Alain Morice told The Irish Times that “Irish produce is the best in the world.” M Morice might have added that he is one of the great expositors of this great produce. As he is too modest a dude to say that, we will: Alain Morice knows his way around Irish artisan produce with a skill, understanding and affection that has to be born in the blood, and run deep as the bone.
And that is exactly how Alain has acquired his gifts: his father, Gerard, ran one of the first good places to eat in the West when he opened La Petite France, in Castlebar, in the late 1970’s. The audaciousness of that act is scarcely credible: opening an echt French restaurant out west in a country mired in recessions and emigrations. Mon Dieu! La Petite France didn’t manage to survive, but Alain’s opening of Savoir Fare, in 2019, re-establishes the link between French technique, professionalism and style, and Irish artisan ingredients.
The result is simply joyful, and the result is quite unique. No one else makes a 15kg pate en croute – 15kg, with 8 types of meat! – no one else will corn a Dexter beef tongue and serve it with a sauce ravigote. This is rustic, South Western French-influenced cooking, finessed but ruddy, and the perfect adjective to describe it is one Alain uses to describe Savoir Fare itself: loud.
The wines are choice, the deli items are rigorously selected, the charcuterie and cheeses are pristine, and Savoir Fare is the taste of La Petite France, reborn for a new century.