Friday, January 15, 2010

The Brick Oven in Cork

Bantry’s best, the Brick Oven, has opened up in the city and may be found in the shadow of St Fin Barre’s on French’s Quay, close to South Gate Bridge.
(Local knowledge lesson: the quay is named after a late 17th early 18th century wine merchant James French).
The oven is on your left, as you enter. It is called the Big Fella and certainly produces the goods, perhaps the best pizza in the city.
Certainly enjoyed my Heartstopper there last night, eight inches of class with all the fillings. You can almost taste and smell the flames from the base which stays crisply edible and "cut-able" all the way to the end.
Heartstopper (€10.50) had most of the fillings available. The other pizza at the table was the Hawaiian (€9.50), looked down on by guides in Italy but still readily available at Latin pizzerias, which is more than can be said for brick ovens. In any case, ham and pineapple do go well together and last night’s piece was no exception.
Brick Oven supply their pizzas (they also do take-out) in two sizes, 8” and 10”. If you’re not up to the bigger size why not do what I spotted a couple doing last night. Order one between you and take a cone-full (yes, that’s how they serve fries here) to share as well.
While the Pizza is first class, the Brick Oven (which opened just before Christmas) has a huge general menu both for lunch and later and had some tempting specials as well available last night. Well worth checking out, which means I’ll be back.
Started off with a delicious mussels and tomato and herb sauce combination, available in three sizes (starter €8.95, lunch and dinner). Quite a lovely starter and substantial too as you have your mussels and the very tasty sauce doubles as a soup and you get a fine sized spoon to take it up. You also get a few toasted bits of baguette, though I’d prefer plain breads and also something to wipe the fingers!
Dessert was a Meringue and Berry with ice cream. Meringue soft and sweet, the whole thing delicious, cost €6.00. Wine is available from €5.00 per glass upwards. Our bottle, Pepperton Estate Chardonnay Semillon, cost €21.00, a reasonable price for a reasonable Australian.
The restaurant, previously Proby’s Bistro, is spacious and comfortable. Ceiling decor is unusual, with some three dozen or so closely packed old type fringed lampshades enclosing the adequate lighting but the thing to see is that Big Fella, the real brick oven!
Service was excellent and the staff were very friendly and helpful.
Didn't notice any music last night but you might get lucky some night, maybe something from the Rubyhorse back catalogue!


Always a little nervous going back to a place which I’ve praised. The Brick Oven was the venue and this time I accompanied, to a midweek lunch, two colleagues to whom I had recommended it.
Needn’t have worried. We were first in, got the table by the fire, and were the last to leave. Enjoyed our re-union and the meal. Two of us sampled the Risotto Special (at less than a tenner) while the third tucked into a steak burger with fries and salad.
Not a huge selection of desserts so I suggested the Berries, meringue and ice-cream and it went down well.
The house red and white wines were decent as were the coffees. All that, plus the friendly and efficient service, led to a relaxing feeling and a lazy long lunch by the fire in a reasonably busy spot.

Check out my review of The Brick Oven - I am cork - on Qype

No comments: