Cistín Eile. Slí Eile

Cistín Eile. Slí Eile


Cistín in the title of this narrow-fronted restaurant in a narrow Wexford street hints at bacon and cabbage and beef galore. And that is confirmed when you study the menu. But here, the bacon and the beef, and much more besides, is done in a different and delightful way, slí eile. Here, in this narrow-in-space but broad-in-mind place, your top local produce is stamped with the Warren Gillen imprint.

That long narrow space, divided into three rooms, each just a step or two up from its neighbour, has tables dressed in various colourful materials, mainly muted shades. Service too is calm and attentive without ever being in your face. A time and a place to relax.

And relax with a local beer from Cleverman, an amber or a pale ale, a Smoked Turf stout or a smooth light lager. You can also choose from the White Gypsy large bottle range: American Style Pale Ale, Russian Style Imperial Stout or a German Style Doppelbock. A pretty good, if short, wine list, includes a contribution from one of the modern Wine Geese, Wexford’s own Pat Neville who farms in the Languedoc.

Cleverman beers

Menus, water and breads soon arrive at the table. And one of those breads is dark and delicious and is made with the Clever Man stout and black treacle. A good start!

And starters? You’ll have quite a choice from the new Autumn menu that started its run on the first of September. Some stout too in my choice: The Glazed Pork-belly Salad (with stout and spices, red cabbage, curry and buttermilk). This was a delightful dish, great colour, texture and flavour, a great use of the popular Pork-belly.

Goats cheese is always popular on Irish menus. Gillen uses Bluebell Falls from Newtownshandrum in North Cork. It appears on the menu as Fried Bluebell Goats Cheese (with beetroot slaw, pear and hazelnuts). And appears on the plate as a delightful invitation to come and get me. And soon disappears with sighs of appreciation for yet another well constructed, well balanced combination. Each of the two starters costs 9 euro but the average price is eight.

Mighty mains.

And the same high standard continues into the mains, where the Bacon and Cabbage (Cistín Eile style) appears. He gets his beef from Doyle’s, a nearby butchers. It is a favourite here and Slow-cooked (10 hours) Doyle’s beef (with onion fondue, champ, carrot, and peppered cream) was my choice (17.00). It had been strongly recommended by the folks at our lodgings in Killiane Castle and so I was glad to be able to go back and report that it was absolutely brilliant, as they knew!

Cistín Eile is well known too for its fish dishes, the fish coming fresh from nearby Kilmore Quay. There was a special (18.00) on and CL went for it: Lemon Sole (with choucroute, rocket, home-fries, broccoli, citrus and herb aioli). Well cooked, well presented.

There are six desserts on the new menu, priced between seven and eight euro. We decided to share and agreed on the Gingercake, spiced caramel, rum and raisin ice-cream, rhubarb and chamomile. The agreement nearly ended when it arrived!  Let’s say the cake vanished quickly. A lovely finalé to a lovely meal. Very Highly Recommended. Recommended too to book in advance. Wonder if we could persuade Warren to move to Cork?
Cistín Eile
80 South Main Street
(053) 912 1616
Opening Hours
Mon-Tue: 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Wed-Sat: 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm. 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

See also:
The Hook Lighthouse. Ireland’s Ancient East
Johnstown Castle
The Archways. More than a B&B
24 Hours in Wexford Ancient Castle to Oldest Lighthouse
Mr Jeffares Blackcurrants