Ferrit & Lee Standing Strong
On Midleton's Distillery Walk
When local chefs Pat Ferriter and Stephen Lee took over the restaurant known then as Raymond’s on Distillery Walk in Midleton in 2017, they had a very good idea of what to expect. After all, they had long been working in the kitchen there, Pat for 12 years, Stephen for 13.
|On the side|
And then came a scary challenge they could hardly have foreseen: the pandemic Covid 19. With their backs to the wall, they scrambled to survive, offering their customers a Click and Collect service and then outside dining with tables both at the front and rear of the premises.
And when the hesitant all-clear was given a couple of weeks back, they were ready to serve indoors as well. We were there last week and, having enjoyed a superb lunch, can confirm that the food offering here is as good as ever. Besides, pandemic wise, we were well taken care also, no shortage of precautions and sanitisers.
Looking back on it, we were in agreement that the main courses were superb, as good as anything we’ve had in a long time. These guys know their meat - they source it in the East Cork area and are well able to get the best from it.
The menu descriptions were tempting and we had a little “argument” as to who would have the lamb, who would have the beef. Their signature dish is the feather blade of beef and they vary the accompaniments on a seasonal basis. Currently, the Slow cooked Jameson marinated featherblade of beef comes with roast carrots, seasonal greens, squash purée, leek and potato croquette and jus. The cooking was perfect, everything about it was perfect.
And it was the same high praise (there was a lot of sharing going on!) for the Braised new season lamb shoulder with apricot, cranberry, and pine nut stuffing, seasonal potato, vegetables, salsa verde and thyme jus, another superb combination of flavour and texture. That stuffing was superb. And, both these dishes came with a bowl of seasonal vegetables, also top class.
Lots of choices here including steak (of course!), Crispy Battered Cod, Chicken Tikka Massala, Egg Penne Pasta, Confit Leg of Duck, Baked Hake and more.
No shortage of starters either. We decided to share the Jameson caramelised onion and free-range chicken liver paté with mulled quince chutney and warm brioche. There was an excellent little salad with it as well and we were off to a fantastic start. I know there are quite a few good patés around but this is right up there with the best of them and their chutney is also a star.
I completed my Jameson hat-trick with the dessert: the Baldwin’s Jameson ice-cream with chocolate sauce and honeycomb. Not bad but it was the Seasonal Crumble (rhubarb, strawberry and apple) that took the unanimous vote as best of the two! The trio of fruit was a very successful melange while the topping was absolutely perfect, dry and crunchy.
So, not for the first time, nor the last I’d say, these two punters left Ferrit and Lee in very good form indeed. And not a drop of whiskey between us. But we did enjoy a couple of excellent glasses of the house red - their wine list is based on the Liberty Wines portfolio. Our aromatic Castano Monastrell was soft and rich and juicy, an excellent house wine indeed.