Since he opened Café Paradiso in 1993, County Cork-born chef Denis Cotter has been on a mission to attract omnivorous diners by doing away with what he calls the “penitential” reputation of meat-free cooking. In an intimate, gray-walled dining room, local vegetables and cheeses play a central role in dishes such as roasted beetroot, watercress, and blood orange with sheep’s milk cheese, and braised turnip galette of chestnut and Portobello. Among Café Paradiso’s fans: chef Amanda Cohen of New York City’s pioneering, plant-based Dirt Candy.
One of Cork’s most enduringly popular restaurants is chef Denis Cotter’s vegetarian Café Paradiso on Lancaster Quay. Leave any preconceptions about meatless food being tasteless at the door. Cotter cherry-picks influences from all over the globe and his dishes are vibrant with flavor, as in menu selections such as feta and pistachio couscous or parsnip tortellini in gingered butter.