Jazz group It Takes 3 entertained us while chef Brendan Cashman fed us well at Augustine’s on Sunday night.
His €45.00 Jazz menu kicked off with a Bloody Mary and ended with a glass of the excellent house Port.
Enjoyed my well presented starter of Boudin of Clonakilty Black Pudding, Cauliflower Purée Salad of Spiced Apricot & Pané Quail’s Egg, Pancetta Crisp and Cider Glaze. Clon Boudin may not have featured on recent list of French prize-winners but this was certainly excellent.
Excellent also was the other starter at the table: Pan Seared Goose Foie Gras, Pear Purée, Port Soaked Baby Plum, Confit Almonds and Brioche. Other starters on the list were Pan Seared Fillet of Sea Trout and also a Wild Mushroom and Truffle Soup.
Main course was Braised Prime Ballea Farm Short Rib with a confiture of Red Pepper and Shallots, Sauce Marchaud de Vins and Triple Cooked Pommes Frites. This local meat just fell away from the bones, quite a treat. But be warned, a lot of fat comes with this cut.
The other main courses were Madeira Braised Belly of West Cork Pork, Pan Roast Fillet of Hake, Pan Roast Gnocchi and Cabernet Poached Tail of Monkfish.
Then for the cheese which was Bleu d’Auvergne and Poached Pear. I really liked this but not everyone does. I wasn't being too nosy but noticed two couple at adjacent tables, the first pair struggled with it while the second didn't touch it.
And much the same happened on my last visit here when the sole cheese was Bleu de Bresse. And in fairness, Augustine’s aren't the only restaurant putting blue cheese up – I enjoyed some from Cashel in Nautilus recently. Perhaps, with all the brilliant local cheeses available, a choice could be made available to those who baulk at the blue.
By the way, that cheese plate looked like a work of art and my dessert, Roast Autumn Fruits with Mascarpone Ice-cream, also looked well and, more importantly, tasted divine. Other desserts were Vanilla Infused Crème Brûlée and a Mocha Chocolate Tart.
There is of course quite a list of wines here, three red available by the glass, ranging from €5.00 to €7.00. We had some Spanish Langa Garnacha Syrah and Australian Pepperton Estates Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend.
All in all, the food was so good, you almost forgot about the trio playing in the restaurant. But they were really excellent and their music and singing added to the occasion. Augustine’s may not be set up for it but isn’t there a vacancy for a classy dine and cabaret venue in the city?