Showing posts with label 51 Cornmarket Street. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 51 Cornmarket Street. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

51 Cornmarket. Anne and David keeping the sunny side up!

51 Cornmarket. Where Anne and David keep the sunny side up! 


Chef David Devereaux is showing sunny side up after a “hectic” two years. As he passed through the dining room during our lunch last week, I wished him a very good 2022 for 51 Cornmarket, the restaurant he owns and runs with wife Anne Zagar. And he smiles broadly and says they had a good year in 2021! 

The duo have packed a lot into the last two years, having opened 51 early in 2020. A few weeks later Covid hit, for the first time, and not for the last. Like many, they opened, they closed, and opened again…., And, obviously, made the very best of 2021, including welcoming Max, their first born, who will be celebrating his first birthday next month!

Basque Cheesecake, with apple purée

In the meantime, the food being served up in the now popular Coal Quay venue kept getting better and better. The punters were impressed and so too were the critics. We were early admirers and were again delighted as we checked the menu last week. No problem finding something to my taste here. 

Indeed, just like my mother with the Grand National runners, I could have stuck a pin in the list and, like her, would have come up with a winner. I would eat every single dish here with great enjoyment and that is the second such menu I’ve seen recently - the other was at On The Pig’s Back in Douglas. So one for the Irish-American combination on the Northside and one for the Irish-French duo on the Southside.

What did we pick for lunch from the enticing list that included brunch dishes such as their French Toast and Duck & Waffle and more plus lunch specials like The Lough Bagel (salmon pastrami, herb cream cheese  and mandolin pink onion) and The Caesar (chickens Caesar mayo, Egg, parmesan, bacon crumb and cos on sourdough?

Pollox Boi

CL picked the Pollox Boi ( a linguistic twist on a local phrase) but here meaning Fried Pollock Hot Dog, Tartare, Shallot and Pea. And it also means deliciousness; it looked well on the plate and tasted well. Great to see the pollock getting a run on a menu - a terrific fish that I enjoyed on a few Mayo holidays a long time ago, cooked in foil (I think) directly over a turf fire.

Anyhow back to the present and my dish called the Briskey. They like their wordplay here and I liked this bunful of Beef Brisket, Celeriac Remoulade, Toasted fennel pangritata and pickled onion. Quality all the way here. We also had a helping of their fries and not a shred of either dish or the fries went back.

Happy out as we say around here and we were to get even happier. Two cups of fine Stone Valley coffee followed with a rare treat in these parts: a Basque cheesecake. I was thinking that it might be something like the Basque custard cakes you get there (at least on the French side) but this was a different level altogether, smooth as could be, firm enough and so easy to digest, sweet and silky and quite a treat.

No 51 has become rather famous for its egg dishes but we had this meal without seeing any - perhaps one or two was used in the cheesecake. Here, they boast of “using the best produce the county has to offer made by a super passionate crew”. The eggs don’t have to travel far - they come from the rooftop urban farm in the Coal Quay itself! 

Open for breakfast, lunch and all times in between, the skilful youthful cafe exudes energy and enthusiasm with David and Anne both well-experienced in the restaurant business. The menus change here, depending on supplies, and everything is done in-house. You’ll find all the info on opening times on their Facebook but no menus as such. Lots of picture of dishes though, some with details, on both Facebook and Instagram.

Chef David cooks in a modern Irish style. The superb ingredients are handled with care and skill and the results are full of colour, texture and flavour. Presentation is strikingly neat and tidy - just look at their social media pics. Besides good food on your visit, you get smiles galore and a bit of craic.

The inside space (takes 20 plus) is narrow, white walls and ceiling, light coloured furniture, nicely lit, a line of tables on each side, counter towards the back with toilets in rear. And they have an enclosed outside area as well. Very Highly Recommended.

Monday, July 27, 2020

New Kids on the Block. #51 Cornmarket Street. We took a knock. We go again.

New Kids on the Block. #51 Cornmarket Street.
We took a knock. We go again.

David Devereaux and Anne Zagar, the young couple behind #51, are delighted to be back up and running at their new restaurant in Cornmarket Street. The enthusiastic pair and equally enthusiastic small staff had something of a false dawn back in March when Covid19 forced a sudden closure just a couple of weeks into their opening run.

Still, that youthful enthusiasm, backed by the solid experience they have acquired in various kitchens as they learned the ropes, is undimmed after their “second coming” as I found when we visited for lunch last week. We enjoyed it and said so. “Do come by again when we’ve expanded a bit,” I was told as I left! Can’t beat the youth!

While both are chefs, David has the Head Chef title here and “is the brain force behind our kitchen and the driving passion behind our ethos”. From the nearby north side, he began his studies in Cork which led to a scholarship in Johnston & Wales (RI, USA), an apprenticeship under Michael Fleming and a further stage in London’s Mayfair. David has been cooking around Cork for several successful years while always searching for somewhere to call his own and has found it in the Coal Quay, in what was previously The Parlour. 
Fish fingers like never before!

Now at #51, he has a clear vision, using many local suppliers to create a dining experience that is “funky, fresh and professionally thought out. His cooking style is modern Irish with a special focus on seafood while also being a dab hand at a Lemon Tart every once in a while.” 

Those local producers include O’Mahony Butchers, Ballycotton Seafood, Pana Bread, Kilbrack Farm, Annabella Farm, English Market, McCarthy’s Kanturk, O’Brien’s Free Range Eggs. And even more local is the nearby rooftop farm, now with the addition of their own hens!

They do everything in-house including curing their own fish. We got a sample of their rainbow trout as we left and it is superb. Do look out for that House Cured Rainbow Trout (more sustainable than salmon). You’ll see it in their Eggs Royale with Eggs and Hollandaise.
Herbs at hand

Anne herself has quite a distinguished CV as well. She trained at Ballymaloe Cookery School and studied French Patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu London. She was head chef at The Pavilion Garden Centre, owner-operator at Something Sweet, head chef and kitchen manager at Rachel's, and manager/coordinator at Hotel Isaacs Cork. 

She’s well able to take a turn in the kitchen but last week she was out front, keeping an eye on and serving their customers both inside their little terrace and also at the tables now allowed on the wide pavement of the Coal Quay itself. 

And she’s even got the mayoral nod of approval for her baking, particularly her scones which come in quite a few flavours: Blueberry and lime, white chocolate and cranberry, Cinnamon, pecan and toasted oats, and the traditional sultana.

You’ll get a terrific breakfast here but we were in for a spot of lunch, which they start serving about the 12.30pm mark when the menu goes up on the window. No menus handed out at present due to you know what!
Scones galore

The list may be short but is tempting, even includes a few of the egg dishes from the breakfast. We seriously considered the organic Farm Salad (tomato, local feta, potato, mint , cucumber and leaves). Another attraction was the Brisket, Pickled Onion and Celeriac Remoulade and also the Pork Belly with apple and red cabbage.

CL hit the jackpot when she picked the Beetroot, local goat cheese, pesto, pickled onion and organic leaf in a Ciabatta bun. Neatly presented, this is a superb dish, packed with local goodness and that bread is soft and tasty, the dish well priced too. Highly Recommended.

Eggs Royale, with that trout!
And I very much enjoyed another dish that comes into the Highly Recommended category: the crispy trio of fish fingers, superb cod as it turns out, comes with a delicious citrus salsa, and a well-judged amount of sweet curry in a beautiful soft bap. I had sticky fingers and a happy belly by the time I finished this easy-eating beauty, just the job for lunch in the summer-time.

Hopefully, David and Anne will be serving many similar platefuls before the summer departs. You’ll enjoy the happy youthful approach at this city centre venue and you know where your food comes from. It’s just a few yards from Patrick Street, so do look out for #51!

51 Cornmarket Street
Tel: 083 010 2321
Open Wed to Sun inclusive.