Showing posts with label Dingle Gin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dingle Gin. Show all posts

Monday, April 10, 2017

Peppers of Mallow. Dine at the Crossroads of Munster

Peppers of Mallow

Dine at the Crossroads of Munster
Dessert

There is a lovely restaurant, serving top notch food, in historic Mallow. Near to the beautiful Clock House, yards from the statue of Thomas Davis and just across the road from the castle, you’ll find Peppers where they serve local and seasonal and serve it well. And you may wash it down with local beers and cider.

Called in there on a recent Friday night and were warmly welcomed by Diarmuid and his team. Soon we were studying the menu and the specials board and I was sipping from a glass of Eight Degrees Sunburnt Red Ale (€4.50). Indeed, quite a few of the Mitchelstown Brewery’s beers were available while the Cotton Ball (beer) and Longueville (cider) were also represented.
Croquette
Hard enough to make your mind up here as they have a big selection of starters and mains, desserts too, on the regular menu and then add in the specials as well and you have a dilemma, a delicious one!

Soon though we were up and running. I really hit the jackpot with my starter: Croquette of confit of free range chicken, smoked ham, Jack McCarthy’s black pudding, Jerusalem artichoke cream and apricot (€7.50). What a dish, full of flavour and texture and so well cooked and presented.


CL didn't do too badly either. She had chosen one of the specials: In-house smoked salmon tartare, Castletownbere crab, dill and lemon mayonnaise and Mulcahy leaves (7.50). Another tasty winner, underlining the restaurant’s commitment to local and doing it well.
Salmon & crab
 The high standard would continue. CL continued with the specials board for her mains, indeed continued with the fish theme: Roast cod with a warm potato, chorizo, sun-dried tomato, and red onion salad and wild garlic pesto (18.00). Another super dish.


Local food, local drink
I had noted the duck from the outset. I could have it in the starters but picked this beauty: Breast of free range Carrigcleena duck, charred leek, beetroot and soy glaze, Oyster mushroom, date purée and rustic potato (23.00). Every little bit on the plate contributed; even those potatoes were something else.


We were both very happy at this point but still had the inclination for dessert and we shared one of the specials, the delightful Buttermilk and Brown Bread Parfait, rhubarb poached in Dingle Gin, and Rose Crumb (6.50).

And the service? Well that was excellent too, very friendly and helpful from start to finish. Go on. Give it a try. You'll feel right at home here.
Cod
 And, before or afterwards, take a stroll around the town, that we so often bypass, and see the sights, especially the white deer in the castle grounds and some of the lovely buildings, including the Hibernian Hotel. I know there are a few scars left from the tiger but every town in Ireland has those. Businesses that support local, such as Peppers, will help the healing. Lets support them.

Duck
See also: Mallow. Where the white deer graze

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Salt Wine & Food on Victoria Road. A Winning Docket!

Salt Wine & Food on Victoria Road

A Winning Docket!

On the “vee" between Monahan Road and Victoria Road, there is an undistinguished low level building, close to a tool hire operation. It once housed a bookie’s office where you could lose your money on a nag without getting a run for it. At least nowadays, you’ll get value for your hard-earned cash as the modest building (maybe it looks better by day!) is now home to Salt, a wine bar and café with quite a distinguished menu of food and drink. I certainly felt like a winner as I left after a recent visit.
Tacos
It was a cold night and we were glad of the warm welcome inside. In no time at all we were seated and going through the evening menu of tapas (they also do breakfast and lunch, and brunch at weekends). The evening's specials were pointed out to us and they all looked tempting.

And speaking of temptation, the wine list is full of it, quite a selection of new and old world bottles and bubbles too. Some excellent gins too, Bertha’s Revenge and Dingle among them, and craft beers (both local, Eight Degrees, and imported, Brewdog). We settled on a glass each of the refreshing Real Compania Verdejo Tiera De Castilla (Spain) and of the aromatic Butterfly Ridge Riesling Gewurtz (South Australia), both very enjoyable indeed.

Watch out too for their occasional music nights (Flamenco during the Jazz Fest) and Wine Tasting Events (they included Italian and New Zealand nights last autumn) and they also held a Dine in the Dark Night. So lots happening here on the Victoria Road.


Coco Catalan
We ordered three different tapas to share. Now, as in most Irish cafes and restaurants, these are the bigger tapas (known as Racions in Spain), not the small ones that you devour with a bite or two. The three dishes, all excellent, and the two glasses of wine came to a few cent over forty euro.

We found each enjoyable but my top one was the Coco Catalan: Roast butternut squash and onion, confit garlic, nuts (can vary), raisins and pecorino on a lovely flat bread. This looked great and tasted every bit as good, quite a substantial dish too, bigger than your average starter.

CL was delighted with the Crispy Fish Tacos, cod served with fresh tacos, kimchi slaw, mango salsa, guacamole. She loved the colour, the texture, the flavours. Just goes to show, we don't always agree! Though I gave the nod to the Coco Catalan, I too was very happy with my half (well, almost half) of the Tacos!

We always enjoy Spanish tarts so the Tortilla del Sol was on our order. This Spanish omelette cooked with roast potatoes, confit onions, Espelette pimentos and garlic served with avocado, was served in four large pieces, ideal for sharing as indeed were all three tapas that we had. Ideally, a group of three or four is required here and then you can taste quite a few, including specials such as the three that were on offer the other night (see pic).

Service was top notch, friendly, chatty, helpful.

Mini Burgers. Pic by Salt
Salt
Victoria Road, Cork
Phone: (021) 239 0430
website: www.saltcork.ie 
Facebook: @saltcork
Twitter @saltcork

Opening Times (seasonal)
Mon-Tue 9.00-5.00
Wed-Fri 9.00-11.00
Sat 10.00-11.00
Sun 10.00-5.00

Directions here 


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Samphire by Ballycotton Bay. Of Tropics and Turnips

Samphire by Ballycotton Bay
Of Tropics and Turnips
Tropics for two
Let’s start at the end. Because the end of the superb meal in Samphire, the new restaurant in Garryvoe Hotel, was rather spectacular.

That sweet ending was called Tropics for Two. We shared: Pineapple with white chocolate mousse, coconut, lime and coriander jelly, and passionfruit (16.00 for two). The flesh is removed and cut into in cubes which are then presented on skewers; the shell is then filled with the mousse and topped with the jelly. The coconut is the base for the little “biscuits” that are scattered around. What a delicious combination, meant to be shared!
Scallops
And what of the humble turnip? These rarely appear on Irish menus but the side dish, Confit New Season Turnip, was a delight and this commonly overlooked vegetable, herbed and oiled, emerged as a serious rival to the ubiquitous Butternut Squash. The side dishes are listed on the menu; you get one included with your mains and the others will cost you three euro each.

The food is not the only spectacular element at Samphire. There is a stunning view out over the bay. From my table, I could see the island by Ballycotton, the lighthouse and that path up to the lighthouse. It is also a very comfortable place with a lovely bar in the round taking up about a third of the floor.
Goats cheese
And at this bar, they mix some serious cocktails. One of ours was the Dirty Martini with Dingle gin as the main base. Gins too are featured, some local, some not local. Buy local is my motto and so I went for the Blackwater No. 5 and the tonic was Fever Tree (they haven’t got Poacher’s, yet). Enjoyed that!

You may start with something from their nibbles menu, perhaps Spicy Chorizo al Vino (3.50) or maybe Local Naked Oysters from the Bay at €1.50 each.
Chicken
There’s a good choice of starters too including my choice: Seared King Scallops, Heirloom Tomato Salad, Samphire, Wasabi and Courgette (9.50). Great flavors, textures, very happy with that. CL went for the local cheese, in a starter called All About the Goat: Ardsallagh Beignet, Thyme and Honey Mousse, Lime, Apple, Tomato and Ben’s Brioche, another delightful combination.

We got a lovely welcome at reception and in the restaurant and the service was nice and friendly with a check every now and then to make sure everything was alright. And it was, all through.
The Cod
The local input continued through the mains. CL picked a beauty: East Ferry Chicken char-grilled with gremolata, peperonata, chilli aioli, tender-stem broccoli (20.00), including a lovely side of cous cous. My turnip came with the Cod from the Pond, served with roasted cauliflower (mini-florets) and a Goan spiced cream (19.00). Both plates went back empty, not a scrap left on either, a vote of confidence!

And then it was time for that gorgeous finalé. Not local but we weren't to be denied a touch of the tropics on a rather coolish summer’s evening. Very Highly Recommended Dish in a Very Highly Recommended Restaurant.
Blackwater G&T and Dingle Gin Dirty Martini

Contact details below
Samphire at Garryvoe Hotel
Ballycotton Bay
County Cork
Open from 6.00pm Wed to Sun.
Phone: 021 4646728
Twitter: @Garryvoehotel