By Tori Lock
MIDLETON, Ireland – It felt like home as I walked down the calm streets of Midleton— tractors passed by every few minutes and locals smiled. Turning into an alley, an open courtyard with a modern farm aspect caught my eye. But what was to come impressed me far more.
At Sage Restaurant, the menu changes daily and is dependent on what’s available in a 12-mile radius, making micro-local the philosophy of this highly regarded restaurant. In the kitchen, the 12-mile menu is presented for lunch and dinner with flair. Extensive spices and seasonings are not found in these dishes, however – quality local produce and their pure taste is on display.
Kevin Aherne, head chef, is committed to sourcing local produce and seasonality is a constant driving force behind every dish.
“There aren’t too many bells and whistles with our food,” Aherne said.
Yet, Sage gets ringing endorsements from diners. It comes from the attitude that involves extreme commitment and dedication to local at all times. The cuisine that Aherne and his staff prepare is representative of the rural and coastal geography that surrounds the quaint Midleton community whenever possible. Cacao beans, though not available near Midleton nor anywhere in Ireland, are made into chocolates just across the street.
The loyalty to local, the inspiration of the ingredients plus Kevin’s delicious cooking techniques ensures that surprises, well worth travelling 12+ miles for, come about every day here.