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Luna Restaurant in Dromahair, Leitrim

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Back in the 90s, there was a pizza restaurant in Sligo called Truffles. I've heard about it in passing, though it was gone long before my time here. It has an almost cult like status in the Northwest - people will reminisce, slightly glassy eyed, about the most amazing pizzas they would serve up. This was before pizza was two-a-penny in Ireland. People have told me how, at Truffles, they would try things like rocket or pesto for the very first time. The owner, Bernadette O'Shea, went on to write a book, Pizza Defined, which was the first cookery book published by John and Sally McKenna.

Though Truffles has been gone for many years, the buzz around Bernadette has never really gone away, which is why the news that she would be opening a restaurant in Dromahair was met with mass hysteria (mostly from me). 

It's been a long time coming - the little house on Main Street has been slowly turned into a little bistro, the windows smudged with my nose print after many attempts to see when it would be open. There was word of after Christmas, then before Easter, then the vague "after Easter". So when I heard the news last week that it would be opening on 27th May, I booked a table for me and Dee straight away. 

Now, I know it's not fair to write a review of a restaurant on its first night of opening. There would be inevitable glitches as people get used to working together in a new kitchen. But I did want to write a little something, to satiate the appetites of those who are dying to know what Luna has to offer. 

First Impressions
The space is beautiful. Though it looks tiny from the outside, the room can comfortably fit 44 diners at my count, and is filled with the most amazing Irish art. There are pencil sketches of fish, bog oak sculptures and beautiful oil paintings like the one you can see below. 

The prize seats are the cosy booths alongside the wall, taken up with old church pews. We tucked in by the door...

...And promptly got stuck into a Sardinian white and a glass of complimentary rose bubbles.

The Menu
While there were certain whispers that Luna is not to be a "Truffles II", there is a page of the menu dedicated to pizza. There are also "Mood Food" dishes, which incorporate an Italian/Irish feel, with a little Thai in the mix. Stand out dishes looked like the chicken pot pie and the duck (more of which later). Main courses were around the €18 mark, with pizzas starting at around €14.50. 

Starters looked good too, with Asian dumplings (which looked like gyozas to me) coming out with dipping sauce, as well as baba ganoush and a terrine. We plumped for a portion of baba ganoush to share, a chicken pot pie and the duck with sweet potatoes and pine nuts. 

The Food
In what I'm sure was an opening night glitch, we had to wait quite a long time for our food. So long, in fact, that Dee started to look like this...

We also got through quite a lot of our wine. Quite a lot indeed. At least the room was buzzing, so whatever nonsense we were talking didn't echo throughout.

Unfortunately, the baba ganoush was finished (though a friend who dined earlier did tell me that it was delicious). Because of the wait, we were brought out a complimentary pork terrine instead. This isn't something I would usually order, but it was delicious. Rich, salty meat with little cornichons and a chutney, with crispy triangles of flatbread. Mmm. It was demolished in seconds (too quickly for my camera to find)

And then... hurrah! My duck!

I'm starving just looking at it. I can safely say that it's the best duck I've ever eaten. The fat was crispy and perfectly rendered throughout the pink meat. It sat on a bed of balsamicky sweet potatoes and pine nuts, which was a winning combination.

Unfortunately for Dee, the chicken pot pie had also finished by the time we got to eating. So instead, she got a smoked garlic and goat's cheese pizza called The Californian (I'm guessing on the toppings there, as we (cough) can't remember the menu)

I was secretly delighted, as it meant that I got a taste of the infamous pizza. And it did not disappoint, as pizza often can. Perfectly seasoned and with proportionate ingredients, it was a smokey, cheesey, oozy plate of deliciousness.

We annihilated our food. I don't think we spoke throughout, apart from violently stabbing each others plates with our forks. I think there was motion blurs coming off of my hands, such was the speed I was chowing down.

And then, onto dessert. We're not 100% what this was but I think it was called a Zabaglione. Now, a little google tells me that this is a form of custard dessert, which makes sense, but ours was frozen. It tasted to me like an almondy, chocolatey frozen custard, and it was served with a hot chocolate and marsala sauce.

It disappeared. It disappeared quickly.

Overall Impressions
Considering that this was their first night, I'm hugely impressed with Luna. The menu is the kind that makes you want to go back and try everything as soon as you can, and the quality is as high as you would expect. A lot of people have been asking me about price, and I think it's pretty reasonable. With a main course, shared dessert and a bottle of wine, our total came to €35 each with a tip. Which seems like a great price to me. If you wanted, you could sit with a glass of wine and a pizza comfortably for around €20 (though it would be a challenge to avoid the starter/dessert options. 

Luna will, I'm sure, bring a constant crowd of hungry bellies to the village of Dromahair, and they will not leave disappointed. I'm already plotting my next visit. 

Luna Restaurant
Main Street
Co. Leitrim
071 91 64728


  1. I dined there last night and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Recommend it highly!

  2. Nice article, hopefully can get a booking there for next weekend! I remember the old Truffles food / pizza with fond memories :)

    1. Thanks Traci! I'm sure you'll be able to, just call in advance. Hopefully the pizza lives up to your memories!

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