Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Lunch at The Farmgate Cafe. Seal beag gairid. Sásamh mór.

Lunch at The Farmgate Cafe. Seal beag gairid. Sásamh mór.

Hadn’t been to the Farmgate Café inCork’s English Market with a while. After a warm welcome, I was studying the Menu and was struck straightaway by the fact that their commitment to supporting local has never wavered.

Back in January 2010, Kay Harte helped me entertain two Americans (one a blogger, the other a photographer, each then working for foodspotting.com) and one of the highlights of the conversation was when Kay described her potatoes as balls of flour! These potatoes were from Ladysbridge in East Cork and so too are the potatoes they use today.

You’ll see lots of local names on the menu such as Toonsbridge, Ardsallagh, Longueville, Shine’s Fish, Garryhinch Mushrooms, Barry’s Tea, Cockagee Cider, Stonewell Cider, Stag Bán beer and more. You’ll also see the English Market downstairs mentioned quite often because that vibrant pantry is where they source many of their ingredients.

At first glance, you may well think that the menu doesn’t change. Tripe and Drisheen is always on and I was thinking of the Lamb Stew (with those Ladysbridge potatoes) before I changed my mind and went for something else entirely.

And, as it turned out, my Risotto with those fabulous Garryhinch Mushrooms (organic), Ardsallagh Goats Cheese, and Toasted Hazelnuts was a very satisfactory plate indeed, beautifully balanced and nowhere near as heavy as some risottos, just perfect for lunch. Great flavour from the stock, the mushrooms and the cheese, along with a nice crunch via the nuts.

They usually have a couple of specials on the board and CL picked the Chicken and Mushroom Pie with Mashed Potato and Roast Vegetable, one of those ageless dishes that, once well cooked (as it was here), is the ultimate comfort food for these dreary November days (although this particular one was better than most!).

Dessert? Coffee? Yes please. Quite a list of sweet stuff including Tiramisu, Apple Tart, and smaller items such as Coffee Cake and Caramel Squares. Our pick was the Orange Cake with Yoghurt and Fruit Compote. This too was one of the best of its type, the cake beautifully moist with the yogurt and compote a delicious enhancement!

We skipped the starters but again you’ll have a good selection, small such as Smoked Almonds, warming such as Market Fish Chowder and a fine selection of sandwich like the Toastie with Loin of Bacon, Scamorza Cheese, and Onion Marmalade

Service is excellent here, you’ll enjoy the quite chat and the info (on the specials, for example) and the food is well presented. And you can wave your thanks to the chefs as you exit! And indeed, if you feel like taking home something for supper, they’ve got a lovely well-stocked stall downstairs where we usually stop for for their fresh baked soda bread (the white one sells out quickly!).

It was quite enough there last week. A November Tuesday is not a very busy day in restaurants. Still, with Christmas coming, you are advised to book the restaurant towards the weekends. The gallery side is walk-ins only. More info at https://www.farmgatecork.ie/

Farmgate Opening Hours

Tuesday - Saturday 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Sunday and Monday - closed.

From the Farmgate Facebook page.

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