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Fry Place, Athlone, Co. Westmeath53.42240000-7.94180000International

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The Left Bank Bistro has been in existence since February 1995. The name came from a favourite haunt of Annie's in Freemantle, W Australia, another 'Left Bank' on the Swan River. Of course the location close to River Shannon and the 'Rive Gauche' nature of 'Old Athlone' seemed to suit the name perfectly.

Annie and Mary initially opened the Left Bank Bistro in a quaint old stone-walled building close to the present premises. The new room, which has been the restaurant's home since November 2000 is bright, airy, modern, but also old. Architect Annmarie O'Neill of John Duffy Design in Dublin created exactly the 'feel' the girls wanted to achieve - 'old, with new looking over the shoulder'. The restaurant is fully air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible.

One of the features of the room is our beautiful Bluthner baby-grand piano, which is there for customer's use (and they do!).

The style of food in The Left Bank has always been strongly influenced by Annie's Australian upbringing, and her love of travel. The menu, which always features a daily fish menu, has Oriental influences, as well as Mediterranean, and using fresh local ingredients ensures that the food is exciting, and innovative. The kitchen team at The Left Bank have a real respect for natural tastes, so that the finished dishes are as 'untampered-with' as possible, allowing the true textures and flavours of the cooking to shine through.

Georgina Campbell's Jameson Guide

"Athlone is now recognised as the culinary capital of the inland waterways... Annie McNamara and Mary McCullagh's wacky little Left Bank Bistro was one of the cornerstones of that reputation - and their philosophy lives on in their elegant and spacious newer premises near the river. Here architectural salvage materials and interesting, subtle colours combine well with contemporary wooden furniture and a gently minimalist style to create a space which is both impressive and relaxing."

cuisine:

International

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