Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Sage Has A New Menu. It’s A Good One!

 Sage Has A New Menu. 

It’s A Good One!

The famous Midleton Brick

The busy couple, Reidin and Kevin Aherne, behind Sage Restaurant in Midleton, have a new menu. It started last week and coincided with a reservation that we had made for ourselves and a couple of related visitors. Delighted to be able to give it an early test and even more delighted now to be able to give it a unanimous thumbs up from our quartet.

“It's an All Day Menu,” Reidin told me, “serving up a greater selection and option of dishes. From Salads to Flatbreads, Steaks to Funky Mains. Kevin and the Kitchen team have put a lot of effort into redesigning the menus with more of a customer focus on what people want in the current climate. We have recently appointed a new Chef to work alongside Kevin in delivering the menu below to the highest of standards with our focus being on delivering customer needs & wants.”

They certainly delivered that on our visit. At the start, it took a while to make up our minds on what to order. Our visitors sampled the local beer while we two sipped a couple of Tandem Wines from Navarra where Jose Maria Fraile (well known in Ireland via O’Briens Wine) and his team produce some excellent wines close to the pilgrims’ path that winds its way to Compostella.


RV1 and RV2 picked the Grilled Flatbreads along with a selection of the by now well-known Sage condiments; it is served for sharing and they enjoyed it. Agreement at our side also with each of us choosing the Bruschetta with Coppa, grilled Peach, Burrata and Lovage pesto. Amazing flavours and textures from,  in particular, the Coppa and pesto.

The new menu, designed for both lunch and dinner, also offers Bowls and Grilled Flatbreads, all tempting in their own way but our focus was now on the mains, some of which come from the chargrill (the meats sourced from small farms in East and West Cork).

RV2  and CL each picked the 12-spice charred chicken, beetroot, Tzatziki and fried chickpeas, a really well-judged combination, very well cooked indeed and nicely presented. Meanwhile, RV1 was enjoying his 8-ounce Sirloin from the Chargrill and at the end, declared it “perfect”.

A few weeks back, I had thoroughly enjoyed a lamb pie at the Celtic Ross in Rosscarbery and was now wondering how the Sage version would compare. Sage's BBQ Lamb Shoulder and Ale Pie, with summer peas, Lovage, Carrots and Gravy was a superb combination, every element on the plate contributing to the enticing flavours.

Tandem tinto
So which was best, Midleton or Rosscarbery? Both pies were appetising and flavourful, each based on lamb shoulder.  They weren't exactly similar as the Celtic Ross one was more of a Shepherd’s Pie with a layer of herby mashed potato on top while the Sage was encased in pastry. In fairness, each was top drawer. You won't find these in fine dining menus but I’d have no problem in doing a repeat in either venue!

In the gap after the mains, we decided to share desserts. The list is short but very tempting. It also featured their rather famous Midleton Brick and CL and I shared that combination of Chocolate Mousse with Toasted Mallow and Salted Caramel Sauce! Delightful. Our visitors bowed out with a couple of Lattes and a share of the Elderflower Panna Cotta, dressed strawberries and soft serve ice cream. A Cheese option was also available.

The service was lovely throughout. It was well-paced, so we never felt rushed or left waiting. The staff were nonetheless working hard, as the restaurant was full and they were still able to turn tables over quickly without any delays.

If you do like Sunday lunch, then check out Sage also. “Every Sunday we like to serve lunch roasts with all the trimmings, duck fat potatoes, carrots, peas, Mac & cheese and lots of gravy.”

Sage mural

See their social media, including Instagram, for all the details on the new menu. Kevin says that by focusing on funky full-of-flavour dishes, they aim to deliver a casual, fun dining experience.

Open from 12.30 - 9pm (Thurs to Sat) offering the same menu throughout the day with Happy Hour Specials from 3-5pm. Sunday hours are 12.30 pm to 7.00pm.   New menu.  

Kevin and Reidin are also involved in FEAST, the East Cork Festival scheduled for 7th - 10th September. Look out for details coming online in the next couple of weeks. The FEAST page can be found here.

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