About The Tide Full Inn

Marianne and Joseph invite you

to enjoy the finest in regional Itaian cooking....

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From: Food & Wine Magazine

October, 2010


The Tide Full Inn
All the Signs told us this was somewhere worthy of whiling away a precious Sunday afternoon. We were passing through the vilage of Kinvara, on the border of counties Galway and Clare, and thought we'd act on a tip off from a local farmers' market stallholder, who had recently tried the rabbit with polenta and thought it very good. We bypassed the outside tables and cosied into the cafe-style anteroom where the atmosphere had been nicely set by two friends consuming in companionable silence a large bowl of mussels, a chilled bottle of white and a pile of Sunday papers. We eyed up the stainless steel vat of Abruzzo olive oil from which customers can top up 750 ml bottles for €7.50 (and very good it is too) and the hanging cured hams and shelf of deli goodies -- a riotous mix of Ortiz tuna and Portuguese sardines, Italian risotto rice and passata, and artisan Irish nougat from Pandora Bell. There would be some shopping before this meal was done. When my friend was offered a drop of Compari in her glass of proseco we knew we were home.

Next door, the more formal dining room filled up as the late afternoon ticked towards early evening. Some diners were coming like us for the full monty meal, others for a glass of vino and nibbles, or an afternoon treat from the extensive selection of fantastic cakes baked daily by owner Marianne Krause: some Italian inspired (orange and polenta or poppy seed with lemon icing), some pure Irish (Rocky Road).

We kicked off with shellfish: mussels bathed in a deliciously moreish broth with bursting sweet cherry tomatoes keeping things bright and summery, and with toasted bread drizzled with oil for moppage; and half a lobster dripping with sage butter and accompanied by a very simple side of starchy, stock-swollen risotto rice. Everything was properly understated but perfectly stylish, from the garnish of salad leaves dressed just with olive oil (but a good rounded oil at that) to the brown bag in which our request for extra bread was met.

For mains we gorged on more seafood in the form of tagliattini with very fresh and meaty clams, again with cherry tomatoes and that delicious olive oil, and shared a very good pizza. Its thin crispy base had been smeared with sweet tomato base and scattered with mozzerella, Italian sausage meat, garlic and fresh porcini mushrooms before being cooked in their specially-built pizza oven and topped with a seasoning of rocket leaves.

The wine list has lots to explore, judging from the well-sourced 'pink' Pinot Grigio which is one of several served by the carafe as a quarter-, half-, or full-litre. (Actually, 'pink' Pinot Grigio tends more toward an onion-skin colour, and signals a wine made in the traditional method of leaving the pinkish grape skins in contact with the must to give a more complex flavour.)

We finished our gently-paced afternoon's grazing with a sample of two Italian cakes -- both the poppy seed with lemon icing and the orange and polenta cakes proved very good indeed -- and a couple of short and to the point espressos.

This was the kind of meal that renews one's faith in the Irish food culture. Oh that every little town would have a Marianne Krause who would gather together all these strands of food knowledge (wouldn't you know her CV includes a recent stint at Sheridan's in Galway?) and bring them to bear on such an ambitiously modest venture.

Aoife Carrigy

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