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Bite-Size: what's new in food and drink this week

We have all the info on some new dining options, a hotel getaway - and a very special whiskey


There's plenty going on around the country this week, with new launches and a special offer from one hotel that has us feeling very optimistic for the summer. 

Plus you can now enjoy great Mexican food from Dublin's 777 restaurant no matter where you are in the country - and if you're a whiskey fan we have all the info on the incredible limited edition launch from Midleton. This is not your average bottle of whiskey! 

777 heaven

The much loved Dublin restaurant 777 has launched at-home dining this week. There’s a range of boxes available, designed for two to three people, as well as some of 777’s signature cocktails. The taquito party kit (€55) includes totopos and salsas, tacos, tostads, grilled corn slaw and more, and a veggie taquito kit (€55) has the likes of with mushroom tacos, and aubergine caviar tostada. The kits also include two bread and butter puddings for dessert. A 750ml margarita (serves 5) and 750ml Violencia Rojo (serves 5) are €40 each and there’s also a three 500ml cocktail boxset for €80.

Nationwide delivery is available for €9. Place your order before 10am on Wednesday for same week deliver on Thursday or Friday (starts 6 May). There’s also Dublin delivery available on Fridays for €7 (pre-order by Thursday 5pm). Order at 777.clickandcollection.com

A fine drop

This month sees the launch of the spectacular Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter Two, the second release in Midleton’s Silent Distillery Collection. It’s the latest arrival in what’s known as the ultra-rare luxury Irish whiskey category with just 70 bottles up for sale – at a breathing €40,000 each. Chapter Two is a 46-year-old single pot still whiskey distilled in 1973 in the signature style of the legendary Old Midleton. Four master distillers had a hand in the creation of this very special whiskey and speaking about the release, master distiller Kevin O’Gorman said, “As master of maturation it was a joy to oversee the ageing process of this expression in recent years. This year as master distiller, and with the whiskey at peak perfection, I had the pleasure of overseeing its bottling.” 

As you might expect, Chapter Two is presented in fine style, in hand-blown Waterford Crystal decanter bottles and bespoke wooden cabinets handcrafted by Irish designer, John Galvin, using wood up to 200 years old from reclaimed oak whiskey vats, Elm and rare Japanese Tamo. For more see midletonveryrare.com

A great escape

If you’ve started thinking about getting away for a few days as the country re-opens, the five-star Sheen Falls Lodge in Co Kerry has a new 3 Night Saver package on offer. It includes a three-night stay in a newly refurbished room overlooking the Sheen Falls and dinner on two evenings - one in award-winning The Falls Restaurant, and one in the Sheen Lounge. Guests can also enjoy a full Irish breakfast each morning. The Sheen Falls team has been busy over the past year and the property has undergone a refurbishment that included updates to the bedrooms, spa and The Falls Restaurant. There’s also an extended array of additional outdoor activities on the grounds too, including paddleboarding, archery and clay pigeon shooting. The package is priced at €1,460 for three nights based on two people sharing. To book, or for more info see sheenfallslodge.ie.

Grab and go
There’s a great new take-away option if you’re in Dublin city centre. Located off Grafton Street, Balfes has just launched its short and sweet Balfes To Go menu, with two sandwiches and an array of drinks options. There’s a steak baguette (€16) and vegetarian focaccia (€12) – with the all-important offering of fries for €4. Drinks-wise, there’s tea or coffee for €3 per person. If you want something a little stronger you can choose from a trio of beers from Irish craft brewery Hopefully Brewing for €5 each, and Spanish pale lager Estrella Galicia for €4. Or opt for a cocktail from this trio: Venetian Spritz (Aperol, Campari, Manzanilla, apricot, tonka, bitters, and Prosecco), U Ok Hun? (Beefeater Pink Gin, Suze, Rinomato Aperitivo, Belsazar White, grapefruit cordial, citrus and tonka syrup), and Can You Can-Can? (Grey Goose vodka, white vermouth, and pimento dram), all €10 each. The Balfes to Go menu is available for collection Wednesday to Sunday from 12pm to 6pm. To order call 01 646 3353 or email [email protected]. balfes.ie

New arrival

Clonakilty Distillery, well-known for its award-winning whiskeys and gin (its sloe gin bagged Best Irish Sloe Gin at the World Gin Awards earlier this year) has added a premium Irish vodka to its offering. Minke Vodka takes its name from the Minke whales which swim in the Atlantic off the coast of Clonakilty, Co Cork. Rather than using grain-based alcohol, the new vodka uses a whey base spirit, derived from milk produced on the 9th generation family farm, which gives a velvety mouthfeel. It works well served over ice or in all sorts of cocktails.
Priced at €33.95, Minke vodka is available exclusively in Centra and Supervalu stores nationwide now. clonakiltydistillery.ie