Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Local and Seasonal. Tempting choices in Princes Street as Nash 19 supports local producers

Local and Seasonal. Tempting choices in Princes Street as Nash 19 supports local producers

Nash 19, founded in 1992 by Claire Nash,  has expanded, during and post-Covid, from a restaurant into a Food and Gift Shop, Wine Bar, and Sternview Gallery. Changes galore then in the Princes Street venue but one thing remains and that is Nash’s unwavering support for local producers. 

We joined the queue at No. 19 last Friday and, after a warm welcome, were soon seated and studying the extensive menu, a menu that changes more or less daily. The produce may be local, quite a bit from the neighbouring English Market, but that doesn't mean that the restaurant is exempt from outside influence: it won't be the same old same old. You’ll see words such as Dukkah, Bouillabaisse, Sashimi, Stroganoff, and Tzatziki scattered on the menu pages. 

The local producers are also acknowledged and, on the day, names such as Tim Mulcahy (Chicken Inn), Cashel Blue, Hederman, Gubbeen, Bandon Vale, Waterfall Farm, K. O’Connell fish, Rossmore Oysters, Longueville Cider, Union Hall fish, Garryhinch, and Ardsallagh Goats, were among those included.

The choice here is quite amazing. I counted about 20 dishes (six of which were marked with a little fish drawing at the side) and didn't include desserts - didn't make it that far! Lots of wine is available too, of course, more so than a few years ago. My drink on the day though was one of the very best around, the superb classic Sparkling Apple Juice from Con Traas at the Apple Farm in Cahir.

For all that though, the star of our two courses was the House Pâté, Chicken Liver "Free Range", Crusty Sourdough, and Pickled Plum (13 euro). Claire herself is very proud of this one and rightly so, the best paté we’ve had this year.

I had been tempted by the Pork fillet and Garryhinch wild Mushroom Stroganoff, Rice dish but went instead for the Goats Cheese Salad, Ardsallagh Soft and Ash, Candied Nut, and Conference Pear (16.70). CL usually opts for this type of dish so when she didn't I did and enjoyed it, especially the two versions of the cheese and those candied nuts and the salad of course.

Salads are now shifting from the crisp summer leaves to the more robust type and that was also the case with CL’s Chicken Breast Salad Bowl, "Free Range", Relish, Dukkah, Tzatziki (16.70), another seasonal local and well-appreciated dish.

We would have had liked to linger a while longer and check out the desserts but we were on a tight schedule (very rare for us these days!) and had to move on and say goodbye to Claire and the smiling helpful staff, still busy as we departed at 2.30 or thereabouts. 

* By the way, if you are thinking of calling in for lunch at weekends, remember it is a busy place, so do make a reservation. Find all the details you need here  

A short preprandial stroll, full of history.

As you exit Nash 19, turn left and head south. 

An early 19th-century one-arch bridge, significant in its own right for the quality of its design and construction (according to buildingsofireland.ie) takes you over the south channel. Walk now to nearby St Finbarr’s South “the oldest Catholic church still in use in Cork City”.

Parliament Bridge is a limestone structure, built in 1806. It is also important to the river and urban landscape and is still in use as an important thoroughfare for the city.

Just five minutes after leaving the restaurant, we arrived at The church, also known as the South Chapel. This is even older than the bridge and was built in 1766; is a rare Catholic Mass House of the period. Located below the High Altar you’ll see the life-size sculptured figure, "The Dead Christ”, by the famous Cork sculptor John Hogan (1800-58).

On a day when some new street sculpture went up at the corner of Oliver Plunkett St and Princes St to be instantly flashed around the internet, I was on a “mission” to get a photo of the Hogan work. The fact that we were married there on a snowy Shrove Tuesday in 19whatever also had something to with it!

From the church, it took us just about five minutes to get to Nash 19 for our lunch.

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