With the wild Irish game season in full swing from November 1st, Homestead Cottage in Doolin, Co. Clare – recently named one of the Michelin Guide inspectors’ favourite new restaurants for 2023 – has created a new seven-course tasting menu for Dinner that encapsulates Autumn, celebrating the best of the west’s bountiful local larder.
After many years spent working in hospitality together, in June of this year Scottish Chef, Robbie McCauley (formerly Head Chef at Gregans Castle Hotel in Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare), and his wife Sophie – who looks after the front of house – decided to take the leap of faith and open their own relaxed rural restaurant on the outskirts of Doolin village.
Set in a charming 200 year-old traditional stone cottage, a short drive from the iconic Cliffs of Moher and with the Atlantic Ocean offering up the most stunning of backdrops, Homestead Cottage has quickly established itself as a destination restaurant. With a reputation for precision cooking, Robbie’s modern menus showcase the very best local and in-season ingredients, including a wide variety of homegrown produce from the couple’s own one-acre plot close by.
In the cottage’s characterful dining room, with its original Luogh flagstone floor, rustic wooden tables, and an impressive roaring fire, throughout November and December guests can enjoy a set seven-course tasting menu for Dinner that celebrates wild Irish game in the cosiest of surroundings.
At this time of the year, much of McCauley’s inspiration for his tasting menus comes from the wilds of the nearby Burren National Park. A keen hunter himself, wild game is a huge passion of Robbie’s and he is blessed to live in close proximity to some of the finest Woodcock habitat Ireland has to offer.
Throughout autumn and winter, he will head out onto heathland accompanied by his two trusty Pointers and a Springer Spaniel, all of whom are trained to work game, feathered or furred, to hunt the likes of Woodcock, Snipe, and Deer for use in the restaurant.
And, for what Robbie doesn’t have time to track himself, he knows he can call on Eamonn Giblin of Gourmet Game in nearby Scariff, Co. Clare to provide – sourcing Pheasant, Partridge and Mallard Duck, amongst other game items, from him.
Commenting on his passion for wild Irish game, Chef Patron, Robbie McCaulaey said: “We are really happy to be showcasing the very best of Irish game this autumn/winter. Wild game offers us an incredible organic, free ranging and local meat, which is everything Homestead Cottage stands for.”
Over the coming weeks diners can expect the Dinner menu at Homestead Cottage to be graced with dishes such as Galantine of Irish Game & Waldorf Salad, a Partridge, Bacon & Foie Gras Pithivier, Mulberry Shoot Mallard with Garden Carrot & Ottoman Spices, and East Clare Fallow Deer cooked over birch with Hay-baked Garden Celeriac, Kale & Elderberry.
The new game-focused seven-course tasting menu, which is available Thursday to Saturday, 6.30pm – 9.30pm up until Saturday December 30th 2023, is priced at €80.00 per person. Dinner reservations for Homestead Cottage can be made online via the restaurant’s website, homesteadcottagedoolin.com.
Dishes will change on a daily basis depending on the type of game that is available during each particular week and which of Robbie’s homegrown produce, plus ingredients from some of County Clare’s finest producers, are in-season.
Please note: Due to the nature of their small business, the restaurant cannot cater for vegan or lactose free meals, and they require a minimum of 72 hours notice to prepare for any other food allergies, which diners must inform them of at the time of booking.