Showing posts with label Brick Oven. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brick Oven. Show all posts

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Click on image to enlarge


There is a new kid on the brick. On the brick oven that is, once part of the Proby’s Quay restaurant of the same name. It has been taken over by an Italian-Chinese combo and they sure know how to work that brick oven, an essential for top class pizzas and lacking in many pizzerias even in Italy.
The two principals of the newly opened La Dolce Vita are Paolo Perrone from Sciacca, Italy and Jacky Sen Wang from Dahiam, China. They also have a brilliant staff, alert, friendly and informative. The fire was blazing when we stepped in from the bitter cold last night and, of course, that centre-piece oven helps heat the place as well.
Had every intention of ordering a pizza but that will have to wait, after a big change of mind. But let us start at the start which was an Antipasto Misto (15.95) to be shared between two: a massive plate-ful (photo) of meats, cheeses and vegetables, really well dressed and accompanied by another large plate, full of foccacia and a dish of mainly olives. So simple yet so tasty.
 And the same applies to my main course: Baked Sea Bream with lemon dill fresh tomato (16.95). “Lovely woods fried oven baked fish drizzles with olive oil.” A terrific full fish (see photo), soft and juicy. Just gorgeous. Loved the effect of the oven here.
 And that oven was also used in the other main dish. CL decided to go for an Italian favourite:  Pollo cacciatore (16.95), chicken supreme with mix vegetable in tomato sauce. There must be about 2000 versions of this Italian classic and this was another. But no complaints. A terrific simple dish at a very good price again.
Desserts were also well priced and we decided to share the Fresh Strawberry with crema di aceto balsamic and vanilla ice cream (4.95). It was quite a bowlful with the strawberries at the bottom. A lovely way to finish off a gorgeous meal. Maybe next time I’ll go for that pizza!
We had the Sicilian Njiro IGT 2009 Nero d’Avola (Per Bottle €17.90, Per Glass €4.50) and also the Verdicchio (Per Bottle €18.90, Per Glass €4.90), and found both more than fit for purpose and, again, well priced.
 So all in all it was two happy campers that, after a warm farewell from the LDV crew, that stepped to into the night. For some reason, it didn’t seem as cold as it was earlier! Maybe that kick ass double espresso (€2.50) had something to do with that! Ciao for a while.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Brick Oven in Cork

Bantry’s best, the Brick Oven, has opened up in the city and may be found in the shadow of St Fin Barre’s on French’s Quay, close to South Gate Bridge.
(Local knowledge lesson: the quay is named after a late 17th early 18th century wine merchant James French).
The oven is on your left, as you enter. It is called the Big Fella and certainly produces the goods, perhaps the best pizza in the city.
Certainly enjoyed my Heartstopper there last night, eight inches of class with all the fillings. You can almost taste and smell the flames from the base which stays crisply edible and "cut-able" all the way to the end.
Heartstopper (€10.50) had most of the fillings available. The other pizza at the table was the Hawaiian (€9.50), looked down on by guides in Italy but still readily available at Latin pizzerias, which is more than can be said for brick ovens. In any case, ham and pineapple do go well together and last night’s piece was no exception.
Brick Oven supply their pizzas (they also do take-out) in two sizes, 8” and 10”. If you’re not up to the bigger size why not do what I spotted a couple doing last night. Order one between you and take a cone-full (yes, that’s how they serve fries here) to share as well.
While the Pizza is first class, the Brick Oven (which opened just before Christmas) has a huge general menu both for lunch and later and had some tempting specials as well available last night. Well worth checking out, which means I’ll be back.
Started off with a delicious mussels and tomato and herb sauce combination, available in three sizes (starter €8.95, lunch and dinner). Quite a lovely starter and substantial too as you have your mussels and the very tasty sauce doubles as a soup and you get a fine sized spoon to take it up. You also get a few toasted bits of baguette, though I’d prefer plain breads and also something to wipe the fingers!
Dessert was a Meringue and Berry with ice cream. Meringue soft and sweet, the whole thing delicious, cost €6.00. Wine is available from €5.00 per glass upwards. Our bottle, Pepperton Estate Chardonnay Semillon, cost €21.00, a reasonable price for a reasonable Australian.
The restaurant, previously Proby’s Bistro, is spacious and comfortable. Ceiling decor is unusual, with some three dozen or so closely packed old type fringed lampshades enclosing the adequate lighting but the thing to see is that Big Fella, the real brick oven!
Service was excellent and the staff were very friendly and helpful.
Didn't notice any music last night but you might get lucky some night, maybe something from the Rubyhorse back catalogue!


Always a little nervous going back to a place which I’ve praised. The Brick Oven was the venue and this time I accompanied, to a midweek lunch, two colleagues to whom I had recommended it.
Needn’t have worried. We were first in, got the table by the fire, and were the last to leave. Enjoyed our re-union and the meal. Two of us sampled the Risotto Special (at less than a tenner) while the third tucked into a steak burger with fries and salad.
Not a huge selection of desserts so I suggested the Berries, meringue and ice-cream and it went down well.
The house red and white wines were decent as were the coffees. All that, plus the friendly and efficient service, led to a relaxing feeling and a lazy long lunch by the fire in a reasonably busy spot.

Check out my review of The Brick Oven - I am cork - on Qype

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Favourites in Cork



Favourite high end restaurant: Jacques

Favourite Bistro: Isaacs

Favourite medium priced restaurant: Market Lane

Favourite Italian: Casanova

Favourite Chinese: Ying’s Palace

Favourite Hotel restaurant: Pembroke Grill in the Imperial.

Favourite pizzeria: The Brick Oven in Bantry.

Favourite Dessert: While the desserts in Jacques are excellent, my vote goes to Jacobs on the Mall for its Date and Butterscotch Pudding.

Hard to go wrong here as you will get a decent lunch in most places in town, especially Market Lane. The outskirts are also well served: try Killumney Inn on the west, The Boot House on the north and the Elm Tree on the east. You will get a good roast of the day in any these.

For something different why not try Boqueria, the Tapas Bar in Bridge Street. On a recent visit I enjoyed a bowl of paella (loads of chicken and shellfish and served with a tarty side salad, for a €10.00). Just to add a note of caution, a glass of wine here (starting at €7.00 and mostly from Catalonia) is a full 25cl, a third of a bottle, and substantially more than your usual glass.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bantry Bay

Beautiful Bay, Beautiful Days

Enjoyed a few days in this brilliant September weather in Bantry, staying at the well located well run Maritime Hotel on the harbour side.

There is a cluster of eating places at the start of the square just a couple of hundred yards up from the hotel. Don’t miss the Brick Oven Pizzeria and Bistro. Yes, it has a genuine brick oven and you won’t find that in every Italian pizzeria.

Being in Bantry, we went for the Bantry Bay Mussels served in a Provencal style sauce, a beautiful “sauce” that required a big spoon. Salad and Fries accompanied the €17.95 main course version of this dish – you can also get it as a starter. Wine was a Blue Ridge Blanc from South Africa; this refreshing tarty blend of Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc cost €20.00.

The meal, including a couple of decent desserts, came to €68.00, more or less what we paid the previous night at The Snug next door. In the Snug you will get what we Irish call a “good feed”, not always the same as good food.

We had heard quite a bit about the Snug and, frankly, were very disappointed. Again, we went for a fish main course. If you can't get a goof fish dish in Bantry, it is bad news. Battered Cod, served with a salad and fries, was the other order.

I got a plate full, plus the chips in a bowl. The salad didn't impress. The potato salad had been plonked on the plate along with half a carton of coleslaw and a few leaves. The batter used was the old type heavy duty flour batter that smothered the fish, which was a pity as the cod itself, the forgotten about main ingredient, tasted fresh and good. They use the lighter beer or lager type batter in the Brick Oven.

The style of presentation was also evident in my starter, a crab meat salad (€10.00). Again a few lettuce leaves, undressed, were laid in the bowl. Then what looked like half a jam jar of meat was plonked down on it and it was finished off with a spoon or two of mayonnaise. Again it was a pity as the crab tasted very fresh and nice, aside from a few bits of shell that had not been picked off.

The wine list is limited, consisting of four quarter bottles (two red, two white) and four full size bottles. The meal consisted of two starters and two mains. It was a poor opening night but the Brick Oven made up for it.

We took advantage of the fine weather to visit two of the three nearby peninsulas. First trip was to the end of Sheep’s Head. There is a lovely little café there, everything homemade and we had two generous bowls of a well made soup (along with two brown scones), all for ten euro.

On the Mizen, we visited the cafe in the visitor centre where we got good quality and good value. Two chicken wraps, served with a nicely dressed salad (The Snug could take a lesson here) and a little bowl of relish, along with a big pot of excellent tea, came to about €13.00.

By the way, breakfast in the Maritime is top class; there is a big choice and good quality as you’d expect in a four star hotel. Their main restaurant is at the top end price wise but the bar serves good food at reasonable prices (less than what you’d pay in the nearly square) up to nine o’clock.