Showing posts with label Kay O'Connell's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kay O'Connell's. 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
Calamari
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  
Cork
Telephone: 0214318530

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Smokehouse Sauce Bringing the Market together.

Smokehouse Sauce
Bringing the Market together.


In 24 Days in 24 Ways, Smokehouse Sauce is bringing the English Market together. Together on a plate, that is.
Smokehouse Sauce, fast emerging as a favourite across Munster, is the guest trader for six weeks at the start-up stall in Cork’s English Market. Emma Kelly of Smokehouse: “The English Market is iconic, a quality place to shop for quality. Traders here know their growers and suppliers. There is an honesty here, now so important as people become more aware of the importance of sourcing.”

So the mission for Smokehouse is 24 Ways in 24 Days. That means changing the dish daily and Chef Stephen of Elbow Lane is the man putting it all together on the plate. The sauce was the brainchild of owner Conrad Howard and his daughter and has been perfected in the Elbow Lane kitchen. It is  available across Munster Stores of Supervalu, in the Food Academy section, and also from independent butchers.
“It’s amazing to be here in the old heart of the city, to be collaborating with the English Market, promoting it and the traders,” enthuses Emma. A recent dish, the Ploughman’s Sandwich, with sauce of course, involved no less than four traders. Brown spelt bread from Hassett’s, Cheddar cheese from the Roughty Foodie, ham from the Chicken Inn, and salad from Superfruit, lunch for just four euro!

Before that, they featured Smoked Pork Empanadas, the pork supplied by Ken and Helen of the Meat Centre who have been trading here for 37 years. The package also included an apple and courgette salad and smokehouse sauce (of course!).
Tom Durcan's Spiced Beef, Hassett's Rye Bread,
Sauerkraut and Coolea Cheese from
On The Pig's Back
And the versatility of the sauce was again underlined with On The Pig's Back goats cheese bon bons, with pearl barley, pea sprout and beetroot leaf salad and Smokehouse Sauce dressing. Day Three was an interesting one:  Ham hock and scallion terrine (using meat from Bresnan's Butchers), with Smokehouse Sauce and homemade red cabbage slaw. And it’s not just meat. Cod from Kay O’Connell’s was used in delicious frittatas and enhanced with the sauce.

“There is a hard-to-match quality here in the market. We want to highlight that and support local at the same time, by combining traditional meats with modern flavours. The sauce itself is tomato based and may be used as a dip, a relish and as a marinade. It is extremely versatile. Use it with grilled, roast or cold meats, fish, cheese and vegetables.”
Aoife and Chris at the Smokehouse stall


So what is today’s dish? Check it out on their Facebook page by all means but do call in and try it out! And you must see their lively video celebrating the sauce and its arrival in the Market. Here's the link

For more on the Smokehouse Sauce, including recipes and stockists, check the website here.




Friday, November 1, 2013

Amiable Amicus


Amiable Amicus
Wings!
Great to get in out of the winter’s night and get comfortable in Amicus in Paul Street. We were rather early but the place was filling up. Soon we were comfortably seated at our table and studying the huge menu. We weren't aware they had an early bird as well but that menu was also presented to us and indeed we choose from it.

It seems the Early Bird is doing well for some restaurants around town. We passed the Strasbourg Goose about 6.30pm that Wednesday evening and they were packed! Obviously three courses for €20.50 is a good draw. Amicus at €21.95 for three courses is only marginally more expensive.


Bruschetta
Amicus, who grow much of their salad and vegetables themselves at their southside allotments, source their meat and fish locally and they list The Chicken Inn, Ballycotton Seafood, Kay O’Connell’s, Fasnet, Durcan Meats and O’Crualaoi among their suppliers. They have a full bar service (wine, spirits, beers, cocktails etc) here but, aside from Murphy’s Stout, don’t seem to have any local beer on their list.

The Amicus operation in Paul Street is spread over three floors and they are going all day long with Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, even a takeaway service, available. Service on the ground floor was excellent, friendly, helpful and efficient.

This is the Early Bird starter selection: Soup of the Day; Selection of Bread and Dips; Bruschetta of Cherry Tomato, Feta and Basil; Spicy Chicken Wings with Garlic Dip; Nachos Covered with Tomato Sauce, Cheese, Guacamole and Sour Cream; and the  Amicus Caesar Salad. I picked the Chicken Wings, quite a tasty and substantial opener, while CL enjoyed her Sourdough Bruschetta.


Believe it or not, there are no less than twelve options in the main course section,everything from a Cajun Chicken Salad to a Chicken (or vegetable ) Curry, including 8 oz sirloin at €3.95 extra. CL choose their Fish Cakes, served with Chilli Jam, House Salad and Wedges. This was a massive plateful!
Smoked Salmon Pizza
One of the options was a pizza and you could pick any from the main menu. I thought the Smoked Salmon (white pizza), consisting of Smoked Salmon, Sour cream, capers, caramelised onions, peppers and mozzarella, looked interesting. And so it proved.  The onions and salmon were a cracking combination, very enjoyable overall.

Dessert menu: Sticky Toffee Pavlova, Chocolate Fudge Cake, Warm Apple Pie and Cream,
Mixed Fruit Crumble, Sauce Anglaise, Selection of Ice-creams. If you wish, you may have a glass of wine or beer instead of dessert or starter.  Made a note to myself for the future to take the wine or beer and skip the dessert!