Showing posts with label dining out. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dining out. Show all posts

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Dining Out Highlights 2014-2015

Dining Out Highlights 2014-2015
Places to stay. Visits, tours and more.
Elbow Lane

Excellent for Dinner

All White on the Night. Dining Out in Cork City*

One of Miyazaki's salmon dishes
An Canteen (Dingle) 2015
Bantry's Fish KitchenF
Blair’s Inn
Bodega, Waterford
Brook Inn
Cafe Gusto, weekend evenings
Cafe Serendipity
Chapel Steps, Bandon
Club Brasserie
Commons Express Inn 2015
Electric F
ely Wine Bar (Dublin)
Grey's Lane Bistro, Dingle
Heather (Killarney)
La Dolce Vita
Les Gourmandises
Macroom’s Church Lane Restaurant. 
Mitchell’s (Clifden) F
O’Connor’s (Bantry) F
Pier 26 F
Richy's Clonakilty
Rising Tide F
Star Anise
The Fairways (Nenagh)
The Global Village (Dingle) 2015
Tuscany Bistro (Ballina, Tipperary)
West End (Killarney)
Salad Nicoise by Richy

Excellent for Lunch

Bula Bus U Kilkenny
Castle Cafe
Coffee Shop (Union Hall)
Cosy Kitchen (Roscrea)
Crawford Gallery Cafe
Dillon's of Timoleague
Diva, Ballinspittle
Greenbarn (Killeagh)
Griffin’s Spinning Wheel
Islander's Rest (Sherkin Island)F
L'Atitude 51
Manning's Emporium (Ballylickey)
Monk's Lane, Timoleague
Nine Market Street, Kinsale
Pie Cafe (Dingle)
Richy's Bistro, Clonakilty
Sage (Youghal)
Schull’s Café Cois Cuan.
Thatch and Thyme, Kildorrery
The Square Table Dec 15
The Workshop
Toons Bridge Dairy
Hake, with poached egg, at Bramley Lodge

* Exceptional meal on visit
F  Great for fish
U  Most unusual lunch venue (in a parked bus)

All above visited last 24 months or so. Lots of other good places out there. If I didn’t get to your place last year, maybe we’ll meet in 2016! Hard to keep track - might need a reminder!

View from bedroom in Blairscove

Places to Stay
Albany House (Dublin)
Archways (Rosslare)
Ballymaloe House (Shanagarry)
Benner's (Dingle)
Blairscove (Durrus)
Brooklodge (Macreddin)
Celtic Ross (Rosscarbery)
Davitt's (Kenmare)
Dun Ri (Clifden)
Gleeson's Town House (Roscommon) 2015
Lakeside Hotel (Ballina, Tipperary)
MacNean House (Blacklion)
Maritime (Bantry)
Randle's Court (Killarney)
Rolf's (Baltimore)
Rosquil House (Kilkenny)
The Maryborough (Cork)
The Old Bank (Kinsale)
Brooklodge Hotel

Food Festivals

Ballymaloe LitFest 2015
Dingle 2015
Franciscan Well October Fest 2015
Kilkenny Savour 2014
Roscommon Lamb Festival 2015
Taste of West Cork 2015
Waterford Harvest 2015
West Waterford 2015

Ballycotton Cliff Walk

Visits & Tours. Events.

Arigna Mining Experience 2015
Atlantic Sea-kayaking 2015
Ballymaloe Garden Festival 2015
Ballycotton Cliff Walk 2015
Ballynatray House (Youghal) 2015
Blarney Castle 2015
Castlecoote House 2015
Castlefreke and Rathbarry. The castles and the wood 2015
Clonmacnoise 2015
Connemara 2014
Cork City Marathon 2015
Cork Harbour Festival. Boats & Bites 2015
Cork Jazz Festival 2015
Cork Saint Patrick's Day 2015
Cork Summer Show 2015
Culture Night. Paintings & Plates 2015
Doneraile Park 2014
Dublin. Summer Days 2015
Elizabeth Fort 2015
Fota Gardens & Arboretum 2015
Glenbower Wood, Killeagh 2015
Glendalough 2015
Highbank Organic Orchards 2015
House of Waterford Crystal 2015
Jameson Distillery Midleton 2015
Kilkenny 2014
Killarney in 24 hours 2014
Kinsale Harbour Cruise 2015
Loughbeg Farm. Meeting Mabel! 2015
National Botanic Gardens 2015
National Museum of Archaeology (Dublin) 2014
Powerscourt Gardens 2015
Teeling Distillery 2015
The Sheep's Head peninsula 2015
Waterford's Harvest Festival, including Medieval Museum, Bishop's Palace 2015
Wax Museum (Dublin) 2014
West Cork Islands, Ferries, Food 2015
Wexford's Johnstown Castle 2015
Youghal Medieval Festival 2015
Loughbeg Farm

Top Guides
Lots of excellent guides around the country, including the lady we met at Waterford Crystal and the lady who took us under her wing in the nearby Medieval Museum. But the three that stand out are, in no particular order:
Joe at Dingle Distillery,
Jimmy at Arigna Mines,
Johnny at Trinity College

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Dine by the Water!

Dine by the Water
Superb food and superb views
Ostan Gweedore at Bunbeg, Donegal
I’ve been very lucky this past few months to have dined in some well placed restaurants, restaurants from Cork to Donegal that have a dining room with a view over water. Sometimes over a river, maybe over an estuary, and then sometimes over the ocean. I was lucky too to have brilliant weather in most of the places.

Let me start with river views. One of the best is from the newly opened Fish Bar inElectric. From the first floor of the South Mall building, you have fine views of the southern channel of Lee to the west and to the east. But have you been to Indigo Brasserie on Washington Street? Here too you have a fine view of a bend in the same river. 

Bunnyconnellan's Myrtilville (Cork)

And another excellent river view is to be found at the Market Kitchen restaurant, above the Murphy Brothers bar in Ballina. It wasn't quite warm enough to dine outside on the balcony but the Moy looked very well from the inside.

Time to move on now, nearer to the ocean, to the bays and estuaries and places such as the Rising Tide and Marlogue Inn in East Cork and further east you have the WalterRaleigh Hotel. You have no shortage in Cobh where you’ll find The Quays and The Titanic Bar. The Boathouse at Dromquinna, near Kenmare, is also well situated, right on the northern flank of the bay.
The Boathouse, Kenmare Bay

No shortage of seaside restaurants in Donegal. One of the best is the Seaview Tavern in Malin Head village but the view to the sea is somewhat interrupted by the cars parking across the road. No such problems at the Rosapenna Golf Hotel, whose dining room overlooks Sheephaven Bay and the beach at Downies. Further west along the same bay, the bar at the Cove at Portnablagh, another top restaurant, overlooks a different part of the same bay.

Back to Cork and to Baltimore and Le Jolie Brise where I’ve sometime enjoyed a dish of mussels as the day drew to a close with the island of Sherkin out in front. Locally, perhaps the best ocean view is that enjoyed from your table in Bunnyconnellan’s, a very pleasant view and very enjoyable food here. Hard to top that. One view that comes close, maybe level, maybe even better, is from the restaurant of Ostan Gweedore where there is the most fantastic view over the beaches and the waters of the Atlantic.
Rosapenna Hotel, Downies (Donegal)
Views are pleasing but you need good food too,
like this platter at the Seaview Tavern in Malin.

Have you a personal favourite view over water while dining? If you'd like to share, please use the Comment facility below.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Four Liars

The Four Liars

Spent an enjoyable ninety minutes or so in the Four Liars Bistro, in the shadow of Shandon, on Friday night. First impressions were good. The place was neat and tidy with solid but very comfortable tables and chairs. The standard table for two was more spacious than most.

We got a lovely warm welcome and the service was friendly throughout. Great too to read on the menu folder about their focus on local produce. The menu had been “put together with the best of local ingredients while adding a continental touch. All our food is sourced locally... our beef is from O’Flynn’s, Sunday’s Well, Chicken from the English Market, Fish from Good Fish, Carrigaline..”

I started off with a beauty: Lobster Bisque with Cognac and Cream. This, from the A La Carte, cost €9.50. A handful of prawns were in the very tasty bisque. The other starter, Duck Spring Rolls with Mango Chutney (7.25), was another excellent combination of taste and flavour.

Had been given one of those discount vouchers as a Christmas present and we used that to pick our mains from the Value Menu (which looks good value with three courses for 24.95). They also do an Early Bird with three courses for 19.95. The voucher also allowed us a drink, a glass of wine or a bottle of beer (no craft beer here, so had a Miller).

My mains was Chicken Creole sautéed in a sweet chilli and red wine sauce with Chorizo and sweet red peppers. A lovely piece of chicken, well cooked, spicy but not overly so and there was a really well made Potato Croquet also in the mix. And that wasn't all as we got a superb side plate of vegetables that included turnip, carrot and pea. Quite a pleasing dish, also quite filling and, if you didn’t have a voucher, reasonably priced at €15.00.

Between the various menus, there is a great choice. You may spend as much or as little as you like here, with mains on the A La Carte priced between €13.95 and €32.00. And, going by last Friday’s performance, I’d have no worries about quality. We enjoyed our visit and great to see another restaurant supporting local produce.

Four Liars Bistro,
The Butter Exchange,
Ireland .

Contact:  021 4394040  and

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Nash 19. Alive with good food and good humour.

Nash 19. 
Alive with good food and good humour.

 Thought I wouldn’t get a spot at Nash 19 yesterday at lunchtime but there was a table at the back. After a big warm welcome we settled down, our order was taken and we sipped the gorgeous Italian white wine Pecorino.

While we were waiting for the mains, we were treated to an Amuse Bouche, chicken liver paté with their own cranberry sauce (when it is as good as this, a little goes a long way).

 Then down to business, sorry, that should read pleasure. CL picked the O’Connell’s Hake, served with a pea puree and field mushrooms. As usual the fish was fresh, just out of the water you’d think, and cooked to perfection as was everything else on the plate.
 I choose the Supreme of O’Sullivan’s Chicken with Gubbeen chorizo and spinach. Supreme is the word. Moist and tasty and a spirited reminder every now and then from Fingal Ferguson’s lively chorizo. A vote of confidence in this game is an empty plate and two of them went back to the kitchen.
 If you are in Nash 19 at this time of the year, you just have to try the Christmas treats. I went for the traditional Mince Pie. Been eating these for over 60 years now and I reckon the Princes Street version is the best ever. Try it for yourself some day. Even if you don’t have time for a meal, just drop in for a pie and a cup of coffee and let me know!

CL thoroughly enjoyed her Warm Festive Fruit Tart and I loved my sample but it’s the mince pies for me, though I could me tempted by the Christmas pudding next time.

I finished off with a couple of cups of Bewley’s Coffee and headed out in good humour, not just because of the good food but because of the good humour of everyone we met in the restaurant. It is true what they say – it is contagious. Laugh and the world laughs with you. Happy Christmas to all at Nash 19.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Step up to a Dining Room with a View

Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder  is the harbour front restaurant of the Water’s Edge Hotel in Cobh. The views out over Cork Harbour are excellent – indeed you may well see a cruise liner float by between courses – and the food is not half bad either.

It is a bright room with comfortable seating.  Service during our recent lunch call was friendly and efficient. By the way, not all the windows have a view of the harbour.There are a few that overlook the neighbours who are The Quays, another waterside restaurant. 

The lunch, with some friends from the town, was unplanned but none the worse for that. Nobody though wanted to go the whole hog. Just one starter and that was a very tasty Bruschetta of Brie (with roasted peppers, summer squash and onion jam).

One of the party was happy with his Watersedge Toastie. The filling was honey ham, cheddar and red onion.

The most popular main course was the day’s special: Warm Chicken, Serrano Ham and Potato Salad with Chive Dressing. Must say I enjoyed mine even though I thought the ham was rather overwhelmed by the rest of the dish, an opinion not shared by a fellow diner. 

Prices were reasonable enough. For instance, the Toasted Sandwich cost €7.95 while the Warm Chicken salad came to €11.95. The house wine (both red and white) was €5.25 per glass (perhaps not the greatest value you’ll get).

We had been in the town for the Food and Heritage Day  and were royally entertained for a few hours. Really enjoyed the day and the lunch. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Afternoon in the Idaho Cafe

Afternoon in the Idaho Cafe

Surprised to see so many customers in the Idaho Cafe at 3.00pm on a drizzly Tuesday afternoon. Just goes to illustrate that this Caroline Street venue is as popular as ever and that goes to the credit of Richard and Mairead Jacob and the way they have been running it for eleven years.

Their way is really a philosophy, a combination of simple things: local ingredients, well cooked, and served with a smile and a chat and, oh yes, a large dollop of hard work behind it all. Simple but superb. And obviously appreciated by their many regulars.

I think their Facebook Page sums it up very well: “We are a small, but perfectly formed Cafe, serving breakfast, lunch, coffees and drinks to an eclectic and much loved group of customers.
Our menu brings you great breakfasty treats such as Waffles with Bacon, Porridge, Bacon and Cheddar Croissants and our famous Bacon and Sausage Baps.

Lunch revolves around more great Irish ingredients served with simplicity and style. Shepherdess's Pie, Smoked Fish Pie, and hot toasted Baps are complemented by regularly changing Salads.

We are striving to source ALL our core ingredients from a 100km radius of Idaho Cafe, Bacon, Sausages and Black puddings come from Limerick, Our cheeses are from west Cork, Our apple juice is from Cappoquinn, Breads from Cork City..... I think you get the message !!!!”

We were treated to Afternoon Tea. This is not a regular on the agenda but is available on request. We had a great chat with the proprietors as they took little breaks in their turn. Dubliner Richard is the front of house while Corkonian Mairead is the chef. She is always trying something else and we got a chance to sample her delicious Sweet Geranium Syrup that is going down well with some of the breakfast regulars who take it with the porridge. 

We had started with a local product, Frank Hedderman’s gorgeous salmon on brown bread. Again local, simple and simply delicious! Perhaps the highlight though was Mairead’s Gooseberry Crumble. This was made from their own home grown red gooseberries and was simply outstanding.

Impossible to top that but the final treat came close! These were the macarons made by John and Sylvie McCormick. They look much the same as any other colourful macaron but the fillings are something else. If you don’t believe me, why not try them out at Mahon Point Farmers Market.

And, one more thing, why not try out Idaho Cafe itself?  A place to relax and replenish your resources, just a few yards from Patrick Street.

Thursday, December 22, 2011



Nash 19 was buzzing when I arrived at lunch-time yesterday. Staff were flying but still had time for their usual friendliness, courtesy and top notch service.

My main course was also top drawer: Crowe’s Fillet of Pork Stroganoff with Wild Rice (above). The Pork and mushrooms, in a gorgeous sauce, were magnificent, served in their own bowl. A well dressed salad, including a lively pickled cucumber, was on the plate along with a generous cone of white and black rice, all in all a great match with the Pork. All for €14.50.

While waiting for the main dish, we were served with some breads and their well known olive oil. Both plates were cleaned. And then followed a wee cup of soup: Parsnip, Apple and Chorizo (right). Quite a surprise and a very tasty one indeed.

If you are in Nash 19 at Christmas you just have to try the house Christmas pudding and mince pie. We did and both are excellent, especially the pudding made from an old Nash family recipe. Superb.

Had a glass of Albarino, the Terras Guada O Rosal. Complex and seductive (not too sure about the latter on a winter day’s midday, maybe later!), it went down well. Quite a classy drink at any time of the day.

So two happy customers stepped out into Princes Street and, before I go further, may I wish Happy Christmas to all the folks in Nash 19 and indeed to all the Cork restaurants who have fed us some great dishes these last 12 months. Keep cooking up a storm in 2012!

Monday, December 19, 2011


No Shows in Irish Restaurants Costing Businesses.
Irish Restaurants are reporting a dramatic increase in diners making bookings and not showing up this

Thursday, October 6, 2011



Loved a classic Coq au Vin @Greenescork last night! And a glass of Jumilla Monastrell. French dish, Spanish wine, local ingredients, 5 stars.

That’s the way I summed up Wednesday’s meal in Greene’s Restaurant in McCurtain Street. But Twitter’s 140 characters may have been better used had I included their Paris born chef Frederic Desormeaux.

I had noticed his expertise and innovation during a stop at the restaurant during the Cork Gourmet Trail and had promised myself a return visit. I wasn't at all disappointed.

I am amazed that queues don't form outside Greene’s on a  regular basis such is the quality of the food, the ambiance of the place with it big glass window by the waterfall, it’s comfortable restful decor and its friendly, informative and efficient service team.

It wasn't the best of nights weatherwise yet still that waterfall added a certain je ne sais quoi to the occasion as we sat at our window table. There are two menus here, an Early Bird that has four courses (with choices) for €27.00 and the A La Carte.

We picked the latter on this occasion and made our order. Our wait was shortened by the appearance of an amuse bouche: a little round fishcake on a beautiful sauce. We also had a bowl of tasty breads.

Wines were ordered: a glass of Rioja Tempranillo and one of Jumilla Monastrell, each around the six euro mark. They have a wide ranging wine list and quite a few are available by the glass, some by the half bottle.

CL chose the Gratinated Mussels with Garlic & Lemon Butter, Parsley Crust (€9.00) as her starter. Excellent and very tasty, a great change from the more usual Moules Marinieres in one version or the other.

Mine was perhaps a bit more substantial but also very very tasty, quite a mix of flavours (the tomatoes were absolutely top class) and all in all a terrific starter: Grilled Buffalo Mozzarella wrapped in Serrano Ham on Grilled Asparagus, with caramelised Cherry Tomatoes on Mini Pizza Pastry, Rocket Pesto (€10.50).

We’ve had a quite few Coq au Vin over the years, most notably in the Dordogne the summer before last, and I can honestly say that the Greene’s version is the best yet. In France, you tend to get the tougher bits of older chicken. But in Greene’s they use local free range chicken in the most fantastic sauce. Had a few doubts about the mashed potato but it proved a perfect partner, helping take up the sauce. We had a spoon as well – you didn't want to leave any of it behind!
The menu description: Classic Coq au Vin - Free Range Breast of Irish Chicken Cooked in Red Wine, Smoked Lardons, Baby Onions, Girolle Mushrooms served with Creamy Scallion Mash (€21.00).