Last summer the three of us spent our holidays in Ireland. Me and Daniela both love this island, with exception of the weather maybe :-). We drove a bit around the west and south, enjoying the landscape, views, the great people and also the food. Oh, and also the great radio show "The Full Irish". I was positively impressed by the food and style of the Irish restaurants we visited. These places were almost always friendly and with a cosy atmosphere, food prepared with nice local ingredients in an Irish/international cooking hybrid style, and most important of all unpretentious. For this very reason I think they wouldn't have a chance to win a Michelin star but would certainly make my "eating-out places to visit often" list if they were in the neighbourhood.
Sadly we didn't manage to try one restaurant I had been hearing about a lot: Cafe Paradiso in Cork. I'd heard great things about this vegetarian restaurant. Since my previous vegetarian dining experiences had all been depressing (one in Naples probably the worst) I was ready to try what is by some considered "maybe the best vegetarian restaurant in Europe". But alas I couldn't. Cafe Paradiso was closed on the two days we spent near Cork. To make up for the disappointment I bought Dennis Cotter's (Paradiso's chef) The Cafe Paradiso Cookbook. I've not been cooking from this book for a while but it still is one of my favourite ones. I really enjoy the way it is written, the recipes are explained in an easy way and it breaks all the prejudices one usually has about vegetarian food.