Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Church Lane trip well worth it, even in the rain.

 Church Lane trip well worth it, even in the rain.


While home-cooked Sunday lunches chez moi are hard to beat, the recent arrival of Church Lane in Midleton piqued my curiosity at the weekend. Though the morning's weather was "apocalyptic" in co-owner Barry Hennessey's words, a well-timed dry (ish) spell and a nearby car park saved the day.

Stepping inside, a glass of Chateau De Cedre Marcel pushed back the weather blues. The concise wine list, featuring four whites and reds by the glass, included this delightful Malbec, a terrific reminder that Cahors is the home of this grape and can still come up with some gems.

Church Lane offers daily lunch, dinner from Wednesday onwards and a Sunday roast special, and promises more exciting additions (my receipt even mentioned new specials!). Last Sunday's Roast of the Day, chosen by regulars through a competition run in the previous week, was lamb. 

Given the team's impressive credentials, including chef Jamie Cullinane's experience under London's Richard Corrigan and his work in renowned local establishments (such as Ardmore’s Cliff House, Mallow’s Longueville House and Castlemartyr Resort) , our expectations were high. Barry and his brother Colin Hennessey co-own the business and they did well to get Jamie on board.

The lamb, reasonably priced at €17.50, surpassed expectations. Perfectly cooked and accompanied by delicious roasties, well-done root vegetables, and a generous jug of gravy, it was a complete success. Sharing a bowl of smooth mashed potato further enhanced the experience.

While CL slightly prefers regular potatoes to the purple ones accompanying her well-presented Roasted Plaice with trout roe butter sauce, she still thoroughly enjoyed the dish. The presentation was equally appealing, quite a plateful, also at €17.50.

Desserts, often a disappointment even in high-end restaurants, pleasantly surprised us. The shortlist presented two winners: a seasonal Rhubarb, Crème Patisserie, and Beetroot Meringue, and my choice of the classic Vanilla Creme Brulée with shortbread. I found myself slightly favouring the seasonal offering (I begged a few spoonfuls).

Rhubarb dessert

Church Lane is a vibrant space. On entering from the street, you'll find the restaurant to the right, through a brick arch. The large bar is to your left, where dining is also available, an option often chosen by midweek diners. Weekends offer live music and the opportunity to watch a game in a lively atmosphere.

Quite a lot going on here and you may stay up to date by checking their Instagram or Facebook

By the time we made our exit, very happy with the food and the service, we were glad to see the rain had eased off as we didn’t fancy sprinting (😉 ) up the lane on a full stomach!

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