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Georgina Campbells Ireland Guide 2013

This Limerick based group of French-inspired coffee houses has three outlets, and has expanded the daytime format to full evening service at the Castletroy Café Noir outlet adjoining the Travelodge Hotel, and Robert Street.

Superb baked goods and patisserie have distinguished the Café Noir brand from the beginning and a team of bakers in a central kitchen work through the night to ensure early morning deliveries of the impressive range of artisanal breads, croissants, scones, muffins, quiches and desserts.

Breakfasts run from freshly squeezed juices or fresh fruit salad with natural yogurt to crispy bacon and maple syrup crepes, freshly baked croissants and pain au chocolat or a luscious croque monsieur stacked high with smoked ham and gruyère cheese.

Lunchtime sandwiches and salads are made to order pairing breads like light rye, homemade brown soda or walnut and date loaf with an inviting array of fresh fillings and gourmet salads like Mediterranean roast vegetables with olives, sundried tomatoes and feta cheese, Indian spiced couscous or mixed bean with tomatoes and herbs. Quiches of organic goats cheese, spinach and red onion confit or the classic ham and gruyère quiche Lorrainne are deep and generous.

Hot lunches feature homemade soups and favourites like fisherman’s pie topped with parmesan mash, spicy chicken chargrilled with mango, chilli and coriander salsa and chargrilled ribeye steak sandwich with red onion jam and pickles.

Cheerful efficient service is the result of in-house training and food displays at the self-service counters are continuously replenished to maintain fresh appeal.

The two-level Café Noir in Castletroy Park Point Centre reverts to subtle lighting and table service from 6 pm, when a full brasserie style menu is rolled out.

French onion soup en croûte is a signature dish alongside Irish produce like Ballycotton smoked salmon, wild mussels and a butcher’s plate of air-dried lamb, parma ham and ham hock terrine from the award winning McGeoughs of Oughterard. Irish beef comes as pan-seared ribeye or a carnivore’s delight of l4 ounce chargrilled T-bone with café de Paris butter and grilled field mushrooms.

Chef’s special dishes change daily, along with a fish dish of the day.

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