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McCurtain Street has another new gorgeous drink and eat venue. It is called Cask, a brand new bar with a menu of very tasty bites indeed. The menu, in the care of renowned Greene's chef Bryan McCarthy, will change every eight weeks.
It is a new venture for Greene’s, at the other side of the arch, with its own entrance from the street. And it is not Greene’s lite by the way. While many of the same outstanding producers will feature in Cask, their produce will be in new “disguises”.
Take Skeaghanore Duck for instance, one of our dishes on Tuesday night. Skeaghanore Confit Duck, Smoked Sausage, Butter Bean, Sauerkraut, with Arbutus on the side, is reminiscent of a Cassoulet from the heart of France, a warming delight on a wintry night.
The Cork Cassoulet
The hearty dish comes under the heading of A Little More and costs €12.90. You can start with Light, and progress to More or A Little More. There are Cheese and Charcuterie plates for sharing (perhaps!), Extras if want want to top up your More and you may finish with Sweet.
You may start wth a cocktail (or any drink of your choice) from the well stocked bar. Indeed you may pop in just for a drink. The cocktails are being described as seasonal so you can presume they'll be changing too.
I'm sure the Katty Barry (Gorse Flower infused Bombay, Woodruff, Irish Pears and Prosecco) will go down well. Watch out too for the Man of Arran (Connemara Peated Whiskey, Smoked Wakame Syrup, Cocchi Americano, and Grapefruit Oils); this was very well received at the recent Four Hands dinner in the main restaurant.
No shortage of wines either and our pick for the evening visit was Il Bucco, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, with its sweet dark fruits but well balanced and with a smooth finish.
So let us go back to the beginning, at the Lights. You can have various nibbles, including olives and almonds, but CL went for the Hummus, Medjoul dates, Fennel pollen and crispy toasts (looked a lot like a well-known local medieval loaf, with dates inserted here too). Excellent starter, and so was mine which was Gubbeen Hot Dog Slider, Cotton Ball Beer Mustard, Seaweed salad, balsamic onions. This dog had a good bite! Each “starter” cost €5.90.
Rings Farm free range chickens were among the items that featured on the More section, all of these costing 7.90. But, like CL, I resisted the temptation of the Chicken Lollipops and other temptations and moved up to A Little More and my pick here was superb.
While CL was on the Skeaghanore I was enjoying Blow-torched medallions of monkfish, tomato bean stew with chorizo, lemon and seaweed (14.50). Inspiration from a warmer clime, perfectly executed and well presented, to warm the bones on a chilly night.
We were on a roll now and up for dessert. A short list but we got two good ones! And also found out where the ugly strawberries go.
Well they may have been ugly when they went in but they were oh so beautiful in Cask. The Bushby’s Preserved Strawberry Frangipane Tart with a dollop of cream was just perfect. The berries are judged not good enough to be out on their own on a plate but certainly shine as part of this lovely dessert (5.50).
I had to beg for a couple of bites of that one but I had a good bartering bait in my Yuzu Cheesecake, again with cream and also 5.50. The fragrant Yuzu with its acidic citrus juice brought my very enjoyable evening, helped by a friendly and efficient staff, at Cask to a delicious end. Guess I'll have to go back for A Little More!
Had heard that the Bubble Tea trend had started in Taiwan back in the 1980s but we were to be treated to the up to date European experience by manager Louise McCormack who opened the Cork shop early in the summer. It is proving quite a hit, particularly with the students from the nearby schools.
What mix will you have?
And their parents can be pleased enough as the youngsters are showing good food sense here; the tea drinks are a healthy alternative to fizzy drinks. “They have less sugar and less calories than a smoothie, no caffeine and the green tea is packed with antioxidants.”
Not surprisingly the European style is more popular here but you can also get the Asian style which relies more on milk. Louise is working on a new menu at the moment and basically Bobas will be going with the tea (and Toppings) on its own or with Pizza (slice) or Pasta (pot). And they hope to add frozen yoghurts in the new year.
Well, what about the tea? We had a look at the menu and picked the Peach and Passionfruit. The base tea was Jasmine Green which was put through the “machine” where it picked up the bubbles. Then Louise added the toppings, Popping Balls of Mango and Passionfruit, and also some jelly and served the cool drink to us in its container.
Louise on duty at Bobas
It was absolutely gorgeous, a very pleasant experience indeed. And a bit of fun as well as the popping balls came through the relatively large straw! I reckon those students and young professionals who are trooping to the cafe know a thing or two about good taste!
Bobas have a special Chritsmas Tasting Night coming up but you’ll need to book soon. Check it out on their Facebook page