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Albarino, almost same colour as the olive oil behind
Having spent a day in the West
Cork sun last Saturday, and having walked every step in the exhilarating MizenHead experience, I was looking forward to dinner in Majella O’Neill’s
Riverside Café in Skibbereen.
Had checked out the fish specials
and thought they were just what were wanted. But there was a change of plan on
entry to this lovely restaurant. The lady looking after us was from Galicia and
so too was the chef. We noticed the Tapas Tasting menu on a board and went for
Seafood Bon Bon
We were seated close to the
windows with a nice view over the River Ilen. Indeed if the weather had been a degree
or two warmer we’d have been sitting at an outside table. Still we enjoyed the
sun inside and indeed there were times when we could have done with the sun
glasses. All very Spanish as we waited for the tapas.
But first a decision had to
be made on the wine. The French and Italian were on a loser here and we choose
the Atlantik Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain (of course), and priced at seven euro
a glass. I liked their description: While
it may slake the thirst of many a Camino pilgrim, this Albarino is far from penitential.
Really enjoyed it and it had an outstanding colour almost as gold as the olive oil
alongside it (see photo).
We were to enjoy four tapas
on the Tasting Menu that cost €18.50. First up was a Sea Food Bon Bon, served
in two little shot glasses with a garlic and olive oil mix. A great mix of
flavours and we were on our way to the North West of Spain.
Our second plate saw the
arrival of their Homemade Duck Liver Parfait, served with salad, caramelised
red onions and crostinis. That didn't last long either!
Pig’s cheek is making a
comeback in these parts and we were about to get the Galician version: Pork Cheek
Confit, Truffle mashed potato, Savoy Cabbage, carrot chutney and Port salsa.
Pig’s head with spuds and cabbage in other words. In one word: gorgeous! In two
words: super tasty.
And the best was yet to come:
Roast Rump (had lump down first!) of Lamb, served with aubergine Zaalouk and
sauce of red peppers. Superb stuff indeed.
And still room for dessert
(not included in the tapas menu). We each went for the Lemon Pudding, served
with chocolate cigars and meringue (€6.00). Delighted with that too and finished
off with a pot of loose leaf Earl Grey before stepping out into the sunshine
and a long enough walk to the car. If you do book the Riverside (and I
recommend that you do visit), remember that Saturday is mass night in Skibb and,
with the church very close to the Riverside, all the nearby parking will be taken.
*By the way, the Riverside is
a great supporter of local produce. “Our list of suppliers changes with supply
and demand but among our regular sources of products are:
Ballyburden Meats, Busby
Strawberries, Caherbeg Freerange Pork, Carbery Milk Products, Clona Milk
Products, Cork Coffee Roasters, John and Mary Cronin Feirm Ur Milk &
Yogurt, Durrus Cheese, GlenIlen, Gubbeen Smoke House, House of Tea ,Independent
Irish Healthfoods, Lorge Chocolatier , Milsean Artisan Chocolatiers , Pandora
Bell, Seafood Cuisine, Shannonvale Chicken, Skeaghnore Duck, Thornhill Organic
Farm,,Valleyview Freerange Eggs, Woodcock Smokery.."