Showing posts with label Bunnyconnellan's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bunnyconnellan's. Show all posts

Monday, April 15, 2019

Dine by the Water. Superb food and superb views

Dine by the Water
Superb food and superb views

Bunnyconnellan's
I’ve been very lucky this past few years to have dined in some well placed restaurants and cafes, places from Cork to Donegal that have a dining room with a view over water. Sometimes over a river, maybe over an estuary, over a lake perhaps, and then sometimes over the ocean. I was lucky too to have brilliant weather in most of the places.
Carrig Country House

Caragh Lake is in Kerry, not too far from Killorglin, and you have great views over its waters when you dine in the splendid Carrig Country House
Screebe House - their photo

There are some similarities between Carrig House and the lovely Screebe House  in Connemara; great food and great views. 
Blairscove

And in West Cork, near Durrus, there is Blairscove House. Here you can enjoy a splendid dinner and views over Dunmanus Bay. And another waterside gem in West Cork is Heron's Cove, perched nicely at Goleen.
Heron's Cove

Breakfast view (just a small section of it!) from the Trident's Pier One
There are no shortages of harbour views in Kinsale. One of my most recent visits was to Man Friday on the hills above the bay . And another recent visit was to the Trident Hotel, right in the town and so close to the waters that you think a boat is going to come through the dining room windows.
Sunrise at Garryvoe
The Samphire at the Garryvoe Hotel has expansive views of Ballycotton Bay and the lighthouse, excellent food too. 
Bayview, Ballycotton

And across the bay, its sister hotel, the Bayview has an even more spectacular cliff-top situation and amazing fish dishes.
Hake at Celtic Ross
The views at Rosscarberry’s Celtic Ross, where French chef Alex Petit maintains a high standard, are quieter but no less pleasant.

No shortage of views from the Inchydoney Hotel (above) which is situated on the spectacular beach of the same name.
Window view from the Eccles

Further west, go and stay at the Eccles Hotel, once home of the rich and famous.

Also in West Cork, be sure and visit beautiful Courtmacsherry and the small Courtmacsherry Hotel with its gorgeous views.
Enjoying a local beer on the terrace of the Lifeboat Inn

Also in Courtmac, you'll find terrific food at the Lifeboat Inn
Lunch-time view at the Cliff House

Ardmore’s Cliff House is renowned for the food, the views over the bay!
Blaa Eggs Benedict at The Granville
View from Strand Inn
overlooking Cahore in Wexford
Prawns Pil Pil
at The Strand

Waterford's excellent  Granville Hotel overlooks the harbour, right in the city centre. 

Next door in Wexford, check out the views from the Strand Inn in Cahore, in the north-east of the county, and also from the dining room at Hook Head Lighthouse in the south-west

Pier 26
Back again to Ballycotton and to Pier 26. This restaurant overlooks the harbour and the lighthouse island and the fish is highly recommended, of course! And down in Schull, L'Escale is right in the harbour area; the lobster here is a must try.


And if you really want a 360 degree ocean view while dining then take a trip from Ringaskiddy in Cork to Roscoff in Brittany on board the Pont Aven.  Splendid food and views!

Dingle
For harbour views, you'll find it hard to beat the sights as you come and go to Dingle’s Out of the Blue. And close by is the Boatyard. Fish will be on the menus of both for sure. Then again, there's a splendid view of Cork Harbour from the tea rooms at Camden Fort Meagher (below).
View over Cork Harbour from Camden Fort Meagher

Rosapenna
No shortage of seaside restaurants in Donegal. One of the best is the Seaview Tavern in Malin Head village even if the view to the sea is somewhat interrupted by the cars park across the road. No such problems at the Rosapenna Golf Hotel, whose dining room overlooks Sheephaven Bay and the beach at Downies. Further west, the bar at the Cove at Portnablagh, another top restaurant, overlooks a different part of the same bay.
The Bayview, Ballycotton
Perhaps the best ocean view is that enjoyed from your table in Bunnyconnellan’s, a very pleasant view and very enjoyable food here at this renowned Crosshaven (Cork) venue.
Islander's Rest on Sherkin
Back to West Cork and to Baltimore and Le Jolie Brise where I’ve sometimes enjoyed a dish of mussels as the day drew to a close with the island of Sherkin out in front. Speaking of Sherkin, the Islander's Rest sure has great water views!
Ostan Gweedore
Hard to top that. One view that comes close, maybe level, maybe even better, is from the Donegal restaurant of Ostan Gweedore where there is the most fantastic view over the beaches and the waters of the Atlantic.

Turbot at Electric Fish Bar
Perhaps you prefer river views. One of the best in Cork is from Electricespecially from the Fish Bar. From the first floor of the South Mall building, you have fine views of the southern channel of Lee to the west and to the east.
River Lee Hotel, top left
Also in the city, you can almost dip your fingers in the Lee as you wine and dine at the River Club  of the lovely River Lee Hotel.  
View from the restaurant in Dripsey Garden Centre

The Garden Restaurant, above the same River Lee, is at the very popular Griffin’s Garden Centre in rural Dripsey. Here you can enjoy some of Granny Griffin’s delights as you watch the water-skiers speed by down below.

Never know what you might see passing as you dine in Cobh
You have no shortage of harbour views in Cobh where you’ll find The Quays and The Titanic Bar & Grill.  And you’ll also find pleasant estuary views not too far away at Murph’s  in East Ferry. 
Kenmare Bay
The Boathouse at Dromquinna, near Kenmare, is also well situated, right on the northern flank of the bay. And, in Limerick, the place to be is Locke Bar
Locke Bar's water-side tables

The Fish Basket on Long Strand, Castlefreke, Co. Cork, has recently opened here
in what was previously the Puffin Cafe

Have you a personal favourite view over water while dining? If you'd like to share, please use the Comment facility below.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Top Posts 2016

Top Posts 2016
from Twisted, Kinsale


The demand for information on new restaurants is, as almost always, reflected in the most popular posts on this site. The list, by the way, is calculated on hits on posts published since 30th November 2015 and is ordered by the amount of hits. That makes the performance of Republic amazing as it was posted just a couple of weeks back. Not all newcomers though as the likes of The Farmgate Cafe and Bunnyconnellan demonstrates. And not all restaurants either as there is room too for the guerrillas of The Sharp Knife. And not all food either: Youghal's Munster Brewery makes the list.

1- Republic (Ballincollig)
2- Munster Brewery (Youghal)









3- The Mews (Kenmare)
The Mews


4- The Old Butter Road Food Trail
5- Supper Club (Kinsale)
6- The Sharp Knife
7- Twisted (Kinsale)
8- Bunnyconnellan (Crosshaven)
9- The Cafe at Stephen Pearce Pottery (Shanagarry)
10- The Old Imperial Hotel (Youghal)
11- The Farmgate (English Market)
12- La Calavera (Douglas)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

O'Briens 40 years in Bunnyconnellan. Good View. Good Food. Mornings To Inspire.

O'Briens 40 years in Bunnyconnellan.
Good View. Good Food. Mornings To Inspire.
The view, to the left.
When Paul O’Brien opens up Bunnyconnellan, early every morning, he looks out over the ocean and counts his blessings. That view on a sunny morning inspires positivity and it’s not too shabby on a poor day either.


The O’Brien family are celebrating forty years at the iconic Cork venue. In 1976, Paul’s parents, Paddy (who passed in 2010) and Sheila, took over the premises from Neill (known to all as Jock) and Mary Porteous, the only other family to have run Bunnys as a bar and restaurant.  

“Amazing people come in here and recount their childhood memories, “ said Paul. The Crosshaven area in general was, in the 50s and 60s, a summer resort area for many city people. A few years back, I attended a 60th party there for a man long resident in the USA but he had such happy memories of Myrtleville that he insisted on marking his big birthday with a party in Bunnys.

Paul told me that this photo was taken outside Bunnys in 1996. 
"From left to right, my Dad, Paddy O'Brien (who passed in 2010),
 my Mum Sheila, my brother Eamonn who runs the very successful
  'Paddy's Bar' in Hamburg Germany, myself & last but not least my wife Julie."
“Some great characters have been in and out of here. And they keep coming, men like Donie Bermingham from Carrigaline; he claims to be our longest-serving customer!”


Aside from the smashing views - you can see the mouth of Cork Harbour as well, see the big cruise liners and the large Brittany Ferries Pont Aven come and go, see Roche’s Point across the way - Bunny’s has always been known for its good food. And that strand of the story continues too. “There is a great little team here,” enthuses Paul. “It is headed up by Head Chef Chris O’Sullivan and Pastry Chef Bobbie O’Donovan, but they are all great.”

I put it to Paul that because they are on the coast that Fish ‘n Chips is always on the menu. It is. But they did take it off once and put it on the specials. There were “ructions” and it was quickly restored to its rightful permanent spot! “We can’t please everyone but we do listen to the bad things as well as the good!”  
The starters
“Fish is plentiful and varied here. Only last week, we had specials of black sole and brill for example. Could be something different next week. Another big seller for us is roast duck, supplied by Silver Hill.”

Specials are an “essential” part of the menus here, though for events like Sunday lunch, you'll find more traditional dishes as part of the offering. There is also a Kids Menu, with half portions of the adult menu available.

Did you have a good Easter? I asked. “We had a fantastic Easter, the whole period back to St Patrick’s Day, all good despite the iffy weather. Indeed, last winter was the wettest and windiest in years, yet we had a very good winter in the restaurant.”
The Cod
 So 2016 is shaping up well. And, believe it or not, the barbecues have started here already, kicking off on the first weekend of April. There are lots of industries in the general area and they tend to use the facility.


And, with a full bar, there is no shortage of beers to go with the meals, indoors or out. Craft beers are already featured, plus the local Stonewell cider. More craft beers are soon to appear and there are local spirits too - I spotted the Dingle gin. And if you fancy a cocktail? Well, they have a list for you. They tend to be more popular at or approaching the weekend.

Dinner service brings a hard night’s work to a close but Paul is back early in the morning, checking out that fantastic view. And, down on the beach, he spots a group of people that he admires: the Myrtleville swimmers. “Rain, hail or snow, there are about twenty out there every morning, some with wet-suits, some without”. People make the world go round just as the O'Brien's make Bunny’s an enjoyable place to come to, every day of the week. Every week of the year. For forty years!


Ham Hock
We enjoyed that view (though not the early morning one!) when we called for lunch. That Specials Board came in for scrutiny and our two mains came from that source. The starters are on the regular menu and I must say my Poached Pear and Blue Cheese Tart topped with walnuts was a delicious opener. And there were compliments too from CL as she tucked into her Goats Cheese, pineapple and walnut salad.


Our mains, served with a side of well cooked vegetables, were really special. Baked fillet of Cod with a pesto crumb and a saffron and chardonnay sauce was CL’s choice and I didn't hear a word from her until it was finished. My Oven-baked Ham Hock, with a creamy parsley sauce, was full of great flavour and outstanding overall, and kept me quiet! No room for dessert after the two courses! Sorry Bobbie - next time!
Local drinks: Black's Kinsale ale & Stonewell cider. Cheers!
BUNNYCONNELLAN BAR & RESTAURANT,
Myrtleville, Co. Cork.
Tel: +353 (0)21 483 1213
E: info@bunnyconnellan.ie
Twitter: @Bunnyconnellan 


Friday, March 11, 2016

Taste Cork's Electric Breakfast Part 2: Plan! Plan! Plan! Nutri Bullet Generation.

Taste Cork's Electric Breakfast Part 2: 
Plan! Plan! Plan!
And the Nutri Bullet Generation.

The 12 Mile Menu on a plate at Sage. (Photo 2014)
It may have been the morning after the night before for Kevin Aherne. But Kevin, who had rushed back from Killarney having seen his Midleton restaurant Sage named as the best in Cork at the Irish Restaurant Awards, was well up for for the Taste Cork Breakfast Seminar in Electric on Wednesday morning.

Once you have your idea fixed, Plan, Plan, Plan. That was his advice to would-be producers and restaurateurs. “It is the same as in the restaurant kitchen: preparation, preparation, preparation!

Kevin's own big idea was of course, his 12 Mile Menu. That came after Sage had been open for three years. So they closed while the new idea was formed and got going again when it was fully formed.

Jen O'Mahony, Bean Brownie, Kevin O'Connell, Forage and Find,
and Sarah Sexton, Bean Brownie
So number one for Kevin was to get “your idea”. Why did he not call his plan the Local Menu or the Artisan Menu. “Because those words, though still popular and though they still mean something, are losing weight.”

Once your idea is there and you believe in it, it is now time to get it marketed, to get the message across to your customers. In his case, the restaurant was the platform and he used it to highlight the high level of great produce in East Cork and indeed in Cork county.

“Producers don't always get the credit they deserve”. Up to 26 producers are supplying Kevin's 12 Mile Menu at present and you'll see many of their photos - in work situations - on the walls of Sage.

Declan Daly, Cork County Council, Mary Daly, Food Safety Company,
 and Rebecca O'Keeffe, Taste Cork
Small producers have to put up with food fraud from time to time with one outlet or another saying this is the genuine article or maybe buying the genuine thing for a week or two and then substituting an import. “It is important that the food label is true. No respect for bullshitters!”

Even though successful, there are always pointed questions. “You don't get everything from within the 12 miles, do you? Why not 20 miles?” Kevin is well used to them by now. He confirmed that all fresh produce comes from within the 12 mile limit; his poultry supplier is on the limit at 11.99 miles! But Kevin has no problem with someone having a twenty miles limit or a fifty mile limit. Not every part of the country has such a concentration of producers as has East Cork. Indeed, Kevin's great idea is obviously open for replication elsewhere.

More about Sage and its 12 Mile Menu here

Paul O'Brien, Bunnyconnellan Bar and Restaurant,
and Shannon Keane, Diva Boutique Bakery and Cafe,
After the traditional full Irish (full Cork) at Electric, Mary Daly (of the Food Safety Company) had the task of diverting minds to Changing Trends in Food. “Take the Healthy Option for instance. Smart food operators are onto it. Free From is part of it but much more than that. Lifestyle factors come into it and there are a growing number with allergy intolerance, 10% suffering from it and 20% who think they are! It represents a significant opportunity for the food sector”.

Take the Lifestylers, the “Nutri-Bullet generation”. “They eat out regularly, not necessarily high-end. So promoting healthy foods (less processed, less fattening food) will retain your lifestyle audience.”

“What is driving Free From? How do you give it to them? Eighteen per cent of them chose to eat healthier, not because to have to….they want great taste, guilt free treats and small portions.”

“Calories on menus are coming,” she has no doubt. “Most operators are responding to trends, keen to do the right thing, even if calorie counts aren't that popular. Listen to your customers: clean food, clear labels, and healthy options for kids. Make it your marketing message. It is what the customer wants; this is not a fad.”

Read more on Mary’s thoughts on Food Trends here.

For more background on Taste Cork's Breakfast Seminar see Part One .