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Posts tagged ‘La Boheme’

Where to Eat for Winterval

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You may or may not know this, but when I first moved to Ireland I lived in Waterford. Actually, up until last June I lived in Waterford. It’s Ireland’s oldest city and has a crazy, awesome history that includes (but is not limited to) vikings, war, disease, the British, boats and, of course, blaa.

When most non-Irish think of Waterford (if they’ve heard of it at all), Waterford Crystal generally comes to mind. If you’re Irish and don’t live in Waterford, you might remember the TV3 series The Estate (which only really represented a small portion of Waterford’s population).

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Having lived there, given birth there, made friends there and attended events there, my opinion of Waterford as a city is that it’s… awesome. Coming back for a visit actually makes me emotional. For someone moving to Ireland from abroad, Waterford offers so much – as a city and a county. There’s a thriving arts scene, amazing food and scenery and the people are nothing short of wonderful.

Waterford also hosts Ireland’s largest annual Christmas festival, aptly named Winterval. This year, the festival started on the 21st of November and will continue on until December 23rd (read my post on last year’s event here). It brings thousands of visitors to the city each year to indulge in some Santa-visiting, ice-skating and hot-chocolate-drinking.

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The chef’s homemade creme de cassis at La Boheme

I don’t know about you, visitors, but when I first moved to Waterford I had absolutely no idea where (or what) to eat. There is very little online information about Waterford’s wonderful food destinations, so here is a list of my favourite haunts. During Winterval there are plenty of kiosks selling all kinds of festive foods, but if you’re looking for something specific this list might help. Happy Winterval-ing (and eating!).

Coffee & Snacks

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Portico Coffee: These guys can really sling espresso and I was so happy when they opened their little café opposite the City Square Shopping Centre.

Location: 1 Peter Street, Waterford City

Arch Coffee: Having just opened, Arch Coffee is giving Portico a run for their money – they know their stuff and make a mean flat white.

Location: George’s Street, Waterford City (opposite Guiney’s)

Arch Cafe

Arch Cafe

Aoife’s Café: Gorgeous little spot located in the historic 33 The Mall building.

Location: 33 The Mall, Waterford City (close to Waterford Crystal)

The Park Lodge Café: The only café located within The People’s Park – a haven for mothers of young children or those with an affinity for cake.

Location: Newtown Road, The People’s Park, Waterford City 

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What’s On My Mind:

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  • Over the April long weekend we took a gorgeous drive along the Copper Coast from Tramore to Dungavan. I’ve been hearing about The Moorings‘ outdoor patio for some time now. As every Canadian knows, there’s nothing better than beers on a patio on a beautiful, sunny day. This patio didn’t disappoint (and neither did the food or beer).
Scrummy fish chowder & zingy chicken wings at The Moorings

Scrummy fish chowder & zingy chicken wings at The Moorings

  • Breathedreamgo is one of my favourite travel websites. It specializes in travel – mostly to India but also to other areas – and focuses on solo women travelers. Even though I’m married with a bebe I still like to travel alone and I enjoy following the author, Mariellen, on Twitter to see what she’s up to. There’s an amazing giveaway on her website right now: a 14 day food adventure to India, in partnership with Intrepid Travel. You can enter here.
  • I know Maeve’s only 8.5 months old, but I think she may have a promising future in hip hop. She poo-poo’s Raffi but goes crazy for Wu Tang. I’m both proud and slightly scandalized.

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  • The World’s 50 Best Restaurants was announced last night and I wasn’t surprised to see there are still no Canadian restaurants making the cut. As chair of Vacay.ca’s Top 50 Restaurants in Canada I know there’s some pretty amazing stuff happening in Canadian restaurants, from old-school Newfoundland cuisine to fine dining with Aboriginal flair. Maybe more 50 Best judges should visit more often.
My favourite Huevoes at Mildred's Temple Kitchen, Toronto

My favourite Huevoes at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, Toronto

  • I ate at La Bohème again last Friday. They have some great value prix fixe menus – an early bird for €29 and a Market Menu, which is four courses for €35. The Market Menu had more interesting selections so we went for that. We also indulged in a kir royale made with the chef’s own creme de cassis – amazing. So many fine dining restaurants fail to hit the mark for me – trying to be creative, they get lost along the way. Chef Théze sticks to his French roots and doesn’t mess around when it comes to flavour.
Waterford Lamb Rump with Almond Cream at La Boheme

Waterford Lamb Rump with Almond Cream at La Boheme

  • I have been loving the spring-time weather in Ireland! Warm, sunny and beautiful. It puts you in a great mood. Hope you all have a wonderful week!

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How I Celebrated Rhône Wine Week in Ireland

Last week was the first ever Rhône Wine Week in Ireland, celebrating all things Côtes du Rhône. I couldn’t have been happier; this region in France has long been my favourite wine appellation. I’m no expert by any means, but I like that these wines tend to be delicious whether you’re pairing them with food or drinking them on their own. The grapes used in this region – Syrah (or Shiraz) and Grenache, to name a couple, make flavoursome and full bodied wines.

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When I found out La Bohème in Waterford was planning a Winemaker’s Dinner showcasing one Côtes du Rhône winery in particular, I booked my sister-in-law to babysit and secured a table for me and Patrick. The menu, consisting of five courses (including an accompanying glass of wine), was a steal at €50 per person and sounded delicious.

The star winery that evening was the Domaine de la Citadel located in Luberon. Their winemaker, Cyril Delvalat, was there to present his wines and came to each table during each course to discuss the wine and why it was chosen for the particular dish it accompanied. He was extremely friendly and clearly loves what he does (who wouldn’t love that job?). His wines were gorgeous and have inspired us to plan a trip to France sometime in the not-too-distant future. It should be noted that this was the first time any Domaine de la Citadelle wines were ever showcased in Ireland.

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The dinner started out with French farmhouse cheese gougères which were waiting on the table when we arrived – gooey and warm, as they should be. We were offered artisanal bread and then our salmon course was brought out – a trio of smoked, cured and tartare alongside a carpaccio of Dunmore East scallop.

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The third course was a generous portion of roasted monkfish, du puy lentils, glazed shallot and a buttery herb sauce. You can easily overcook monkfish to the consistency of rubber. Happily, I sliced through my serving as if it were made of butter.

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The fourth course featured local venison prepared two ways – a pithivier with wild mushrooms and roasted loin with crème de cassis sauce. This was my favourite course of the evening. The loin was cooked perfectly and was so very tender (you can see the fork marks in the photo!).

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For dessert, we were brought an entrement of hazelnut and chocolate. A base of chewy nougat was a great offset to the chocolatey mousse and we even got a dollop of mocha ice cream on the side. We took home a goody bag with information and maps of the region and the Domaine de la Citadelle (also: an awesome, bright red apron).

Out of the four wines we tasted my two favourites had to be their Les Artemes white (2011) which was sprightly, citrus-ey and went perfectly with the salmon course and the Le Gouverneur Saint Auban red (2009) that accompanied our venison.

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Rhône Wine Week Ireland also had daily competitions on Twitter – I won a lovely cookbook featuring world cuisine to pair with Rhône wines (go me!). I’m already looking forward to next year.

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