Monk’s Lane makes McKennas’ ‘100 Best Restaurants in Ireland’


Posted on: 7th April, 2015

Category: Food & Wine

Contributor: West Cork People

Monk’s Lane, in the heart of Timoleague, West Cork has become the newest establishment in the country to ever make it on to the prestigious McKennas’ Guides ‘100 Best Restaurants in Ireland’ list.

Run by couple Michelle O’Mahony and Gavin Moore (nephew of Christy Moore and Luka Bloom), since it opened in July 2014, Monk’s Lane is a food and wine destination on the Wild Atlantic Way. Both Michelle and Gavin have extensive experience in the hospitality sector and this, their first venture together, has seen them use their passion for local produce and fresh, seasonal ingredients to create a destination dining experience worthy of inclusion in the respected list.

The Monk’s Lane menu showcases the best of local produce including the restaurant’s signature dish, the ‘West Cork Plate’ with Gubbeen Chorizo cooked in red wine, potted crab, Toonsbridge buffalo cheese, crostini and Ummera Smoked Salmon.

Speaking about their menu, Michelle said “We wanted to create an affordable dining experience that’s casual but with ethically produced food, and a cosy atmosphere that makes you want to linger. We have been able to do this thanks to the wealth of quality suppliers and producers we have locally.”

Since opening last summer, Monk’s Lane has created 18 jobs, and firmly established itself in the West Cork culinary landscape, with the latest accolade reaffirming its position. The McKennas’ Guide Plaque is the most respected badge of merit in Irish contemporary food, and is the ultimate signal of culinary creativity and imagination, awarded only to those who make it in to the McKennas’ Guides.

Gavin, a musician himself, with three albums under his belt said “When we opened our doors last July we had no idea what to expect, we knew we had created something special but we didn’t expect the level of interest we’ve seen. In just a few short months we’ve seen Monk’s Lane evolve and adapt due to the demands of our customers – we now have weekly music sessions in the bar, a hugely popular beer garden, and we cater for parties, even weddings!”

He continued “John and Sally McKenna’s annual list of best places to eat in Ireland is the most radical guide to the cutting-edge of Irish cooking so it’s a huge honour to be included in the list seeing as we have been open for just over eight months.”

Monk’s Lane is called after monks who lived in Abbeymahon, a Cistercian Abbey founded in 1172 by Dermot MacCormac MacCarthy, King of Desmond in the village of Timoleague, just eight miles from Clonakilty.

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