Showing posts with label Silver Hill duck. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Silver Hill duck. Show all posts

Thursday, April 7, 2016

O'Briens 40 years in Bunnyconnellan. Good View. Good Food. Mornings To Inspire.

O'Briens 40 years in Bunnyconnellan.
Good View. Good Food. Mornings To Inspire.
The view, to the left.
When Paul O’Brien opens up Bunnyconnellan, early every morning, he looks out over the ocean and counts his blessings. That view on a sunny morning inspires positivity and it’s not too shabby on a poor day either.


The O’Brien family are celebrating forty years at the iconic Cork venue. In 1976, Paul’s parents, Paddy (who passed in 2010) and Sheila, took over the premises from Neill (known to all as Jock) and Mary Porteous, the only other family to have run Bunnys as a bar and restaurant.  

“Amazing people come in here and recount their childhood memories, “ said Paul. The Crosshaven area in general was, in the 50s and 60s, a summer resort area for many city people. A few years back, I attended a 60th party there for a man long resident in the USA but he had such happy memories of Myrtleville that he insisted on marking his big birthday with a party in Bunnys.

Paul told me that this photo was taken outside Bunnys in 1996. 
"From left to right, my Dad, Paddy O'Brien (who passed in 2010),
 my Mum Sheila, my brother Eamonn who runs the very successful
  'Paddy's Bar' in Hamburg Germany, myself & last but not least my wife Julie."
“Some great characters have been in and out of here. And they keep coming, men like Donie Bermingham from Carrigaline; he claims to be our longest-serving customer!”


Aside from the smashing views - you can see the mouth of Cork Harbour as well, see the big cruise liners and the large Brittany Ferries Pont Aven come and go, see Roche’s Point across the way - Bunny’s has always been known for its good food. And that strand of the story continues too. “There is a great little team here,” enthuses Paul. “It is headed up by Head Chef Chris O’Sullivan and Pastry Chef Bobbie O’Donovan, but they are all great.”

I put it to Paul that because they are on the coast that Fish ‘n Chips is always on the menu. It is. But they did take it off once and put it on the specials. There were “ructions” and it was quickly restored to its rightful permanent spot! “We can’t please everyone but we do listen to the bad things as well as the good!”  
The starters
“Fish is plentiful and varied here. Only last week, we had specials of black sole and brill for example. Could be something different next week. Another big seller for us is roast duck, supplied by Silver Hill.”

Specials are an “essential” part of the menus here, though for events like Sunday lunch, you'll find more traditional dishes as part of the offering. There is also a Kids Menu, with half portions of the adult menu available.

Did you have a good Easter? I asked. “We had a fantastic Easter, the whole period back to St Patrick’s Day, all good despite the iffy weather. Indeed, last winter was the wettest and windiest in years, yet we had a very good winter in the restaurant.”
The Cod
 So 2016 is shaping up well. And, believe it or not, the barbecues have started here already, kicking off on the first weekend of April. There are lots of industries in the general area and they tend to use the facility.


And, with a full bar, there is no shortage of beers to go with the meals, indoors or out. Craft beers are already featured, plus the local Stonewell cider. More craft beers are soon to appear and there are local spirits too - I spotted the Dingle gin. And if you fancy a cocktail? Well, they have a list for you. They tend to be more popular at or approaching the weekend.

Dinner service brings a hard night’s work to a close but Paul is back early in the morning, checking out that fantastic view. And, down on the beach, he spots a group of people that he admires: the Myrtleville swimmers. “Rain, hail or snow, there are about twenty out there every morning, some with wet-suits, some without”. People make the world go round just as the O'Brien's make Bunny’s an enjoyable place to come to, every day of the week. Every week of the year. For forty years!


Ham Hock
We enjoyed that view (though not the early morning one!) when we called for lunch. That Specials Board came in for scrutiny and our two mains came from that source. The starters are on the regular menu and I must say my Poached Pear and Blue Cheese Tart topped with walnuts was a delicious opener. And there were compliments too from CL as she tucked into her Goats Cheese, pineapple and walnut salad.


Our mains, served with a side of well cooked vegetables, were really special. Baked fillet of Cod with a pesto crumb and a saffron and chardonnay sauce was CL’s choice and I didn't hear a word from her until it was finished. My Oven-baked Ham Hock, with a creamy parsley sauce, was full of great flavour and outstanding overall, and kept me quiet! No room for dessert after the two courses! Sorry Bobbie - next time!
Local drinks: Black's Kinsale ale & Stonewell cider. Cheers!
BUNNYCONNELLAN BAR & RESTAURANT,
Myrtleville, Co. Cork.
Tel: +353 (0)21 483 1213
E: info@bunnyconnellan.ie
Twitter: @Bunnyconnellan 


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tannery Kitchen Supper


Tannery Kitchen Supper.
Superb Food And Company.
The Kitchen Supper in the Tannery Cookery School was the highlight of our first day at the West Waterford Festival of Food. Paul Flynn’s “festival” was confined to four courses but flavours, textures and colours were unconfined. The  large group at the table certainly enjoyed the meal and the friendly input of hosts Maíre and Paul.

We had taken the long route to Dungarvan, heading up the main Dublin Road before breaking east in Mitchelstown towards Ballyporeen and Clogheen and eventually the heights of the Vee. I like that road through Tipperary, the mountains to the right and, all along the road, well kept cottages and farm-houses, even the roadside grass outside the gate is cut.


It was bright but cold high up on the Vee and we didn't linger too long but had a few stops to watch the newly born lambs and their mothers on the roadside. After checking in to Lawlor’s in Dungarvan, we took a stroll around the town and ended up in Merry’s, a lively busy pub that sells lots of craft beer and increasingly craft spirits. They also do food but we held off for the Tannery event! Beers enjoyed included the Wicklow Wolf Brewery’s American Amber and Franciscan Well’s Chieftain Ale.

Perhaps the main ingredient for the convivial evening at The Tannery Cookery School was a common interest in good food. And in addition we were, of course, in the right hands and in the right place. And it all led to a relaxed well paced evening, as is usually the case with good food and good company.
This was a set menu and the starter was Pea and Wild Garlic with Crab Cream, seasonal, local and delicious.
The humble carrot played a leading role in the main course, at least I thought so. Of course, the ensemble of Silver Hill duck leg, the McCarthy Black Pudding, with Colcannon sauce, that superb glazed carrot, and Star Anise, was a delight, a marvellous mix of flavour and texture.


Rhubarb is absolutely superb at the moment and was included in the dessert: Orange and yogurt panna cotta with rhubarb and sticky orange cake (these last two really combined superbly). The cheese course, two Waterford cheeses including Brewer’s Gold (a favourite of mine), made for an excellent finalé to a lovely meal, to a lovely occasion at The Tannery.