To round off the first day of our road trip we’d booked a meal at Ard Bia in Galway. Whilst perusing the internet and various blogs to find out where was best to eat in our numerous stop offs in Ireland I came across Ard Bia at Nimmos housed in an iconic location at the Spanish Arch. I really liked the ethos that came across from reading about it. This is what the website says:
One of Galway’s most enduring restaurants, housed in one of the city’s most iconic restaurant spaces, Ard Bia has always placed as much emphasis on community experiences and aesthetic stimulation as on serving great food in a fun environment. We believe in having roots in a place whilst having an identity that transcends location and takes inspiration from around the world.
Sounds good right? We took a table in one of their nooks and crannies by a candlelit window over looking the sea. Lee was happy to see a nice selection of local craft beer such as the one below.
On the back of the menu was a full detailing of their suppliers and a it about them, all local, from the grower of all their salad leaves, to the farm that makes their cheese and supplies the dairy to the local fishmongers and smokehouses. It made a really interesting read. To start we shared a couple of dishes:
Mezze of labneh, vegetable shish, grilled halloumi &
Dunmore Galway goat’s cheese, pear, walnut, Oisin’s leaves
Both of these were just SUCH good examples of how amazing vegetarian food can be when some thought and care is put into it. These two salads were amongst the best I’ve tried and the quality of ingredients shone through too.
For his main Lee chose the Wild Atlantic hake, baby potatoes, beetroot, sweet peas, cornichon aioli. This was huge success of a dish with perfect fish, earthy beetroot and crisp seaweed on top. The aioli and peas added those sweet and sharp extra dimensions and if you put him not he spot, Lee’s favourite course of the holiday.
I decided upon another fish dish (this would soon become a theme for the holiday as the fish availability and options were so amazing!) The West Coast Monkfish, lobster and bisque risotto, pea shoots. The risotto was perfect, oozy but with the rice retaining a little bite.
Dessert for me didn’t live up to the savoury courses, but was a pleasant eat none the less: Chocolate mousse, rhubarb nutty biscuit
A meal we thoroughly enjoyed and no wonder it was packed to the rafters on a Sunday evening.