Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Classy Cuisine in Cork’s Comfortable Cornstore. Delightful dinner and superb service in Cornmarket Street.

Classy Cuisine in Cork’s Comfortable Cornstore

Delightful dinner and superb service in Cornmarket Street.

It wasn’t the best of evenings weather-wise but that was all forgotten for an hour or two on a midweek visit to The Cornstore, one of the most comfortable dining venues in the city. And it wasn’t just the fixtures and fittings because the cooking and the service were also superb. 

The menu is extensive and

they still have an emphasis on steaks, seafood and cocktails here. But there is much more and we tried something from the different sections, seafood for a start, then vegetarian and pork and then a sweet finalee. By the way, quite a few of the regular dishes are also offered on the good value Early Bird, so be sure and consider it.


We got the friendliest of welcomes from the team here, and were soon seated in those plush chairs, studying the menu (we also received copies of that Early Bird, the evening’s specials and the tempting drinks listings with cocktails included!).

Seafood appetisers included Chowder and Prawn Pil Pil and oysters of course but I already had my mind set on the Mini Lobster Rolls, with buttered brioche and the Atlantic Lobster (15). We were off to a flier here with this exquisite flavoursome combination, everything from the little brioche buns to the flavoursome lobster was spot on. Other starters included Heirloom Beetroot Carpaccio, Creamy Burrata (with Heirloom tomatoes) and Fillet Beef Churro. Something for everyone!

Lobster rolls

Choices galore also with the Main Course offering that highlighted their range of dry-aged steaks including a Chateaubriand (for two!). Also available were Braised Angus Beef Cheek Bourguinon, Citrus Half Chicken, Tuna Steak and more!

CL picked the Grilled Cauliflower Steak with vegan Café de Paris butter, grilled onion, oyster mushroom and chimichurro sauce (19.00). Quite a generous amount of cauliflower but there was nothing of it left on the plate. The accompaniments enhanced the experience and indeed that onion was a tasty surprise, reminding us of one that we enjoyed in the Michelin starred Nerua in Bilbao’s Guggenheim a few years back

Bilbao onion with cod skin.

At the other side of the happy table, I was tucking into my Slow Cooked Crispy Pork Belly Porchetta with braised red cabbage, crispy kale and a black pudding crumble (26.00), another dish that I can heartily recommend, so well executed with every element well chosen to contribute. The pork itself, “crackling” included, was packed with flavour and the red cabbage was the perfect partner.

Then our server, who were all friendly and helpful, gave us another dilemma, that of choosing something for “the best course”. Not easy. They had three Dessert Cocktails on the list plus more than a half dozen classic desserts including Vanilla Crème Brulée, Granny Smith Apple Tartan and Panna Cotta plus the Cornstore Cheeseboard.

Our choice was the traditional Sticky Toffee Pudding (right) with vanilla ice cream and an orange caramel sauce (8.00). And it more than lived up to its classic reputation, one of the best I’ve come across recently. It reminded me very much of the gem that I used to enjoy decades ago in an upstairs Emmet Place French restaurant. I cannot remember its name but Aroma is there now.

Like many restaurants, the Cornstore has been through the wringer over the past couple of years and it was great to visit and enjoy a meal that certainly confirms that they are in top form both in the kitchen and front of house!

My pic of the Pork Belly. To see how they plate it up (before the crispy kale is added), check their short Instagram video here

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