Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Counting Calories at El Vino

El Vino at The Elysian
From the top: Monkfish and black pudding, bream, duck, crab croquettes.

El Vino
There is something extra to read on the menus at El Vino in the Elysian Tower. Quite a lot to study actually as you have an Early Bird Menu, an Evening Menu, a Tapas Menu and a Set Menu. But what distinguishes El Vino from most other restaurants is that they actually show you how many calories are in each dish.

It is a Bistro style venue, first opened in 2009. Made my first call there at the weekend and settled in to a comfortable seat as I took a look at the menus which were already on the table. Service overall was smart and friendly and the food was good with some local produce, such as Clonakilty Black Pudding and Bantry Bay Mussels, mentioned on the menus.

Indeed, the famous black pudding featured on one of our starters (which also doubles as a tapa):
Pan-fried Monkfish served on Clonakilty Black Pudding with a Red Pepper Dressing. It will cost you €10.95 and weighs in at 402kcal. This fairly unusual match worked out pretty well, a nice mix of flavours and textures.

The other starter, was Crab, Lemon and Roasted Red Pepper Croquettes served with a Garlic Aioli. The tasty croquettes (coquettes almost slipped through there!), six of them, weighed in at 486kcal and cost €9.50. This also appears on the tapas menu and indeed would be ideal for sharing among a group of three or four.

On then to the mains and must say I was happy enough with mine: Pan Seared Duck Breast
with Artichoke Puree, Borettane Onions, Herb Roasted Baby Potatoes and a Red Wine Reduction (996kcal, €23.95).  Nicely executed, with a good accompaniment on the plate and a well cooked set of vegetables on the side-plate.

The other mains on the table was: Pan Fried fillet of Sea Bream with a sundried Tomato and Oregano Ragout and a crispy Olive Polenta Cake (€19.95). Again quite an acceptable plateful of flavours and textures. You’re probably fed up of calories by now but this was a very healthy 368.

Sticky Toffee Pudding, served with a Bushmills Butterscotch Sauce and Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream was the main temptress but, staying on the healthy path, we avoided the dessert course altogether. Did have a couple of glasses of wine though; they have a list that covers most bases, and I enjoyed my Verdejo while CL loved her Riesling, each at €6.50 per glass.

·         If you are checking the El Vino website, just be aware they they also have a restaurant in Douglas and not all menus or opening times are the same for each.
·         The Indigo Brasserie, on Washington Street, also lists the calorie count on their menu.

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