Located in the scenic village of Clonegal, Henry and Stephanie Stone’s beautifully restored restaurant features the highest quality local food with a creative twist. With numerous accolades to its name, Sha-Roe Bistro is a popular dining experience for food enthusiasts.
When Henry and Stephanie Stone opened Sha-Roe in Clonegal in 2005, they knew they were continuing a long local legacy of cuisine and hospitality.
The Sha-Roe building, which they live and work in, was originally constructed in 1690 at the behest of the owners of the nearby Huntington Castle, where it served villagers and travellers as an inn and pub.
Today, Sha-Roe serves up a mixture of Irish classics, modernised for the discerning twenty-first-century palate, and Asian and Japanese-inspired creations. ‘We offer great food in a very unique, relaxing, and intimate atmosphere,’ says Stephanie, who works as Sha-Roe’s host.
The husband-and-wife team first met at Marlfield House in Gorey, where Henry, Sha-Roe’s chef, was awarded the 3 AA Rosette. Since opening Sha-Roe 16 years ago, the pair have earned multiple Irish and international awards and accolades, including a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2008, which they still hold.
Local ingredients and flavours may have at least something to do with Sha-Roe’s success.
‘We try to champion local suppliers as much as possible. We use Elizabeth Bradley’s cheese [made in nearby Fenagh], and we also have a local supplier of asparagus,’ says Henry.
Setting and atmosphere clearly matter as well. Henry describes Sha-Roe’s ‘homely’ vibe as a unique selling point.
‘We stand out in the market in Carlow because of our consistency and because we actually live in the [Sha-Roe] building. It’s our home, and we want to welcome people into our home,’ Henry says.
Stephanie says that Sha-Roe is an established part of the local hospitality scene: ‘We love holding local events, family lunches, birthdays, weddings. People can get married in Huntington Castle then come down here for the rest of the evening.’
Carlow is rapidly making its mark on Irish gastronomy, and Henry believes that people’s openness to new food experiences is helping to put local restaurants and food on the map.
“It’s our home, and we want to welcome people into our home”