Frankie Mallon is a chef with the lightest of touches. He takes the finest and freshest ingredients like Clew Bay Lobster, cooks it perfectly in the shell, then combines the juicy flesh with local salad leaves for a dream of a first course. Fresh turbot is given the simplest of treatments, pan fried crisp on the outside, moist in the middle, perched on vibrant tasting garden vegetables from a nearby grower. Give him half a chance with some rich local buttermilk and you’ll end up with the creamiest Panna Cotta you can imagine. He serves these treats at his restaurant An Port Mór, nestled in the heart of Westport, Mayo. What can we tell you about the food? No big fuss or fancy shenanigans in the kitchen, just hard work and total commitment from a chef who loves the ingredients of his region, and treats them with the utmost respect.
Many years' cooking experience, including a stint with celebrity chef Paul Rankin in Belfast, and at top kitchens in Paris and Switzerland, has culminated into Frankie’s own establishment, at An Port Mór, in Wesport, Co. Mayo. Not bad going for a man who only came to Westport for a summer season fifteen years ago. He's now resident here, where the restaurant’s name is linked to Frankie’s birthplace in Blackwater Town, Armagh, his way of keeping in touch with his roots.
Everything on the menu shouts West Coast Ireland in a big way. For those looking for a serious local food experience – this is one of the ‘not to be missed’ places in Ireland. We love the flawless style of cooking, the cosy feel of the intimate dining room, the warm west coast welcome of the staff, but most of all we love the charming unassuming Frankie Mallon and his natural way of making ‘simple’ seem easy to achieve. He lets his ingredients have their own voice and uses his skills to make them sing - pure harmony we reckon.
As for what to eat at An Port Mór, try the local fish from the Atlantic coast of Mayo. This is the place to eat fish in Mayo with Turbot, monkfish and cod all served fresh as can be. The menu also features Clew Bay lobster and mussels, Inishturk crab, Achill Island smoked salmon and sea trout, and Connemara Smokehouse products, all adding to the seafood experience here. Meat eaters are catered to with Sean Kelly’s award winning black puddings and three week dry aged beef, or lamb sourced directly from the hills of Westport.
All of this is served in delightful surroundings – the dining room has a bistro feel with a small eating space at the entrance, the main intimate galley space at the rear, and separate private dining room upstairs, perfect for small groups and parties. An Port Mór is situated in one of the alley side streets in the town centre – very Mediterranean in its feel, with tables and chairs under the awning outside adding to that atmosphere. A great spot for a pre-dinner drink before taking your table inside, or for coffee after dinner. People - watching comes free of charge!
Good Food Ireland Casual Dining Award Winner 2013