Sunday, August 9, 2020

Chargrill Comes Into Play As Sage Pivots Towards Courtyard Dining

Chargrill Comes Into Play
 As Sage Pivots To Casual Courtyard Dining

“Outdoor is safer.” So the Covid19 experts say. Sage Chef Kevin Aherne took heed and has pivoted his dining option to the al fresco experience of the courtyard. Not just any old courtyard, of course. The Sage one is well covered, well heated too, good solid well-spaced tables with comfortable chairs and even vines with bunches of grapes (keep your hands to yourself) hanging overhead.

So how about a drink? We are studying the menu. The style is now more casual than previously. No shortage of wine here and there’s a full bar inside. Howling Gale, by Eight Degrees, is available on draft. And there’s a bottle of Johnny Fall Down. Tempting. But then we spot the ElderSplender (Prosecco and Elderflower) and, being splendid elders ourselves, we ordered a couple. And yes, they were splendid, very enjoyable indeed.

Friendly people served us through the evening. And soon our starters were on the table. Could have had my beer taste satisfied with the IPA Haddock Sliders or the Ale Brined Chicken Skewer.

But we picked their 12 Spice Chicken Wings. We each took a different version. CL enjoyed hers with Fermented Red Chilli Sauce while I tucked into mine with Terry’s Honey (I was keen to try that one!).  As it turned out we swapped quite a bit, both well pleased with a delicious opener.

Time then for the main event. There’s a Rib Eye steak and also an Angus Beef Burger, a couple of flatbreads (one with Gubbeen salami), and a vegetarian with Ballinrostig halloumi entitled “A bit like fish ’n chips”. 

Most are done on the grill as is the the Chargrilled organic salmon, with crispy egg, coronation mayo, charred lemon dressing and wilted greens. A flavoursome dish but the flavours had to compete with a surfeit of smoke and the wilted greens turned out to be kale which doesn’t wilt as easily as most other greens.

The Sage Dahl, full of colour, flavour and texture, was very appetising  when presented on the table. The menu description:  lentils, potatoes, chickpeas, scallions and red chilli, brown rice, and peanut rayu. The option of adding chicken (from the grill of course) was taken up and all in all it was quite a dish. 

A Sage social media post later indicated that the Salmon was the most ordered dish of the evening but my vote goes firmly to the Dahl.

So what else is happening at the Midleton venue? The former Greenroom has been turned into a shop cum deli called Sage 2Go and here you may buy lots of local products such as their own Grilled Lemon Dressing, Chilli Jam, Elderflower Cordial, Aherne’s Organic Raw Milk, Beetroot relish, wines, ciders, Highbank products (syrup, treacle, balsamic vinegar), Wicklow Rapeseed Oil and much more.

Need a snack during the day? Well Sage2Go is the place to go for coffees, scones, desserts, sushi, and a range of salads, sandwiches and snacks here and enjoy them in a seat in the Courtyard or as a picnic on a nearby green. And, if you don’t feel like dining out just yet, you can order from the Sage Take Out Range and collect your choice here.

No "12 Mile" heading on the Courtyard menu but make no mistake this is local produce. Producers listed on the menu include: Pana Bakery, Midleton Distillery, Taylor's Farm, Leahy's Farm, Greenfield Farm, The Chicken Inn, Ballycotton Seafood, Stafford's Farm, Joe's Farm, Ardsallagh Goats Cheese, Ballinrostig Organic Cheese, Terry's Honey, John Tait's Black Angus Cattle, O'Farrell's Butcher, and Frank Murphy Butcher. Quite a stellar line-up there!

More details on their website here. Also check their Facebook for opening days, times and other updates.

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