A drive along the Wild Atlantic Way of Ireland’s western coast would not be complete without a stop at The Long Dock Pub in the charming fishing village of Carrigaholt, .
Originally built in the 1820’s, this public house has multi-tasked over the years as a pub, grocery, drapery, and hardware shop. Today it is a pub, an award-winning restaurant, an ice cream parlor, a specialty foods shop and a visitor’s center. It is an official information point and the perfect place to stop for a rest and some nourishment, as you plan your next adventure along the Loop Head Peninsula segment of the .
Location: West Street, Rinemackaderrig, Carrigaholt, County Clare,
Menu: The bounty of the sea is the best reason to dine at the Long Dock. Crab is caught in the bay just 200 meters away. Mussels for the award-winning curry seafood chowder come from the mouth of the . Then, there is the abundance the Atlantic Ocean provides. Local seasonal Irish favorites include white pollock, hake, haddock, lemon sole, salmon, and cod. Preparation is simple, mostly grilled with herbs. Seafood this fresh doesn’t need a lot of help. It is the fresh made sauces and chutneys that add flavor and interest to the menu. Whether your preference leans toward the cranberry apple chutney, courgette, or red onion marmalade, many of the sauces, chutneys, and dressings are available to purchase and take home. Chef Tony makes it easy to recreate The Long Dock experience in your own kitchen.
A close second, and definitely a reason to share plates with your dining companions at The Long Dock, is the beef and lamb raised by local farmer Sean Haugh.The animals are grazed on clover and salt-covered pastures overlooking the . Hickies Butchers in Kilkee prepare the beef and lamb for the restaurant. Walking the Cliffs of Kilkee during my Loop Head adventure, it is easy to make the connection that happy animals make happy diners.
Save room for dessert. Classic Lemon Tart and Sticky Toffee Pudding are just two of the specialties. Behind the pub in the interior courtyard is an ice cream parlor, with a nice selection of homemade ice creams, a refreshing way to cleanse the palate after a seafood meal. Try a sundae, with the homemade chocolate, toffee, or salted caramel sauce.
Thoughts: The charming stone building with bright red trim and picturesque window boxes filled with flowers welcomes guests from the first glance. The blazing fire in the fireplace invites guests to come in out of the wind and rain, welcoming locals and tourists. This is authentic Ireland, where local hospitality is part of the culture, and most definitely a highlight of the tourist experience. Craft beers from Western Herd in County Clare are available, as well as a wide selection of Irish Whisky.
I love the idea that so many of Tony and Imelda’s homemade creations are available for purchase. Some are packaged to carry home and will travel well on a plane. Others, like the seafood chowder, fish pie, or delicious assortment of cookies are great options for a picnic along the coast or an “eat in” meal if your accommodations come with a kitchen.
Price Range: Starters 5-14 euros. Entrees 17-25 euros
Disclosure: The writer was a guest of Failte Ireland, the official Irish Tourism Board. The visit to The Long Dock was part of a driving tour of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.
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