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For years, Mabel Crawford’s pantry was lost in the depths of Glanmire hotel Vienna Woods. Then, an industrial sized fridge had to be shifted and the room, in the original house, was re-found and eventually turned into a new and lovely bistro.
Nice yarn. In any event, the new addition to the Cork dining scene is a series of small linked rooms. They are extremely well furnished and decorated; there are decent sized tables and really comfortable chairs.
More importantly, the food is top class and the service is friendly and efficient. Besides, we were assured on Saturday night that “95%” of the produce used is Irish. Suppliers include O’Connell Meats, Good Fish, Waterfall Farm and Twomey’s Bakery.
The menu is huge and varied. There are about 14 starters, ranging from €4.50 (soup) to €9.50 (duck confit, haricot beans and beetroot chips). Just as many main courses. The prices here range from €14.95 (Home made Angus Burger) to €27.95 (Angus fillet steak). There are about ten desserts, priced between six and seven euro.
My starter at the weekend was the Baked Goats Cheese resting on Toasted Red Pepper Tostadas, with an Olive Tapenade filled Tomato nest, finished with a sweet honey and balsamic dressing. A very well balanced starter indeed and also quite substantial. Good value at €7.95.
The other starter I sampled was the Chilled Duo of Galia and Cantaloupe Melon served with a melody of seasonal fruits and a shot of Vodka jelly. Certainly a cut above your usual Melon starter and nicely priced at €6.75.
Main course for me was a beautifully done Pancetta wrapped chicken resting on a classic Ratatouille, dressed with a light Pesto Sauce (16.95). Delighted with the tasty plateful. The winter vegetable selection was served on a side plate. Not really a fan of this system where everyone gets the same veg as I’d prefer the veg to be closely matched to the main dish. But these were excellent and well done, and finished off!
The other main plate at the table was the Slow Poached fillet of Cod served with a smashing chunky Provencal sauce (€17.95). The fish, of which there was quite an amount, was very well cooked and the new Bistro had two happy customers at this point.
Kept to a lighter main dishe as I was determined to got the full three courses and take in the Warm Poire Belle Helene - Pear Halves Slow Poached in Vanilla Syrup, served with Creamed Rice, and a Wild Berry Compote. And I wasn't at all disappointed with it. Lovely dessert for €5.95.
The second dessert, about a euro dearer, a Sherry Trifle, was one of the specials but nothing to write home about, too much cream, too little sherry. Having said though, we saw a few polished off with relish at nearby tables.
All in all though, this was a fine meal, well presented and served in a pleasant environment by some very pleasant people. A place to go back to, for sure. Let us hope they don’t lose it again!
See more, including before and after pictures, here