For a small Irish town made up of little more than two streets Kenmare has a surprising number of award winning restaurants and Packie’s is no exception. Local chef Martin Hallissey has created a fine dining experience without losing any of that Irish charm or hospitality.
The menu focuses heavily on produce from the local region – scallops, mussels and prawns from Kenmare Bay as well as locally caught sea fish feature heavily on the set menu and in the daily specials. Local produce is sourced wherever possible and organic ingredients are incorporated when available. Chef Hallissey has created a menu that combines traditional Irish cuisine, such a roast lamb with international influences like the locally reared chicken with a coconut sauce.
The wine list is not extensive but offers a range of French bottles with a small selection other old and new world wines, a few of which are organic.
While seating in the restaurant can be fairly close, the small stone-walled room leads of an air of coziness, rather than being crowded and the service is efficient but without pretension (difficult to carry across with an Irish brogue anyway).
The starter of fresh Kenmare bay prawns was served cold, in their shells, with a citrusy homemade mayonnaise and the salmon (farmed in an area that can practically be seen from the window) was simply accompanied by a light hollandaise sauce. My partner enjoyed fresh crab ‘bundles’ with a tangy salsa followed by Irish Stew with fresh herbs, both courses allowing the freshness of the produce to shine through while not denying the chef of any of his glory.
Rich and creamy homemade ice-cream and a plate of Irish cheeses finished the meal.
Henry Street, Kenmare, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Open: Monday- Saturday 6pm-10pm. Closed Sunday
Phone: 353 (0) 64 41508
src=”http://www.intheknowtraveler.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/mattscott200.jpg” alt=”mattscott200″ title=”mattscott200″ width=”188″ height=”200″ class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-3954″ />Matt Scott has spent the majority of his adult life working and traveling abroad. A keen writer and photographer his work has appeared on line and in print in publications around the world. He currently lives in Paris where he works for an active travel company.