There is a French Food Fest coming up next weekend but I stole a march by making second trip of the summer to Nautilus in Ballycotton last evening and once again hit the jackpot at this little French run restaurant by the harbour.

Got a big welcome at then near empty room – we were early – and soon the place was full and the two busy ladies on duty out-front were kept going. We were served with some smashing multiseed brown bread before moving on to a delicious starter: Seafood plate with seared scallops, grilled mackerel and crab in vinaigrette, tapenade, served with warm baby potatoes and parsnip crisps (€14.00). Expensive but worth it!

Main course for me was the Roasted Monkfish with roasted root vegetables & lemon beurre blanc (€19.50) while herself enjoyed the Beer Battered Ballycotton fish & chips with tartar sauce (€16.00). Well satisfied with both.

For dessert, I enjoyed my Irish farmhouse cheeses (Cashel Blue and Durrus) with a fig chutney, walnut salad & house cheese biscuits. Top class as was the freshly made Rhubarb & Meringue Crêpe. Each cost €6.50.

Had a glass of the house white (Verdejo) at a fiver each and finished off with a pot of decent coffee (€2.00 each). A bit of a delay then before we got the bill but the staff were very busy as couples and foursomes continued to arrive. But very satisfied overall – you don't generally get this kind of meal at home!

Opening hours for September 2010: Wed-Sat 6-9pm (early bird menu Tue-Fri 6-6.45pm),
Sun 1-4pm. Reservations: 0876135897