Friday, October 31, 2008


When in Cork, do as the Romans do...

I don't think there is much point in going to an Italian Restaurant in Ireland and ordering Salmon or Steak (unless they have Florentine steak on the menu).

Following my own advice, at a far from full Ristorante Rossini this Friday night, I picked Cannelloni alla Bolognaise as my main course while the Advisor went for the Homemade Lasagne. We had no regrets whatsoever. While the plates may have been adjusted to suit the Irish palate (no shortage of mince meat), the taste and eating experience was pleasurable, very enjoyable indeed, all washed down by a €13.00 carafe (50cl) of house red.

The meat and sauce left little room for dessert but I was tempted by the Apple and Caramel tart (served with Ice Cream) and we shared it. Again, it was very enjoyable. We also had two cups of excellent coffee.

Total bill came to €63.50 approx. For that, we had a good meal and also some nice live music (solo guitar).

Rossini's is a long established venue, run by Patricia and Salvatore Toscano. It is in Princes Street, tel. 021 4275818

Wednesday, October 29, 2008



Recession beaters were out in force at The Barn last Friday night. Well, maybe not in force, since the expensive venue (on the Glanmire Road out of Mayfield) was half full or half empty – take your pick. The meal here (five course) does cost €50.00 a head. It is invariably good but is it worth fifty? Once rampant tigers, now with lighter wallets, may have be settling for less (then again it was the Jazz Weekend).

In any event, the customers that did turn up were all seated together in the one area, a sensible move. The pianist entertained and the food came at a comfortable pace. The Barn is built for comfort and ease. Service is good and there is never a rush. You can sit in the armchairs at the bar and have an aperitif (€6.20 for Campari and soda) as you go through the big menu.

A selection of tasty breads was offered as we started with a delicious tomato and basil soup. I then had a smashing Duck and Pears Salad starter while the advisor went for an excellent Pastry envelope of Mushroom and Bacon. My mains was a tasty fillet of ostrich (not something you get very often) while the other mains was a crispy duck, both served with potato and seasonal vegetables, both top class.

Then came that tempting fully laden dessert trolley. Both fell for the mille feullie. Gorgeous. And then we had a cup or two of good coffee, served with some very tasty cookies indeed.

Wines start about the €25.00 mark. Ours was a Rioja Crianza, velvety, warming. It had it all: bouquet, flavour and aftertaste, not to mention the 14%. Cost was €28.00. The bill came to €134.00. Comfortable venue. Lovely people. Good meal. If you have an occasion to celebrate or guest to entertain, The Barn (now 30 years on the go) won't let you down. But your wallet will be even lighter!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Marks & Spencer


Houmous and Foccacia Breadsticks ---- €1.90
Thai Green Curry ----€11.98
Tarte Citron -----€3.09

Total for two ----€16.97

Good food, Good value!

Saturday, October 4, 2008



Jacques is a Cork institution. It is every bit as good as its reputation, regularly enhanced by the awards that come to the Phoenix Street Restaurant. The only award I have is my custom and, having enjoyed Friday night’s visit, I’ll be back there again soon.

Prices, on the face of it, are a bit stiff: €11.50 for starters, the high 20s for mains. But compare. Two weeks back, I paid €88.00 for a poor quality meal in a Bantry pub. Last night, I paid three euro more in Jacques. The money was similar but the meals were not as Jacques was different class.

I had the Rack of Lamb on Hummus (with mustard), with vegetables and potato (which had been cooked with herbs and peppers). Carrots were included with the veg and they were cooked to perfection, which is not always the case. Indeed, everything was cooked to a tee and it was a gorgeous plateful.

Desserts cost €7.90. I really enjoyed my Plum Clafoutis while the Advisor was thrilled with her Cork grown raspberries (a generous quantity of berries, not your wishy washy puree) with vanilla pod ice-cream.

The wine list is extensive and has its expensive side. For instance, you can pay €300.00 for Hermitage la Chapelle 1985. But we settled for the house red, currently a French Merlot, which cost about €22/23 and was well worth it.

If you want to check out the meals and wines available why not go to and then make your virtual tour into a real one!