Spencer Road, Londonderry. www.nonnas.pizza
Probably the best sourdough pizzas in the north-west. They use local charcuterie from Corndale Farm and cheese from Dart Mountain. The smoky Lo & Slo BBQ Pork with mozzarella pizza is made with unparalleled Lo & Slo sauce (Sauces are a Derry thing, by the way: look out for Ding. It's better than HP).
Donegall Street, Belfast Email: email@example.com. www.cookinbelfast.co.uk
When I collected a tomahawk steak from Hadskis with all the accompanying bits and pieces - bearnaise and peppercorn sauces, partially roasted potatoes, tray of young root vegetables and more - I brought the package into the house as I might have carried in a newborn baby. Following the simple instructions forensically resulted in a dinner Niall McKenna himself would have approved. Three-course meals start at £51 for two people.
Bank Square, Belfast. www.mourneseafood.com
The £40 three-course dinner for two of mussels with fennel cream, panko-crusted hake with shellfish ragu and a pair of chocolate fondants is impressive. Stick to the instructions, no matter what doubts may be creeping in. If you, like me, have developed the worst possible habits when cooking, ignore your instinct and go with the chef. They know best.
27a Church Road, Holywood. Tel: 028 9042 5655, www.nobleholywood.com
A £25 three-course meal with starter of truffle risotto, main of blade of beef with Bourguignon sauce and garlic mash, and finally cheese and chocolate fondant from Noble is a must. Chef Pearson Morris has done all the heavy lifting and the hard bits just require a boil in a bag skill, which means anyone can do it. To achieve Noble standards just requires clearing everybody out of the kitchen so you can concentrate on the instructions.
14 Dromore Street, Ballynahinch. Menu on Faceboo.k Tel: 07521 051892, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For only £40 for two, Lecale will provide a potted jar of langoustine pate, pork rillettes, half a dozen oysters from Killough, crab claws the size of baseball gloves, a plate of monkfish in herbed butter, ratatouille, a large chunk of seasoned and slow-cooked pork belly and much more, including desserts. It is phenomenal in terms of volume. The quality of these ready-to-heat-up, robust, rustic French farmhouse dishes is unparalleled.
Cyprus Avenue Restaurant, 228-230 Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast. Tel: 028 9099 3188
Richard McCracken has converted the much-loved Cyprus Avenue restaurant into a corner shop where you can pick up a pizza, a tomahawk steak and even some venison, chocolate and chilli nachos. The pizzas are outstanding. From Grace with Love XO (£13) features Portavogie prawns, Corndale chorizo and roast red peppers. Not an obvious blend, but it works beautifully. The chorizo is light and spicy, but not so much as to eclipse the delicate texture and flavour of the prawns. The tomahawk is a vast thing marked for two people and includes pickled onion rings, mushrooms, tomato, rosemary fries, peppered sauce and a side salad. At £50 there's enough to feed three.
Stock Kitchen and Restaurant, St George's Market, Belfast. www.paymentsense.com/stock-kitchen/
So far, Danny Millar of Stock Home wins the best instructions award for having the fewest of them. Three courses for two people at £50 included duck pot stickers, dipping sauce, cod saltimbocca with a yang selection of pumpkin, kale and other wholesome vegetables and a yin of devilish roast potatoes. All I had to do was follow two lines of guidance: make sure the oven was at 200C and the plates were warming.