Top Five New Places to Eat in Waterford
by Michelle Heffernan
When it comes to dining out in Waterford, I have amassed many regular favourites- Sunday carvery dinners at the Granville, beers and bowls of chips out the back’o’ Geoffs, or adding succulent zesty salads to my lunch menu at the Granary café. In recent months however, I have discovered some new gems of Waterford gastronomy and challenge any local or visitor not to be delighted by my top five new places to eat in Waterford city…
Previous winner of the Bailey’s Euro-Toques young chef of the year, Waterford’s own culinary sensation Peter Everett has recently opened “Everett’s Restaurant” where the Wine Vault restaurant once resided on High Street. The Ballinakill native previously worked for eight years as sous-chef to Graham Neville in the prestigious Restaurant Forty-One at Residence as well as holding tenure at Waterford Castle with top chef Michael Quinn.
Combining the best of Irish cooking in the beautiful setting of the 15th century John Collyn House, Everett’s is making a name for itself already as a testament to the high calibre culinary talent emerging from our heartlands. Ireland’s longest serving restaurant critic Tom Doorley called it “a gem”, saying “the transformation of good raw materials into something that lives on in the memory long after the last forkful has been swallowed…Beat a path to its door”. Find out what the fuss is about for yourself, see www.everetts.ie or call 051 325174
It’s fortunate I don’t live next door to Slice Wood Fire Pizza, as if I did I would surely not fit through any other door frame. With mouth-watering, hand made, wood fired pizza, this trattoria italiana is the real deal, serving up the genuine article of Neapolitan delight. Proprietor John Keane says he had dreamed long of opening his own pizzeria in Waterford saying “My first job was on a pizza bench and I absolutely fell in love with the process”.
For years this Waterford local has experimented with the pizza making process, developing his own dough and sauces from finest ingredients. The result-pizzas guaranteed to whet taste-buds for weeks, as I am still dreaming of returning for the John’s Special of goats cheese, caramelized walnut and pear pizza.
Indeed the original inventors of the pizza have endorsed Slice Wood Fire Pizza and John’s recipe. “Since we opened we have had some visitors from Italy”, John says, “and received humbling positive feedback from them about our pizza”. Join John for a “slice of the action”(excuse his pun) at Slice Wood Fire Pizza, Ballinakill Shopping Centre. Phone 051 820606
Although GROW HQ and its café have in fact been open for two years, the place is still relatively new on the Waterford dining scene. Only recently did I visit its bright, airy, almost Scandi -style premises on the Dunmore Road to sample the menus built around the GROW HQ “Grow-it-Yourself” philosophy.
Since 2008 GIY founder Michael Kelly has come along way from growing vegetables in his own back garden, with his GROW COOK EAT TV Show on RTE One this year further expanding his sustainable food philosophy. All the food at the GROW café is made using produce grown on site, with tasty dishes making the most of whichever produce is most fresh and in season. With beetroot ketchup and blaas from Walsh’s Bakehouse, expect everything here to be unprocessed, natural and bursting with nutrition.
The HQ omelette is a great way to begin a morning after the night before, indeed, Irish Times critic John Mckenna labelled it “Ireland’s greatest omelette”. For a different take on a Saturday dinner date try the Bistro menu with mains like the Mezze plate on offer at a reasonable €11.50. Wash it all down with some local Metalman craft beer and you’re practically saving the economy and the planet at the same time. For more on menus at GROW HQ see www.giy.ie/grow-hq/ or call 051 584411
Ok, so this place is not entirely new, but I simply must include it on the off chance you haven’t yet been. Step into this café in the Old Port of Waterford Building and you will step back in time, into an era of old world glamour and true tea-time etiquette. The surroundings are nothing short of splendid, with elegant antique chaise lounges, proper floral china tea cups and Billy Holiday’s inimitable jazz serenading you on the speakers. Servers dressed in fancy French maid style uniforms dole out a mixture of sandwiches, scones, cakes and fancies while you peruse some of the pre loved books on film, art, fashion and local history.
With special packages also available for Afternoon Tea, or Afternoon Tea and a Makeover (wow!,) this place is definitely worth checking out for an afternoon/evening out or indeed a private event. For more www.theparlourtearooms.com
Admittedly, I have not yet been to Manna’s but its worth a mention from the feedback I’ve heard. Manna’s Afro-Carribeean takeaway is certainly adding a much needed dollop of diversity to our take-out options in town, serving up Jamaican and Caribbean nosh as well as the typical burger and chip combos .Popular dishes include Jerk Chicken, Fried Plantain or Jamaican Jollof rice.
These tasty tropical meals are actually freshly prepared to order, so unlike your quarter pounder meal, they will require 45 minutes cooking time. Delivery is available after 5pm with just a €2 charge. Dare to be adventurous and think outside the chicken snack box! For more see Manna’s Euro-Afro-Carribean Takeaway on Facebook or Call 051 870831