Ard Bia at Nimmos
The fog has descended upon Galway City’s medieval streets. It’s quiet, mystical and even a little romantic. As we walk through the famous Spanish Arch, it’s like something out of an old black and white film – A concrete arch, a misty sky and the ocean whispering in the background. We head upstairs and are greeted by a warm and atmospheric room. The Sacred Heart shines brightly on the wall beside the door, I’m not sure if it’s comforting but it’s certainly homely. The room feels quite Nordic in style with lots of wood but the presence of the Sacred Heart makes it feel quintessentially Irish.
We’re seated halfway down the room by a pleasant server who isn’t nearly as formal as I had expected – a good thing. The menu is small but perfectly formed with plenty of choice. I decide on Harissa Steamed Mussels, Gubeen Chorizo, Fresh Coriander + Toasted Seeds to start and the special of Pink Duck Breast, Butter Roasted Potato, Beetroot Puree, Roast Plums, Kale + Jus for mains with a glass of Montepulciano to match.
The starters arrive quickly. A large bowl of mussels greets me, so fresh that I can taste the Atlantic with my first mouthful. They are succulent, well seasoned and warming. The broth is full of the chorizo’s hot paprika and although the harissa isn’t immediately apparent, its heat simmers just under the surface – you know it’s there and the dish wouldn’t be anywhere near as vibrant without it. A beautiful start.
The main course is another success. The duck breast and leg, both perfectly cooked, arrive on a bed of beetroot puree with the most wonderful kale and deliciously sweet roasted prunes to cut through the rich meat and jus. Everything is expertly cooked and seasoned. The duck is rich and soft while the crispy skin adds just the hint of texture needed to bring everything together. There is a little too much beetroot puree on the plate for me but I’m nitpicking here – I have to, to find any fault at all.
I’m full, absolutely full. Instead of dessert there is an option to have Sweet Marsala, Espresso + Biscotti. The waiter tells me that there are no biscotti left but he has “little almond biscuity things,” no problem. It arrives a few minutes later – two espresso cups, one with Marsala and the other with a smooth and strong espresso. The “little biscuity things” turn out to be beautiful almond florentines which are the perfect mix of sweet, nut and crunch. I’m content with my choice; a mini dessert yet I can enjoy it without feeling even more full!
We ask for the bill. We are the last two customers left but there is no rush placed on us. €98 for two starters, two mains with two sides, one dessert, one Marsala, espresso, biscotti board, one tea and a glass of red Montepulciano. Worth every penny and more.
Very Highly Recommended.
Ard Bia At Nimmos
091 561 114