Redneckhunter saw Moran's Oyster Cottage listed online in a Top Ten Pubs in Ireland list, so since we were staying in Galway, we decided to take the short drive outside of the city to find it. Thank god we had a GPS, otherwise we never would have found the thatched cottage located on the tidal Dunkelin river, across from the old stone wall that's known as The Weir. It was well worth the drive.
In business since 1797, seven generations of Morans have run the restaurant. We were greeted at our table, in fact, by current owner Michael Moran.
We ordered the specialty of the house two ways: fresh, on the half-shell; and grilled, with garlic breadcrumbs. Both were delicious -- big, briny, meaty oysters, expertly shucked. Apparently the shuckers at Moran's are world champions of the craft.
We rounded out the meal with seafood chowder (more refined and less chunky than others we had had in Ireland) and more locally smoked salmon on brown bread. The smoked salmon we had in Ireland is milder, less salty than its American counterpart. And homemade brown bread is addictive -- dense, chewy, nutty, slightly sweet... I miss it now that we're back at home!
Moran's Oyster Cottage
Kilcolgan, County Galway