Zuni. Zuni. Zuni. So Good, I Named it Thrice!

Zuni. Zuni. Zuni.
So Good, I Named it Thrice!
Roast cod in Kilkenny
Zuni restaurant is good, easy to find. So good, so easy, it can be hard to get a table. Especially on the Saturday of the Savour Kilkenny Food Festival. But I did book a few days in advance. And very glad that I did.

So out of the dark and into the buzz of the bar. And that buzz is even more concentrated in the large restaurant, the space expertly broken up into little rectangles by some moderately high dividers. There’s no stopping the noise in this packed area. But it’s a happy noise, people enjoying themselves.  Hardly even noticed the open kitchen, where Maria Rafferty heads the team, as we were walked to our table.

It is busy in there and packed outfront but the service is warm, friendly, efficient and on the ball. I was going to say pro-active but I think, in Kilkenny, on the ball is better! And a last word on the buzz. There is something about the acoustics here that, despite the noises, you can still comfortably converse in a normal voice.

Down to business now and a look at the menu. Salmon Rillettes and Slow Cooked Oxtail are on the promising starter list. On the well balanced mains list, there is Roast Monkfish, Pork Belly and Scallops and a risotto featuring Pumpkin.

Good variety too in the wine list, many by the glass. CL starts, and finishes, with the 2012 Huia Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough at €7.95 a glass. I open with a Bordeaux style 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserva Legado De Martino from Chile at €8.25 a glass and finish with a 2012 Cotes du Rhone Chaume Arnaud at €8.50. Very happy with the wines and especially with the finalé, a wee drop of Port, Warre’s LBV 2002 (€6.85).

Venison on top. Bottom: trout (left) and duck.
Both starters were excellent. CL absolutely enjoyed her Goatsbridge Smoked Trout Bon Bons, fennel purée, and trout roe vinaigrette. I went for the duck and it was terrific, well cooked, well presented, a terrific mix of textures and flavours. The description: Pan Fried confit duck, plum sauce, pickled carrot, and pickled cucumber, and coriander.

On then to the mains with much anticipation. I just couldn't resist the venison. Pink they said and pink I got, a great big hearty dish begging to be put away on an Autumn night; an extra hour in this day, so no hurry. The venison came with parsnip gratin, pumpkin purée, port wine jus (more alcohol!), spiced pear and pear gel. What’s not to like here?

CL, the fish specialist, was in her element with the Cod Fillet, cauliflower gratin (beautiful), cauliflower purée, and almond gremolata. What a fantastic combination, again well cooked, well presented. And well appreciated!

Desserts tempted. We hummed and hawed before settling for a liquid one, that delicious LBV. Suitably fortified, we headed off into the night, admiring the reflection of the Castle as we strolled back to our lovely friendly base at Rosquil House.

Zuni Restaurant/Bar and Hotel
26 Patrick Street, Kilkenny.

Phone(056) 772 3999

see also
Kilkenny Dinner, in Cork
Bloggers On Thomastown Tour