Stella Maris is one of the most popular restaurants on Ireland’s West Coast. It has been recognized by Bridgestone Guides as one of Ireland’s Top 100 restaurants. The quality and preparation of the food, which is the hallmark of Ireland’s Blue Book properties, serves to complement the scenic location on Bunatrahir Bay overlooking Downpatrick Head.
Proprietor and Executive Chef Frances Kelly oversees the kitchen personally. “There is a Proustian quality to Frances Kelly's cooking, a lingering of detail in every aspect of a dish, a search for definition that goes far beyond what is normal in the food world, a search for detail that will unearth the Goddess in every bite,” writes food critic John McKenna. “What John Coltrane did with his saxophone, Ms Kelly does with her work – leave no avenue unexplored, keep going as far as you can, as long as you can.
“Like great novelists and musicians, every thing she cooks seems desperately personal, as if she is writing an autobiography with each plate of food served in Stella Maris. She isn't aiming just to feed you: she is aiming to etch the flavours into your memory. The funny thing is, despite this lavish attention to detail, her work arrives as the essence of simplicity. Several years back, we wrote this: ‘Every single dish we ate on a recent family visit to Stella Maris was perfect in every detail. Not fussy perfect, or pretentious perfect, or obsessive perfect.. Just perfect in and of itself...’. Like the best female cooks, Ms Kelly knows where perfection lies, and she knows that it's not in demonstrating ego, but rather in its opposite: lose yourself in your work, and perfection arrives with your vanishing.”
Working with the head chef, Frances determines the daily menu based on the availability of fresh product. There are only six main course offerings each day to ensure that each entrée is prepared properly. The first and second courses also change on a daily basis to provide variety. Desserts, like the aromatic homemade bread, are created in the Stella Maris kitchen fresh each day.
Breakfast for Stella Maris guests is a wonderful experience. Choices such as free-range eggs, fresh potato cakes, traditional Irish bacon and sausages, salmon, cereals and French toast complement fresh juices, coffee and tea each morning. It is little wonder that noted Ireland food critic Georgina Campbell acclaimed the Stella Maris breakfast as the best in Connaught, one of Ireland’s four regions.
Dining at Stella Maris is a culinary experience that rivals the best restaurants in Ireland. With only 24 seats in our intimate dining room, reservations are necessary to enjoy the modern Irish cuisine that Stella Maris provides.
Stella Maris Sample Menu
Toasted Organic St. Tola Goat Cheese on Pesto Crouton with Garden Greens & Raspberry Purée
Lamb Kidneys Sautéed, Toasted Crouton, Wholegrain Mustard Sauce
Oak-Smoked Irish Salmon, Cappucine Capers, Chopped Shallots, Lemon
Confit of Irish Duck, Warm Fruit Chutney, Basil Oil
Fresh Tagliatelle with Crisp Parma Ham & Tomato Concasse in a Mild Garlic Cream
Mushroom & Tarragon Soup with Fresh Cream Swirl
House-Made Fresh Lemon & Lime Sorbet
Organic Mixed Leaf Salad, Cherry Tomatoes & Cucumber, Balsamic Vinaigrette
Slow-Braised Shank of Ballycastle Lamb,
Herbed Parsnip Mash, Rosemary & Red Wine Jus
Fresh Cod with Baked Crabmeat Crust,
Asparagus Spears, Prawn-Scented Cream
Beer-Marinated Tenderloin & Crispy Belly of Irish Pork,
Sweet Potato Puree, Oriental-Spiced Jus
Oven Roasted Breast of Mayo Chicken with Herbed Cheese Pocket,
Chargrilled Vegetables, Sherry Cream
Sautéed Fillets of John Dory, Garlic Baby Spinach,
Seasoned Olive Oil, Lemon Juice & Capers
Seared Fillet of Prime Irish Hereford Beef,
Balsamic Onion Purée, Cashel Blue Cream
Blueberry Crème Brûlée
Tiramisu – Absolutely the best!
Grand Marnier & Dark Chocolate Mousse with Chantilly Cream
Warm Stewed Organic Rhubarb with Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream
Irish Artisan Farmhouse Cheeses, Water Crackers & Seedless Grapes
At Stella Maris, we do our best to accommodate special dietary requirements. Advance notice is appreciated.