Fish Cakes, Dooliner Beer Battered Cod Bites, Wild Garlic Buttered Crab Claws, Shucked Oysters, Langoustines, Steamed Wild Mussels, Burren Smoked Salmon, Hot Cured Mackerel, Potted Prawns in Brandy Marie Rose €24.95 per person (minimum 2 people sharing)

• Chickpea & Spinach Curry, Sweet Potato & Steamed Rice €14.95


• Knickerbocker Glory Summer Berry Com- pote, Vanilla Ice-Cream, Chocolate Sauce & Crème Chantilly

• Classic Gateaux Paris Brest, Choux Pastry Donut, Caramel Sauce, Crème Chantilly & Candied Hazelnut

• Handmade Ferrero Rocher, Rich Chocolate Truffle, Salted Caramel Centre & Toasted Hazelnut, Peanut Butter Ice-Cream

• Potted Lemon Posset, Traditional Lemon Mousse, Crisp Meringue Pieces, Almond Crunch

• Trio of Homemade Ice-cream


Here in Hotel Doolin we pride ourselves on keeping it local.

Beef: All of our Beef is 100% Irish traceable from farm to fork! It is supplied by Noel O'Connor who takes great pride in the quality he provides. If it is not his own hand reared cattle, you can be guaranteed it came from the pastures of Co.Clare.

Lamb: When at its best in spring & summer, it is sourced by our butcher from the green fields of Kilshanny, just a stone's throw from our door step.

Fish & Seafood: Our fresh fish is supplied daily by Eamon & Vincent at Garrihy's Seafoood, Doolin.

Our smoked salmon is produced in Linsdoonvarna in the now famous Burren Smokehouse by Brigitta & her team.

Vegetables: Our vegetables are supplied from Richardson's foods. The team headed by Mathew along with Sandra constantly advise us about seasonal produce ensuring we use local vegetables at their tastiest and best.

Cheese & Dairy: Our dairy is all produced in the Republic of Ireland & supplied to us by Mick Johnston who is our local milkman. Our cheese comes mostly from the region produced by small artisan producers including St. Tola of Inagh, Gubbeen Farmhouse and Burren Gold, produced in Ballyvaughan at the Aillwee Caves

Us: When seasons allow, we produce a lot of our own herbs, spices, fruits & some of our vegetables in our gardens & polytunnels.



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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