The Farmgate, the ever popular Cork restaurant, so well situated in the English Market, was the venue for lunch last Friday. A splendid venue and a splendid lunch!
Patrons were queuing to get in – order and sit in the balcony on right, sit and order in the dining room to the left – but no problem to Rebecca and Mirco and the other staff as they calmly directed customers to their seats and their meals to the tables.
The food is sourced locally. And so too is much of the drink. You can, of course, buy wines (European only) by the glass, carafe and bottle (at a good price) but nowadays you also have the opportunity of sipping a local beer such as 8 Degrees or Dungarvan. On the day, I went for a cider, a very nice one too by Longueville House (in Mallow).
The starter also came from North Cork: the Old Millbank Organic Smoked Salmon (always excellent) with a mixed leaf salad and dill crème fraiche. Before that we had been nibbling some gorgeous breads.
On then to the mains. My pick here was the Savoury Tart of the Day: Mushrooms with Crozier Blue (the sheep’s cheese by the same people that make Cashel Blue), served with salad leaves, potato salad, butter beans, and jacket potatoes. Quite a plateful, full of quality ingredients, all for €12.50.
The other mains, Catch of the Day, was also delicious. This was the Grilled Plaice with tomato salsa, gratin potatoes and a gorgeous side dish of cabbage and peas (Gorgeous? Yes!). This pair of happy campers skipped the dessert but did enjoy two excellent coffees.
So what is it about the Farmgate, still drawing in lines of customers? I think this paragraph from their website is key to the success: Farmgate Café only uses beef, lamb, chicken, eggs and vegetables produced in Ireland. We place great value on the high quality production systems of our trusted suppliers. We also support organic production where possible. We work closely therefore, with Market traders and local producers to bring tasty, affordable and nourishing food to the table.
And there is more, encouraging stuff, on their policy here