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A few places we (50's couple) found and really liked;
Isaac's Restaurant, MacCurtain Street. Eclectic Irish/European menu, vibrant atmosphere- friendly and fun staff. Open lunchtimes also.
Star Anise, Bridge Street. Small restaurant, again eclectic European and local dishes, perfect for an intimate dinner. Restrained and elegant cooking. Welcoming service by owner and staff. Open Tuesday-Saturday including lunchtime. Evening booking probably advisable.
Farmgate Cafe in the English Market,city centre. Local produce from the wonderful market downstairs. Examples sampled - oysters, corned (salted/spiced) mutton, tripe and drisheen (for the brave). Many more local dishes available. Closed in evening,of course.
All had in common fine wine lists, excellent and interesting food, locally sourced where possible, interested and charming staff. We are sure there are many more fine places in this great city.
Out of the city - and in West Cork - we (a bit younger) really like the following:
Otto's Creative Cooking - Otto Kuntze - but you MUST book - and he closes October to Easter, an extraordinary organic farm/restaurant experience - it is way out in the countryside, on the wild coast, about 40 miles west, in an area called Dunworly which is south of Bandon/Timoleague.
Also in Clonakilty we recomment Richies Bistro, good tappas and local food. He also has his own book published on his specialities which are a Mauritiaus/West Cork mix - try the Mauritiaus curry - its great.
Deasy's in Ring near Clonakilty is also great for long dinner and medium priced.
For lighter dinner with kids try the Dunes Bar in the Inchydoney Hotel set on the dramatic Inchydony beach near Clonakilty.