Monday, December 2, 2019

Food At Crawford Gallery Café. Well Sourced. Well Executed. Well Worth A Call.

Food At Crawford Gallery Café
Well Sourced. Well Executed. Well Worth A Call.

We are in high-ceilinged high-windowed room in the heart of the city, surrounded by art works on the walls. Indeed we are in the heart of the Cork’s best known art gallery. But don’t worry, this is an informal room, a very pleasant one, and the food you get here, in the Crawford Gallery Cafe (founded 1986) is not at all formal, not really art on a plate but the tasty culmination of artisan craft from the farm to the kitchen to your plate, neat and tidy and a superb lunch or brunch. 

And then there’s the counter ahead, more or less weighed down with so many good things, pastries and cakes to savour slowly with a well made tea or coffee. Quite a few other drinks available too, including a glass of well chosen wine.

Everything is well-chosen here. Let them tell you about their leaves: “… our salads are so flavourful thanks to the natural farming methods of the growers at Horizon Farm in Kinsale. Colum and Liz O'Regan carefully work their beautiful farm and its soil, which is enriched by the proximity of the Atlantic Ocean, to produce leaves of unique and exceptional flavour. The food we serve you just wouldn't be the same without the talent and dedication of these local producers.”

This day (27th November 2019), we are here for lunch. Nothing Christmassy on the menu as yet, thankfully! The splendid old fireplace though is getting its seasonal makeover and camera phones are clicking as we study the menu.
Pears & Blue Cheese

There are some terrific choices here ranging from Soup of the Day to a Steak and Chips. And the choice is enhanced by the fact that you may have smaller or bigger portions of a few dishes including Devilled Kidneys on Sourdough.

I’m seriously thinking about those kidneys but instead go for the Pear and Cashel Blue Cheese Bruschetta, also available in small or large. I’m a big fan of Cashel Blue but I have to say, the Conference pears that the Crawford served with it were also outstanding, thinly sliced, crisp and juicy with a melting consistency and the typical subtle sweet flavor. An amazing combination with the cheese and the sourdough and those Horizon Farm leaves of course. Not art but quite a masterpiece.

Our other main dish was The Crawford Spinach and Mushroom Pancake, with cucumber pickle, Horizon Farm Leaves and Hollandaise Sauce. Another super plateful, another layer of flavour added by the sauce to the already flavoursome creamy package inside the pancake. Delicious.

“Coffee?”, we asked one another. Why not? “Dessert?” One to share. You could close your eyes and stick a pin and still come up trumps on that counter. But we didn’t leave it to chance and our pick was the Plum and Pistachio Cake, a generous slice with cream. Sweet finalé. And the coffee was good too.

And then we got a bonus, the chance to sample the gorgeous nougat that Sinead is making here. She uses butter and I must say I loved it, both flavour and texture. Sinead:  "I’ll be making more for Christmas and selling it on the counter here at the cafe. I’ll package some and have some smaller bars on the counter to have with coffee." So there's a tasty tip for you!

Festive Welcome!

  • For all of you nice and early with your Christmas shopping, they have the lunch special to get you through the retail mayhem. Les Tartines are their Open Brown Bread sandwiches with Gubbeen Farmhouse Cheese and Pickles, Bresnan’s bacon, relish and cucumber pickle, plus a cup of soup, tea or coffee, anytime between 12 noon and 3.00pm Monday to Saturday.

Crawford Art Gallery
Emmett Place
Tel: +353 (0)21 427 4415

Opening Hours
8.30am – 4pm
Sundays and Bank Holidays
11am – 4pm
Café Christmas Times
Closed 25, 26, 27 December 2019
Closed 1,2 January 2020
Closed 6,7,8,9,10,11,12 January 2020

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