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Big Night: Alan McArdle of Ballynahinch Castle

Where will you eat when everything goes back to normal?

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At some point, our world will return to normal - even if it is a new normal. But where will we go for our first night out?

We asked some well-known names in the Irish food and drinks industry to tell us what they're planning when restrictions are lifted. Today, we spoke to Alan McArdle, head chef of the Owenmore Restaurant at Ballynahinch Castle:

"In Galway, I love Aniar, McCambridges, and Kai for casual hearty grub, packed with flavour, but the first place on my list after all of this is Aimsir if I can get a spot! I love what Jordan Bailey's doing. This country is blessed to have such a talent - the fastest ever restaurant to achieve two Michelin stars. He is such a humble and down to earth gentleman. Top drawer!

READ MORE: Aimsir takes home top prizes at the 2019 FOOD AND WINE Awards

Another I can’t wait to go back to is Michael's Dublin, Mount Merrion. Gaz is a lovable character, slightly tapped but his fish and Higgin’s Butcher steaks are always on point. I love it and always recommend it. 

The best meal I have ever had in Ireland was The Greenhouse. Mikael’s food is incredible, has been for years. I think the whole country was chuffed when he got the second star.

Ballymaloe House was equally as memorable. Back to basics with only the best produce being used, alongside super friendly and knowledgeable staff who always go the extra mile to help with a big friendly smile. The dessert trolley is to die for!"

Ballynahinch Castle will reopen to the public on July 1st 2020, so click here for more info or to make a booking. 

READ MORE: Spanish-style seafood pot recipe from Gaz Smith