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Sheen Falls Lodge was the classy venue for this year’s Valentine’s Night outing and it turned out to be a cracking meal, though there was not, thankfully, a special menu for the night. A new season just started, new owners and some new staff, saw us get off to a rather slow start but, soothed by an excellent meal and the live piano music, we were very happy at the end.
Enjoyed a drink in the bar, in the Sun Lounge to be precise, before heading to La Cascade Restaurant, nicely lit and furnished and very well staffed and a decent crowd in. First surprise was a very tasty Amuse Bouche: herb baked oyster in shell accompanied by a lively Bloody Marie shot. The taste buds were up and running.
Now for the starters. From a choice of six, I picked the Home Smoked Salmon and Citrus Marinated Sea Trout, served on a crispy coriander sesame flat bread with fresh horse-radish. Very colourful and tasty with the razor flat bread adding a contrasting texture.
The other starter was also well received and that was Confit Pork Belly and Black Pudding with Pear Vanilla Compote and jus, with a liquorish yoghurt. The first three provided a perfect combination while the yoghurt didn’t add much.
We both started off the wines with a rosé from Provence: Noas, Château Ferry Lacombe 2010 (€9.00 a glass). Not too many people drink rosé during the Irish winter but this was well up to the task. For the mains, I switched to an unremarkable, though quite drinkable, Navara Principe de Viana Crianza Tempranillo 2008 (€7.50 a glass) while CL was very pleased with the Alain Geoffroy 2011 Petit Chablis (€10.00 a glass).
My mains was just perfect: Fillet of Beef with Sautéed artichoke, pommes dauphine and red wine jus. CL was more than pleased with the Pan-fried Cod Fillet, beetroot tarragon sauce, bacon lardons, sweet potato rosti and winter vegetables.
Grand Marnier Marinated Strawberries with Iced Champagne.
The break between mains and dessert was sweetly filled by the sorbet, a really top class one, a little glass containing Champagne ice, Grand Marnier and Strawberries. More like a mini-dessert than your normal sorbet!
Took our time making a pick from the six or so desserts on offer. CL went for the Irish Whiskey and Golden Raisin crème Brûlée with Guinness Ice Cream while my choice was the much more sober Fig Beignets with Fromage Blanc Mousse and Berry Compote, both excellent, especially when matched with superb dessert wines.
For me it was the Muscat de Rivesaltes Domaine des Schistes 2009 (Languedoc-Roussillon) while for her it was Domaine Chiroulet, Soleil d’Automne 2007 (Gascoigne), each at €9.00 per glass.
It was a long evening but all too soon it was time to settle up, get the coats on (they do that for you here) and head for the taxi.
•The basic 3 course meal in this restaurant will cost you €65.00.