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My Top 10 Irish Dishes of 2018 #3

Game terrine with Mirabelle plums and walnuts at Gregan’s Castle in Ballyvaughan.

Clare rabbit and venison bits were set in a savory pate and garnished with tart plums and walnuts in chef Robert McCauley’s “Late Summer Game Terrine” at Gregan’s Castle at the bottom of Corkscrew Hill near Ballyvaughan. Chef McCauley has a special fondness for game and showcases it whenever its available. I was sorry I missed the chef’s Wild Game Dinner at the peak of the season in late autumn.


Robert McCauley has taken the already exceptional restaurant at Gregan’s Castle to the next level with his imaginative cooking style and stunning presentations. The restaurant offers a full-blown tasting menu or a less elaborate five course meal that starts with bread, snacks and a cup of soup and follows with your choice of appetizers, entrees and desserts.


The hotel restaurant is also known for its posh high tea featuring elaborate pastries and confections. (The tea requires a booking 24 hours in advance.) We like to hang around in the hotel bar after the meal relaxing on the overstuffed chairs in front of the fireplace. The grounds sprawl for acres in all directions and feature walking trails through the Burren, a donkey barn and a croquet court.


C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein and other giants of literature have stayed here over the years, its a great place to curl up with a laptop and write a masterpiece. Gregans Castle was named Good Hotel Guide’s best hotel in Ireland for 2019. 


Robb Walsh