Bodéga Restaurant & Wine Bar on John Street in Waterford is among the new entrants included in the 2014 edition of McKennas’ 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland published today (Feb 28).
Formerly known as the Bridgestone Guides, the McKennas' Guides have been published in book form by award-winning John and Sally McKenna for the last 25 years with reviews on featured restaurants including descriptions and critiques of actual meals, usually served to two or more people, that have been paid for by the publishers. Listing in the Guides is free for the restaurant, meaning the guides are truly independent.
Of Bodega restaurant, the Guide says – “Bodega could coast by on the feel–good factor of this great room, but they work extra hard at cooking and sourcing, so it’s all as good as can be.
“The question everyone asks about Waterford’s Bodega! is this: does any other room enjoy the sort of manic energy that seems to be inscribed in the DNA of this restaurant? The answer is: No. Bodega stands alone. It’s the restaurant equivalent of a cocktail, something riotous, colourful, alluring, something clamorous that provokes a deep longing in you to consume it right now. It’s the room you want to be in, the action you want to be in on, the conversation you want to join. It’s a blast.
“With that sort of energy, it would be easy for the food in Bodega to take a back seat. But Cormac and Donagh Cronin don’t let that happen. They may be turning tables but the care and attention lavished on the food never falters. The menu reads like a modern litany — chicken wings; fish cakes; rack of lamb; steak frites; fish pie; vanilla panna cotta — but what animates the cooking is some superb sourcing. They could buy all this stuff from the man–in–the–van, but they don’t. Instead, the pork is from Crowe’s Farm; the beef and lamb from Joe Mallon; the chicken from Mary Walsh; the duck from Skeaghanore; the salmon from Flanagan’s. A blast!”
For the first time, “McKennas’ 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland 2014” is being published digitally as a ‘Smart Guide’ rather than as a book.
According to John McKenna, “The ‘Creative Casual’ restaurant has been the signature innovation of Irish restaurant culture for the last twelve months with brilliant cooking found in rooms where the focus is firmly on the ability of the kitchen to offer imaginative, original and unpretentious food, with a minimum of ceremony.”
The McKennas’ Guides cost just €4.49 and can be purchased from the App store or GooglePlay, and links can be found from the McKennas' Guides website www.guides.ie