December 2, 2023
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‘Simply a delight’ – renowned Kilkenny restaurants feature in new ‘Top 100’ guide

TWO critically-acclaimed Kilkenny restaurants have featured in a new guide to ‘Ireland’s Top 100’ eateries.

Rinuccini and Campagne were served up glowing reviews in the guide, published in today’s Sunday Times.

It describes Ristorante Rinuccini, which celebrates its 30th birthday this Tuesday, as “a great restaurant that offers authentic Italian cooking” and “simply a delight”.

“Riccardo Cavaliere and his family balance curating classic dishes from Italy with the space for their culinary creativity to flourish. The fact they manage this seamlessly, and have done so for years, is the reason why Rinuccini is the first-choice destination in Kilkenny for many food lovers,” the guide says.

“The cooking is lush. There are delights such as calamari and courgette fritters with lemon and anchovy aioli; gorgonzola ravioli; spaghettini with polpettine; and house porchetta with marsala sauce. The room is plush and welcoming, and the staff could not be better at their job, offering a respectful and dedicated service. The wine list has many great bottles, too.”

Stepping into Campagne, according to the guide, is like walking into a time capsule, from Gashouse Lane to provincial France circa 1976.

“It’s a world of grande cuisine, the domain of Bocuse, Senderens, Troisgros, Guérard and Chapel — chefs who built the monolith of contemporary French cooking that we have today,” the guide gushes.

“In his restaurant, Garrett Byrne pays tribute to that inventiveness, but his secret is that he does so without any sense of imitation, making the food real, not a facsimile. Campagne’s offerings include terrine of foie gras and ox tongue with walnut purée; crisp smoked haddock with poached egg and hollandaise; Challans duck with cep duxelle; wild rabbit with coco de Paimpoul beans; and creme brulée with vanilla tuile. The food is delightful, ageless and a joy.”

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