Kate McCormack’s cafe and butcher shop is at the top of bridge Street in Westport town. The butcher shop is an institution, and the cafe is reached through the archway and up the stairs. On the right is the cafe, and to the left is the Andrew Stone gallery, but you will find some of the exhibits hanging in the cafe as well.
The first time I reviewed in Westport was in the temptations restaurant in the Milltimes Hotel. A young Jonathan Keane was in the kitchen then and had emailed us to set out his stall and ask us to review his food. We did, and it was brilliant and Jonathon now heads up the kitchen in Lisloughrey Lodge beside Ashford castle.
The point is the first thing I ate was chicken liver pate with rhubarb, which was probably the best I ever tasted. Jonathan was totally upfront and told me he didn’t make it. It was from McCormack’s butchers across the road, and he didn’t think he could improve on it, so didn’t see the point in trying. It‘s unusual for a chef of his calibre to say that, but he was spot on and you will still find McCormack’s pate on his award winning menu on Lisloughrey.
The coffee shop serves food all day, from breakfast right through the day, and it’s as good and fresh for a scone, as for one of the revolving selection of hot meals which change on a daily basis. The meats are always of the best quality, coming from the family business downstairs, and all the other produce is locally sourced and fresh.
The bacon and cabbage is a Friday staple, and the roast leg of lamb – usually on Thursdays – is always good. There is always a section of salads and the aforementioned pate is worth a trip to Westport on its own. Goat’s cheese usually makes an appearance and I have enjoyed the Bells Falls variety here a couple of times.
We usually pop in on a Saturday for coffee and a cake before stocking up in the butchers down below. The coffee is good, the staff are friendly and the room is tastefully decorated in soft green s and creams. Kate McCormack’s is a real gem; a family run business that has stayed true to its roots and that serves some of the best homemade food you will find.
Buy late in the evening, then the boot full of goodies you buy in the butchers will last until the Sunday afternoon drive home. Legendary stuff.