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OverviewIf there’s one thing Farmgate Restaurant & Food Store owner Máróg O’Brien possesses in abundance it’s a passion for great food. For decades now she has been leading the way in sourcing quality Irish produce and masterminding simple cooking techniques to create this gem of a place to eat. The town’s now famous gourmet reputation was no doubt helped along by her presence on the food scene. She’s still influencing all these years later.
An old but spacious shed may not at first seem to be an ideal venue for a restaurant and food store, but Máróg’s keen eye saw at once the potential to create a quirky and unique eating and shopping venue. The Food Store, which sells Irish and European artisan foods and fine wines, now sits well in its utilitarian interior, which has double doors leading to the modern bistro-style restaurant beyond. You can see the cooks at work in an open kitchen at the front entrance of the shop. This is a rustic environment in which to display a wonderful selection of produce, and, of course, the delicious deli items made in-house.
The emphasis in Farmgate is on quality, locally-sourced ingredients and understated style. The lunch menu includes the best homemade butchers’ sausages, traditional Irish dishes and salads, and great sandwiches with home-cooked meats or locally-smoked fish. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, dinner is served and Máróg loves traditional Irish cooking so slow roasts are popular on the menu. Simply cooked fresh fish from nearby Ballycotton is also a speciality. The centrepiece, both day and night, is a dessert table laden with home baked tarts and cakes which are sure to tempt even those diners who claim not to have a sweet tooth. A cracking choice of wines from all the classic regions, including some half bottles, completes the feast – and what a feast it is. In addition to the interior dining space, Farmgate also has outdoor dining area in a little courtyard.
Farmgate creates menus that reflect the season and the local region, sourcing the freshest ingredients from the food stalls of the English Market, and working closely with trusted small-scale market gardeners, as well as the best artisan food and wine producers that can be found.
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