Queerguru is in Ireland this week, and tonight our port of call is Westport. It is a beautiful small town on the edge of an Atlantic inlet, on Ireland’s west coast. In the Georgian town center, stone bridges link the tree-lined promenade on the banks of the Carrowbeg River. Rockfleet Castle and Burrishoole Abbey. It’s a place of enchanting surprises, none more perfect than the small unassuming Sage Restaurant that sits at the bottom of the steep high street.
How Bulgarian master chef Shteryo Yurukov and his partner Eva Ivanova who runs the Front of House arrived there in 2013 is a mystery to us as all we ever talk about when we are there is the food. The restaurant website has a very precise and accurate description of Yurukov’s inspiring fusion of New Irish Cuisine: Shteryo Yurukov has the culinary sensibilities of a hunter and a forager. He loves the taste of saddle of rabbit, others cook crab claws with garlic, he cooks them with wild garlic. He makes a foraged coastline salad that blows you away with its mixture of exotica, bitterness, and wildness. To his love of ruddy and feral, he brings a precise technique and sensibility. The result is brilliant eating, food that is sensual and slightly crazy, yet utterly lovable.
There is nothing ‘queer’ about Sage at all, even though the night we were there we were one of three gay couples dining. It is, however, such a subliminal dining experience that makes it a must for any discerning LGBT traveler.
We are by no means the first to discover this wee gem of a place with its unpretentious decor and its determined focus on its rather inspired and exquisite mouth-watering food as the walls behind our table are almost cluttered with countless Awards they have won in their 5 short years. And we think we espied a letter of thanks from the Taoiseach himself. Be sure to book as even on the quietest night of the week, as the Irish would say, Sage gets ‘bunged” . You so will not regret it
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