The Lobster’s A Specials Kind Of Place In Waterville.
They tell you that you can’t miss The Lobster in Waterville. "They have the lobster with a pint on the front." And they do. He’s up high on the street frontage with a full pint in his claw.
So we found it, no problem, and walked in. We did have a reservation. Probably not strictly necessary early on a late April night. The place wasn’t exactly full and there were three or four other options within a 150 yards or so. But, if you want to dine here and the season is in swing, then a reservation would be strongly advised.
So what did we have? The menu is along the usual lines that you see in Kerry (and many other Irish) pubs and sometimes you have to look at the specials list to get away from the Seafood Chowder, Chicken Wings, Fish and Chips and Burgers that populate these offerings. Not that there is anything wrong with them.
Up to about ten years ago, it was almost impossible to get craft beer in Kerry. But, with at least five breweries in the county, all that has changed. Has it changed in the Lobster? It has and great to hear that they had two types of craft, one by Killarney Brewing, the other by the local McGill brewery, from just out the road.
|Goats Cheese starter|
As it happened, they had just run out of the Killarney and so we both tried the McGill Waterville India Pale Ale. And we were both very happy with it indeed, a well balanced drink. That led to a spur of the moment meeting with brewer Joe McGill on the following morning and we are now well into his beers, included the just released barrel-aged stout called Coireán (Irish for Waterville). That stout is superb and you should try and get your hands on it, though you may have to travel to Waterville to do so!
Our orders had been taken and we sipped our IPAs. Both of our mains came from the specials. Mine was the Rump of Lamb, served with a Turnip Purée, Pearl Onions, Wild Garlic Leaves, a Rosemary Jus and a side of our choosing (€29.00). It was a fine piece of lamb, well cooked and presented and all the other bits, including that wild garlic, played a part in making it very enjoyable indeed.
And there was a big thumbs up also from the other side of the table as CL thoroughly enjoyed her Seared Fillet of Halibut, Saffron Potatoes, Mussels, Prawns, and Sugar Snaps in a Tomato Broth, a really classy dish. Good choice of sides so, for variety, we picked fries and a salad and shared. Other specials available were Steamed South Kerry Mussels (do they reject North Kerry bivalves?) in a Cream Sauce (19) and Pan Fried (500gr) Black Sole at a wallet stretching (it usually is) thirty seven euro.
CL enjoyed the Goats Cheese Salad (Mixed Salad Leaves, Roasted Beetroots, Orange Segments, Candied Walnuts, Orange Dressing, Sourdough Toast) but thought the one they served (with a redcurrant sauce in the Royal Hotel on Valentia) had the edge. Maybe they should have a cook-off during one of the summer festivals!
After all that food, they do quantity here as well as quality, we just had no room for dessert but a second round of Waterville IPA was very much appreciated as we had the shortest of walks to our five star accommodation called Seaclusion.
The Lobster has a good reputation and we noticed quite a few tourists in as well. But they are well appreciated at home too and in January were one of “23 Places We Are Most Excited About For 23” from McKenna's Guide. Before that, they got the Seal of Approval from Good Food Ireland and are included in their Touring Map.
And they are also getting nod from the CorkBilly.com blog!
Also on this trip:
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The 2017 version of this trip has some other attractions not visited this time. Take a look here.