Sunday, January 5, 2020

Excellent Meal at The Barn

Excellent Meal at The Barn

The ever popular Barn, between Mayfield and Glanmire, is probably the biggest and most comfortable restaurant in the Cork area. After its recent long-lasting renovations, it can now seat up to 300 people. We had an excellent meal there recently, well cooked and served with a smile and could hardly believe the generous space between the tables. We didn't see the whole place as the dining area is in different rooms and also split-level. Great care was taken during the renovation works and service was never interrupted. And the long-established venue is as popular as ever.

You do see the odd supplier listed on the menu, eg Clonakilty Black Pudding, and the beef is declared as Irish but there is little about provenance to be seen. Social media is not a priority (nor does it need to be by the looks of it) but you will find what looks like an up to date menu on their website. But forget about Facebook and Twitter. And it even took a few attempts over two days to get the phone answered. 

It did work out quite well at the table though! Even if the menu changes little over the years, just a few tweaks here and there. But there is a broad choice, the food is well cooked and service is excellent.

There is an immediate and warm welcome and you are seated in an ante-room where you may study the menu and enjoy an aperitif, not that there’s a hard sell or anything like that. Soon, you are guided to your table. Ours was by the window that looks out over the nearby fields. In summer you can see the cows grazing but in winter, well, the windows were nicely decorated.

We have been here a fair bit over the years, so much so that CL has a favourite starter, one that seems to be out of fashion elsewhere. It is the Melon and Fruit Platter With a Passion Fruit Reduction & Red Wine Reduced Fruit Coulis (7.50), nice and light and she reckons it would make a very presentable dessert as well. Though not on the same evening!

The menu is what could be called classical, no foams or fancy tricks here, and none the worse for that, though a breakout of personal expression by the kitchen team here and there would be appreciated. There are some ten starters, everything from Salmon Gravlax to Chicken Wings to Soup of the Day. And yet I ordered the excellent Clonakilty Black Pudding with Mustard Grain Sauce and Spiced Chutney (7.90) that I have enjoyed here previously, although you do get the slight variation. This latest one was top notch. 

No shortage of fish and poultry courses, lamb and pork too and also a couple of vegetarian options. I picked from the steak list, the 10 oz Aged ribeye steak (24.90) with roast (field) mushroom, balsamic glazed onion, roast seasonal veg, horseradish and walnut cream and demi-glaze, with fries. and cracked black pepper sauce. A perfect serve and very satisfying on all counts, cooked as requested, well presented and all the items on the large plate played a role. Faultless.

And it was the same verdict from the other side of the table where the Crispy Roasted Irish Duckling (22.50) with caramelised orange,  Port & Ginger compote, roast sweet potato and Caramelised Red Cabbage went down a treat.

No wine on the night though. No shortage of wine but the info is very sparse indeed. You get the usual suspects from a “cask” at the bar and, even on the wine menu, there is very little detail, not a producer mentioned at all, just something like Shiraz Eastern Australia or Merlot Central Valley, not even a year in some cases. They don’t make it easy for the customer at all. Room for improvement there for sure. I settled for a lovely glass of stout and had the wine later on in a different venue!

Mayfield-Glanmire Road
Co. Cork.
Tel: +353 21 4866 211

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