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Fresco Bistro is a bright spot, almost hidden away in the tress of lower UCC and by the impressive bulk of the Glucksman Gallery directly above. But a spot worth visiting, as I found out when I called there yesterday. You walk into the Glucksman as normal and then go downstairs. This takes you to the Bistro and its floor to ceiling views of the college lawns and more importantly to some classy food.
Brian Casey, one of the principals, had invited me out to sample the meals and boy was I glad I took him up on it. Brian made another good move when serving us with soup while we waited. It was a Lamb Harira Moroccan style hearty lamb soup with chick pea, coriander, lemon, mint and tender lamb pieces (€5.00).
Eating and drinking in it as they say around this city but still light, slightly spicy, moderately aromatic and those little chucks of lamb were certainly tender. A brilliant combination even if the temperatures outside were around the 20c mark.
Quite a choice of main courses as you can see from the site but there are also a number of daily specials, marked on the blackboard.
CL choose the Nicoise Salad Grilled marinated fresh ahi tuna, on organic mixed leaf salad, tossed in a homemade tomato dressing (€8.95). Just superb, everything done to perfection. The salad, so nicely dressed, had a nice crunchy bite, but always a pleasure never a chore. Fantastic dish, fantastic price.
And I could say the same about mine: Seafood Risotto Risotto Cooked in a melange of seafood, fresh asparagus and wild mushroom €9.95. The colourful rice was packed with little pieces of fish, prawns, salmon and white fish and that fresh asparagus was a tasty contributor to the overall pleasure. Great stuff.
The good things continued with the desserts, both under a fiver. I thoroughly enjoyed my Flourless Chocolate Cake, lighter than normal. And CL was very happy with her Apple and Blackberry Tart. No mistaking the apple: real chunks by comparison with that ghastly goo that you see used in some other restaurants.
While I had heard good things about Fresco Bistro over the past few months, I must say I was surprised by the excellence of the dishes and the very competitive pricing. The location too is lovely, especially if the sun shines (there is an outdoor section). But, believe me, the food is so good, it is a place you can visit in any weather!