Petronella is a name that is SYNONYMOUS with historic Kilkenny and since 2014, has also fronted one of its renowned restaurants, named simply ‘Petronella’, on the cobbled Butterslip Lane. Opened in 2014 by Businessman Frank Curran, Petronella occupies a building which dates from 1602 and further claims historic importance in being the very building where parts of the Charter of Kilkenny was signed. “The building had been lying idle for a while”, Frank explained, “it was a shame to see it idle and when we went to see it, we knew we wanted to bring it to life again”. Diners look out onto a laneway which itself has been associated with food since Medieval times when women sold butter in its alcoves in the shade of the high stone walls. Frank’s love of history led him to recently celebrate this charming past by hosting a butter making event and sale of butter on the lane during the recent Savour Festival in Kilkenny.
Petronella herself is never far from any diner’s mind and especially those of the many tourists, who when they leave the lane at the High Street entrance, pass the Town Hall on their left where Petronella met her end, as Frank explained to me, “Petronella was the first woman to be burned at the stake in Europe when she was wrongly accused of witchcraft in 1324 and it happened right around the corner”.
Busy with history and guests, Petronella restaurant
is always busy with its food. The holistic approach to delivering an all-round dining experience is what ensures the consistent return of visitors to the restaurant.
Frank outlines how the “combination of the welcome, the service and the food make for the experience, we want our customers to savour the atmosphere and the food.
I’ve a marvellous team of chefs in the kitchen and they each work to their strengths. This allows us to offer great flexibility to our guests, we cater for those with allergies or diners who prefer a vegan or vegetarian option.”
Chef Philip Morarity recently joined the team bringing with him many years of experience from some of the best restaurants in Scotland. For the new menu launch in December 2018 Philip has introduced his own unique style.
Here we feature his starter of grilled flat mushroom stuffed with Cashel blue cheese, Welsh rarebit, Parmesan on a sourdough crostini and a main course of slow cooked Irish beef cheeks with white caramelised onion velouté and burgundy pearl onions. Kilkenny is a city well known as a cultural and creative hub and also a food lovers’ haunt and recently designated Irelands Foodie Destination 2018.
Petronella has added another string to its bow and her original portrait on the wall as you walk up the stairs is a nod to her place in the affections of all in Kilkenny.