Superb Dining At Westport's The Pantry & Corkscrew
The Pantry & Corkscrew is a little gem, though hardly a hidden one, right in the heart of Westport. If you want freshly made food using the very best local ingredients, with an interesting bottle of wine or local craft beer, then make this your destination.
Here, you’ll get the warmest of welcomes from Dermott and Janice who take pride in using as much local organic and free range produce as possible from the land, earth and sea.
Listed among their suppliers are Joe Kelly Organic Vegetables, Andarl Farm Outdoor Pigs, Kellys of Newport, Starcrest Seafood, Aran Island Goats Cheese, Achill Island Sea Salt, /Mescan Brewery, Killary Shellfish, K&C Norton, Wines Direct, Sysco, The Apple Farm, Coffee.ie, Faherty, Wholesale and Wild Wines.
There’s a tempting range of starters with a couple of specials as well and included Naturally Smoked Atlantic Haddock Croquettes, King Oyster Mushroom, Braised Irish Beef Rib Empanada, Andarl Farm Shredded Ham Hock Cashel Blue Cheese; Puffed Rice Crusted Tofu.
In the end we settled on one of the specials. Glad that we did as the Arancino filled with Mozzarella & Salami Napoli, with Tomato & Basil Sauce and Fresh Rocket, certainly lived up to its special billing. We were up and running with that.
They carry a range of the local Mescan beers and we each had a bottle of the Seven Virtues Lager to start with, full of flavour and refreshment. Later, I would move on to the Mescan Old Brown (thanks to Dermott pulling out the last of the batch). I knew I was on a winner as I’ve had a few over the past year or two. Talking about patience, this is matured in oak barrels for more than two years. Well worth waiting for!!!
I had enjoyed a Schnitzel a month or so ago in Kerry and when I spotted one on the menu here, my mind was made up, especially since I saw the pork was coming from the local Andarl Farm. The full description was: Herb Crusted Andarl Farm Free Range Pork Schnitzel, Pancetta & Parmesan Cream, Potato, Fennel and Butternut Hash. Crispy and tasty, full of flavour and texture and the potato and sauce enhanced the whole dish. A big thumbs up for this one.
No sharing dessert this time, though there were generous tastings exchanged. One, with a little encouragement from our server, was a Melon Semifreddo (from the specials) and the other, spotted early on, was the Normandy Apple Pie with House Vanilla Ice Cream.
It is a small narrow and comfortable room where the warm welcome is an indication of things to come in this cozy place where good food and drink and chats and smiles are the order of the day. Very Highly Recommended.
It is not just me. Recently, they won the Award for Best Emerging Irish Cuisine at The Regional (Connacht) RAI Awards.
More on the Pantry and Corkscrew on their website here
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