Fancy sitting outside a seaside café and hearing the gulls wheel overhead. Then, after you’ve eaten a delicious plate of home made food produced from local ingredients, you might want to take a short stroll down the lane, and over to the harbour, where a small fleet of colourful fishing boats is moored at the quay. If that sounds like bliss too good to be true – we can tell you now that such a place really does exist.
That place is The Lemon Tree Café, run by chef Joan Power. Her cooking skills were gained as a child, at the elbow of her mum, also a chef, when she cooked for the bustling small hotel in the village, which was Joan’s family home. The hotel is now no longer in the family, but Joan’s skills are alive and well and producing great results in this, her first venture into the restaurant business. The café was born in summer 2008 and continues to wow locals and tourists alike. Surroundings here are relaxed and casual. Outside, there’s a convenient off road parking area, leading down steps to outdoor tables and chairs on the decked area out front.
This is the place to sit and hear those gulls singing their happy songs. Inside, a pleasant entry space has service counters packed with salads on one side, desserts and pastries on the other, and take away cabinets which provide Joan’s homemade frozen or chilled ready meals for the time-pushed, or self catering holidaymakers who can’t be bothered cooking. This leads to the open plan café area, where chunky beech wood tables and chairs and modern artwork and walls lined with bottles of wine from the list lend a contemporary air.
Lemon Tree is very child friendly, so there’s always a lively buzz in the daytime with families dining together at lunch. Smallies have their own little gallery up a couple of steps from the café floor, tucked away behind the banquette seating. A play, sit, read and colouring area to keep them out of mischief. Like the setting, food is also casual, and welcome in its homeliness.
Breakfast here is a treat with home baking, home made preserves and healthy options, or more substantial choices. Joan cooks in the small kitchen behind the serving counters, producing an array of home cooked meats, quiches, and salads, as well as daily hot lunch specials, all written on the blackboard. A long list of local suppliers is also impressive, proudly stating proudly where all ingredients come from. Midweek specials on the board come at good value for money prices. On Friday and Saturday evening, the café turns into an intimate restaurant, with the help of subdued lighting, candles, and a cosy stove for chilly evenings. Waitress service takes over for a more formal menu, which includes a good selection of firsts with a seasonal theme.
Mains include fresh fish of the evening, according to availability. Naturally it’s as fresh as fresh could be, since the harbour of Dunmore East is walking distance away. Irish meats feature duck, pork, beef and lamb, cooked in seasonal style. Wines from the list are well chosen to match the fish and meats. Afterwards, a freshly made coffee or tea with one of the house desserts displayed in the cabinet finishes things off nicely. Lemon Tree also offers a catering service.
Summer 2016: The Lemon Tree Restaurant in Dunmore East is open for evening meals for June, July & August on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night from 6pm to 9.30pm..
View Sample Summer Evening Menu Here:
Summer opening hours are Monday to Sunday 10am to 5pm. Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from 6pm to 9.30pm. Brunch menu is available everyday up to 12pm