A new restaurant by the celebrated former Ireland rugby player Keith Wood is now open in Killaloe, Co Clare, called Upstairs at Wood & Bell. Keith, who is from Killaloe and has a long-held enthusiasm for good food, co-owns the new restaurant with his business partner Malcolm Bell.
Talking about the opening, Keith said, “I have wanted to open a restaurant in my native Killaloe for as long as I can remember. Having travelled the world with rugby and eaten in some incredible restaurants, I relished the thought of one day having the opportunity to put a twist on some of their famous dishes.”
“Upstairs at Wood & Bell stems from a conversation over dinner in Chicago with Malcolm Bell, on the eve of the magnificent Ireland win over the All Blacks. Twelve months later we are ready to make that dream into a reality,” he said with a smile.
|Keith Wood, Chef Paddy Collins & Malcolm Bell|
Keith has installed a confident restaurant team led by executive chef Paddy Collins and sous chef Noel Heaney. Paddy has created a succinct and assured menu offering classic, French-influenced Modern Irish dishes, featuring plenty of seasonal, locally grown and locally supplied ingredients.
All of the herbs and most of the fruit and vegetables are supplied from the restaurant’s own gardens year-round, an extensive and picturesque plot overlooking Lough Derg and managed by Keith’s wife, avid gardener Nicola Wood.
Starters include: Langoustine & Shellfish Bisque with Sourdough & Pancetta Crumb; Lamb Belly with Puy Lentils, Squash & Mint; Beech Smoked Salmon, Sexton Crab, Apple & Yuzu; Goat’s Curd, Charred Gem Lettuce, Figs & Truffle Honey; and Seared Chicken Livers, Shallot Tarte Tatin, Crispy Skin & Port.
Main course dishes include: Skeaghanore Duck, Roast & Pickled Beets, Onion & Confit Leg; Trout, Rainbow Chard, Clams, Squid Ink & Kombu; Beef Fillet, Oxtail & Marrow, Turnip Texture & Chanterelles; Black Sole, Seared Scallops, Saffron Potatoes, Sprout Tops & Lemon; and Corn-Fed Chicken, Confit Leg, Smoked Thigh, Celeriac & Tomato Essence.
Dessert will include: Fried Brioche, Spiced Plums & Vanilla; Semolina Pudding, Morello Cherries & Biscuit; Gingerbread Parfait, Candied Ginger & Hazelnut Brittle; Flourless Chocolate, Honeycomb, Soil & Air; and a Cheese Board with Quince.
Executive chef Paddy Collins said, “Having worked and run kitchens for 16 years, it is every chef’s dream to find owners with the same drive, passion and vision as I have with Keith and Malcolm. It’s not often that a chef has the opportunity to run a kitchen with everything we could need growing in our own gardens and glasshouses overlooking Lough Derg. With my sous chef Noel and all the Wood & Bell team, we hope to help make this beautiful village of Killaloe the next great Irish food destination.”
The restaurant is a smartly presented room, decorated in classic tones and colours, with lots of period details and impressive furnishings, fitting in with its charming location in the beautiful, lakeside village of Killaloe in Co Clare.
Upstairs at Wood & Bell is located on Main Street, Killaloe, Co Clare.
Opening hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 5.30-9.45pm. Advance booking is advised by calling 061 517 480, or email email@example.com.