The Daily Diary of a Wandering Restaurateur
Kissin' Kinsale Goodbye

The Route As some of you may know, Margene was involved in a car accident some 25 years ago in Colorado, hit head-on on a snowy day by a skidding driver while she waited in the turn lane! Her neck has been a constant issue ever since, a condition that has helped chiropractors all over the west to make their boat payments! Anyway, her neck went out a few days ago and today we went to see the local chiropractor recommended by our hostess, Rita.

Patrick Tiedt is a delightful Irishman. He's not only a holistic sort of chiropractor but he is a certified acupuncturist trained in China. His practice combines the two disciplines in what Margene said was a very effective way. He started with acupuncture to relax her muscles, adding a low electric charge to the needles. I hadn't seen that done before. Then it was on to the chiropractic part of the treatment, but without any forced manipulation.

Patrick contends that the whole process should be totally pain-free and that anyone who believes in the mantra of "no pain, no gain" is doing you a disservice. The good news is that an hour or so later, Margene floated out of his office feeling terrific! The bad news is that it's just a matter of time before she has to repeat the realignment process yet again ... but she's enjoying the good feeling while it lasts!

This being our last full day in Kinsale, we simply had to go back to the Bulman Bar so Margene could get the Gorgonzola gnocci one last time. With the long holiday weekend behind us, the place was much less busy and we could actually get a seat as soon as we arrived. After seeing what it looked like during the weekend crush, it seemed almost empty inside. I suspect it will be wall-to-wall every day in the summer.

Speaking of a busy summer, we were disappointed to learn that the area's one artisanal pizzeria had closed. In the touching goodbye message on his website, after sincerely praising his patrons, his staff, his vendors and his landlord, the owner said, "For me the business has become hugely more seasonal than before. For us (and I speak for nobody else) the summers are very good but the winters are way too long. A man with his head in the oven and his feet in the fridge is the perfect temperature on average. The extremities are too much, the summers too manic and the winters too quiet."

I'm sure his fortunes were also hampered by limited parking and a location out of the main traffic area of town, but whether improving either would have been enough to overcome the seasonal roller coaster remains to be seen. The business is tough enough without volunteering for any additional hurdles to leap, something to remember when selecting a new site, particularly in a seasonal market. I do love the honesty of his message and though I never met the man, I'm sorry to see him leave the game.

Patrick's home and office is in an outlying area called Sandycove, where almost everywhere you look is a postcard shot. I was particularly struck by the view down the drive to one home, across the lawns to a small ruin and the ever-present sea. All in all, a very relaxing part of the world to be in ... at least when the sun is shining.

Patrick has built his office space into his home, managing to look professional without making his house look commercial. He is a lovely man with a quick Irish wit and an obvious devotion to the work he is doing.

The Bulman was a lot quieter today. It has a nice homey feel to it -- a little nicer than just a pub but more comfortable than a restaurant. I never got upstairs to see how they did the actual restaurant portion of the place. Maybe on the next trip. I always believe that decor should give you something interesting to look at no matter where your eyes are pointed. The Bulman has done that by adding raised nautical elements to an otherwise glossy flat ceiling. There are several necessary fixtures (smoke detector, etc.) neatly tucked into the raised sextant. Other parts of the ceiling have a flock of seagulls and various other images -- enough to keep it interesting without looking cluttered. For lunch, Margene had her gnocci again (awesome!) and I went for the fish and chips. The portion was huge, although for 14.50 euros (about $20) I'd hope so. It, too, was as good as I've had anywhere.

A goodbye look around beautiful downtown Kinsale. More than once, Margene has said, "I could live here." I concur.

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