Chef Toni Bottoni helped make Kilkenny’s Mug*shot Café a vegetarian destination in Kilkenny and these days, she’s overseeing the kitchen in Billy Byrne’s.
I’m breaking from the food producers this week to get back on the trail for the Savour Kilkenny Food Provenance Award.
It’s a new award introduced for this year’s festival and as the October Bank Holiday weekend approaches, I’ve been tasked with visiting 12 different eateries around Kilkenny city and county to find out what’s on the menu, discover their work with local and regional produce, approaches to seasonal cooking and find out what makes them tick when it comes to all things food.
Enter: Billy Byrne’s
Bringing an authentic slice of Italian cuisine to one of Kilkenny’s busiest night spots, I sit down with chef Toni Bottoni this week to find out what’s on the menu at Billy Byrne’s.
You’ll find Billy Byrne’s a stone’s throw from the bus and train station in Kilkenny and over the last ten or fifteen years the pub has gone from “old man pub” for want of a better phrase, to a bustling hub of movies, live music and a wealth of food, making it one of the busiest spots in Kilkenny at the weekend.
Where previously the cooking was done in a double-decker bus in the beer garden, everything is now done in house under Toni’s eye – I’ll let her explain.
While I’ve been in for lunch a few times this year, along with their breakfast when much needed at the weekend, I’ve yet to try the pizza but after our talk in the bar it’s definitely top of my agenda.
Next week, it’s more on the restaurant front as I catch up with Carlow native Keith Kelly who’s overseeing things in Paris Texas bar, restaurant and smokehouse.
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