Showing posts with label El Vino. Show all posts
Showing posts with label El Vino. Show all posts

Thursday, February 9, 2017

El Vino. Top Tapas. And Much More.

El Vino. Top Tapas.
And Much More.
Monkfish & Serrano
It was cold outside but that was soon forgotten as we joined the diners in the packed downstairs section of the El Vino restaurant at the Elysian in Cork last weekend. Mentioned the Elysian there as they also operate an El Vino in Douglas.

Great buzz downstairs. We were offered a table upstairs too but went with the happy noises. Upstairs would soon fill too. We were quickly seated and studying the menus. Lots of tapas here and they also double as starters but you may, of course, stick with tapas for the evening. We may well do that another time but some dishes on the mains section caught our eye.

Piquillo peppers
 Not easy to pick just two from the tapas list but we did manage it. My choice was the Crispy Fried Calamari, Arrocina Bean Stew, Chorizo, Squid Ink Emulsion (8.95). Delighted wth it. The squid was cooked to perfection and that bean mix (great texture, slightly nutty flavour) with the little bits of chorizo was a very tasty accompaniment. 

You come across these Roast Piquillo Peppers a lot in the Basque country and they were CL’s pick. Hers were stuffed with Goats Cheese, Chorizo, Bread Crumbs & Herbs, Rocket Salad & Toasted Almonds (7.95). We did share, of course, and it was  another perfect dish. And I'm sure there are quite a few more on that extensive list. Check it out here
Time then for the main event, fish for me, chicken for her. Steak, Pork Belly, Hake and salads were also on the menu. CL’s Pan Fried Chicken Breast  was stuffed with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Mozzarella & Basil, and came with Mediterranean Vegetables, Ratatouille, Tomato & Pesto (17.95). The chicken was top drawer, delicious and moist and the Ratatouille was excellent in its own right as well as being a great match for the poultry.

Pan Fried Monkfish Wrapped in Serrano Ham, Crushed Baby Potatoes, Chargrilled Courgettes, Samphire & Romesco (nut and red pepper based) Sauce (25.95) was my pick, quite an epic dish, beautifully cooked (the ham spot on, moist and tender) and so well presented, probably the best dish of its type in a long time.

CL got those Crushed Baby Potatoes as well and we also got an included side dish of vegetables (including broccoli, carrot and sugar snap), again perfectly cooked. If the kitchen takes care of the minor things, then there’s a great chance that the bigger dishes will be good as well and that was certainly the case here.

Chicken & Ratatouille
 All the while we were sipping our white wines, a Pinot Grigio and an Albarino, and having the odd chat with our servers who were, without exception, friendly and efficient, all adding to the experience here.

We were each nearing the limit at this stage but couldn't resist sharing a dessert, the El Vino Baked Alaska (6.50). Glad we did as it provided a sweet end to a lovely evening.

Good too to see they they support local and include Brian St Ledger Fruit & Veg, Tom Durcan, The Chicken Inn, Kay O’Connell Fish, The Real Olive, Clona Dairy and Ardsallagh Cheese, among their suppliers. Very Highly Recommended.  

Baked Alaska

El Vino
The Elysian 
Eglinton Street  
Telephone: 0214318530

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.

Monday, July 16, 2012

El Vino at the Elysian display calorie content on menus

El Vino at the Elysian display calorie content  on menus

Following the recent announcement by Health Minister James O’ Reilly that food businesses had six months to put calorie labels on food, El Vino, a wine bar and restaurant, has already implemented the changes.
El Vino operates from the Elysian tower with a sister restaurant in Douglas. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland called for the changes to be implemented in a report on the findings of its national consultation published on July 4th.

Clutching her new menus proprietor Angie O’ Brien explains “It took our chef two days to work out the calorie content of our lunch and dinner menus. We did find that it was an educational and interesting exercise. We believe that eating out should be an experience that is enjoyed; however, we have noticed a trend where our customers ask about the calorie content of particular items from the menu.”

“Most people are aware of the naughty or fattening foods but some people want to make an informed choice. This will help them to make the best decision for them when ordering. We know that it is a voluntary initiative at the moment but we would prefer to implement these changes now, rather than face an extra cost in the New Year, already a difficult time for restaurants”.

El Vino at the Elysian opened in 2009 while its sister restaurant in Douglas opened in 2005. Angie continued:  “While the main lunch and dinner menus will include the calorie content we will need to work out our daily specials on a day to day basis; this will prove time consuming but the report by the FSAI did say that 96% of consumers want these changes to be implemented, in our business, the customer is always right!”

For more information on El Vino or call 021 4369844. The menus are available here. Click FSAI to see their report.

Monday, August 1, 2011


See some more photos, these by Billy

Captains Sylvia and Sandra

Scores of pirates gathered in Cork City on Saturday. But their intentions were benign. Make the most of the inaugural Cork Gourmet Trail  was the mission and it was accomplished with much fun, thanks to our merry captains.

First call was to Soho in mid-morning where a Pannier Champagne reception was laid on. There was a pirate hat competition running and early favourites emerged at the photo call. Champers downed, the gathering was divided into three crews and marched out on to the streets.

Led by feisty captains Sylvia and Sandra, our crew wandered peacefully through the side streets until we reached Greens by the Waterfall where the host restaurant was joined by Isaacs and the Rising Tide in dishing up the grub. The grog, as was the case in all four venues, was sponsored by Classic Drinks.

On then to the Boardwalk – nobody had to walk the plank – and the impressive line-up to feed the villains here was Club Brasserie, El Vino, Augustine’s and The Boardwalk Bar and Grill
Sing for your supper

Next host was Electric, again through the side streets including a stop in Oliver Plunkett Street and a song which earned the singing pirate a meal out for two!

More music at Electric where Pa Fitz entertained and where the high standard of food was maintained by Jacobs, the Ambassador, Soho and Electric itself. Still one more food stop to go and that was at the Cornstore where the providers were Amicus, Fenns Quay and Cornstore.

About five o’clock, the different crews re-united upstairs at the nearby Bodega to compare notes and the bounty – some restaurants, including Jacobs and Electric, gave out meal or wine vouchers – and listen to the band. The quiz and costumes winners were announced and the Bodega management offered everyone a free drink.
Pat Fitz at Electric

It was a very enjoyable day and very encouraging for the organisers. Looks like one that will be repeated. Personally, I enjoyed every moment, from that first starter of Jack McCarthy Black Pudding with Apple Sauce by Isaacs to the final Chocolate Mousse in a mini-cornet by Fenns Quay.

Tried hard to sample everything; don't think it was possible. My favourite of those that I did try out was the Chicken Balti with the French Morteau sausage by Augustine’s. Isaac’s breaded lamb chop and Electric’s cold sea bass dish were other favourites.

Classic Wines
But I was just one of many and others spoke to me of enjoying their particular favourites and I heard that the Tapas type offerings of some restaurants went down very well, the Boardwalk’s steaks were popular was were the Chinese offerings of the Ambassador.

Something for everyone then and nice to see some chefs trying something different such as the “Gravalaix of Tuna in a Nori seaweed” by the Rising Tide and the different take on the Seafood Chowder by Greene’s who also had a terrific Beetroot Soup on their table.

Just a word of praise to Classic Drinks who not alone kept the thirsty crews well lubricated but also took the trouble to post up plenty of information about the wines and varied the offerings from restaurant to restaurant, usually matching a red with a white from the same area. In Electric for example, they had a Muriel Blanco 2009 along with a Muriel CVC Rioja 2006.

So a big thanks to Classic, to Pannier, to all the restaurants and especially to the organisers! Just picked up a message in a bottle down the quays and it reads: Let’s do it all again next year!