Showing posts with label L'Atitude 51. Show all posts
Showing posts with label L'Atitude 51. Show all posts

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Music and Food and Good Humour Abound as Culture Night takes over in the city.

 Music and Food and Good Humour abound 

as Culture Night takes over in the City.

L'Atitude Beverley and Simone in the open-air kitchen. Their burger,
from the best of local ingredients, was amazing, out of this world! 

The Goldie Angel, in the evening, (from the walls of Elizabeth Fort)
Spic and span modern buildings, the northside in the distance,
from a viewpoint on the walls of the 17th-century fort.

Shandon, with its Goldie Fish, and the tower of the North Cathedral (left)

Ukranians (part of a large choir) sing Danny Boy (and much more) at City Hall.

Mayfield Men's Shed Choir at Cork City Library, Grand Parade.

Mayfield men in full voice!

Lots going on in the English Market with quite a few traders pulling out all the stops, food and entertainment in all the aisles. Found it hard though to get past the Roughty Foodie stall where a varied menu and singer Amanda Neary proved a major draw. While Margo Ann welcomed the visitors out front, Gerry stayed cool, calm and collected in the background.

Heading home after a superb evening in the city.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Where's the Beef? Ten of the best in Cork City

Where's the Beef?

Ten of the best in Cork City

(beef round-up for 2022/23)

Brown's Brasserie at BT Jan 2023 €15.50
French Dip: Rotisserie North Cork Sirloin, Emmental Cheese,
Caramelized Onion Emulsion, Red Wine Jus, ODB Sourdough

Impressive steak salad at Liberty Grill Aug 22

Cork City has had a long, and continuing, history in beef. Such was the scale of the trade here in the 18th century that it was known as the slaughterhouse of Ireland. 

And it wasn’t just Ireland. In 1756, France and Britain were at each other’s throats in the Seven Years War and “the Great Ox-slaying city of Cork” emerged as the Royal Navy’s preferred supplier for beef, pork and butter.

So where’s the beef now? Let me take you on a lunch-time tour of the city and check out what is on offer. Some terrific beef-based dishes in Liberty Grill, Market Lane, Nua Asador, Oliver Plunkett, On The Pig's Back, Sketch at The Imperial and Woodside Farm, Bella Napoli and L'Atitude 51and all were enjoyed over the past few months.

We’re starting with a beauty at Liberty Grill on Washington Street: a seared beef salad (vodka and chilli marinated fillet strips, chargrilled on leaves with balsamic onions, rustic potatoes, red peppers and toasted pecans) was outstanding, a highlight being the palate pleasing combination of the meat and balsamic onions. A terrific dish for €15.50.

Market Lane: Korean bulgogi steak sandwich
Dec 2022

Now (a different day, of course!), it is the turn of Market Lane and their superb Korean bulgogi steak sandwich on sourdough baguette, chilli, sesame and soy marinade, carrots, spring onions, lime mayo and with a helping of excellent house chips (€16.90). The marinade is key here and the kitchen certainly did it well and the meat was top quality; the sourdough was moistened as well and they all worked so well together, enhanced by the crunch of carrot strips and the onions, the salad leaves and those very tasty fries. A terrific dish and well priced.

Picanha Steak by Nua Asador May 2022

We make a visit to the Marina Market and the Nua Asador stall where Chef Victor Franca, in partnership with Tom Durcan Meats, serves up, without gas or electricity, just fire, the best of Irish beef in a Brazilian style. You’ll really enjoy the Picanha Steak with sourdough bread, grilled baby potatoes, chargrilled onions, Farofa, and Chimichurri Sauce (13.00).

Oliver Plunkett's Seared Steak Sandwich July 2022

It was a visit to the Oliver Plunkett that started me on this beef trail. Here’s why: Seared Steak Sandwich was worth every cent of the €18.95. Four generous slices of beef wrapped in Garlic Ciabatta, with a red onion and Smoky Bacon Jam, Pepper Jack Chips, Brandy Pepper Sauce and a Little Salad.

I wasn’t letting go of this, clinging on until the last bite. It was sensual, an enthralling mix of textures and flavours. The steak was ace,  cooked to perfection and so easy to slice. And then the enhancement, that garlic ciabatta, the onion and the bacon jam. The Brandy Pepper Sauce was another major player on the palate, deeply enticingly enhancing everything else. The salad too was perfect and then those Pepper Jack Chips, cheesy, tasty, delicious.

On the pig's back with Bourguignon Beef Baguette Oct 2022

Next stop is Douglas to visit On the Pig’s Back and enjoy their Bourguignon Beef Baguette: Braised Beef Brisket, Mushrooms, Bacon and Pearl Onions on Toasted Arbutus Baguette with Red Wine Jus. Just five-star lunch-ing, spot-on for the cool day, quite a warming ensemble, robed deliciously in the red wine jus. Love the French touch!

Delicious steak at Sketch Oct 2022

Here we are in Sketch, the bright and airy dining room in the lovely Imperial Hotel, a room where new executive chef Ali Honour is making her mark. There was a group of us and the Steak Sandwich (6oz Sirloin, Onions, Garlic Butter, Focaccia, Lettuce, Tomato, Fries) for  €19.00 proved very popular, ordered by three of the seven adults. The meat and the Focaccia were absolute top notch and all three were well satisfied.

Beautiful! Beef Burger by Woodside Farm Oct 2022

Alphabetically, Woodside Farm is our final destination and they are found every Thursday in Mahon Point Farmers Market (and at other markets on other days). They are perhaps best known for their magnificent free range pork but they also do a highly rated Beef Burger and serve it with relish and salad in a lovely bun, for 8 euro  (if I remember rightly). Superb meat and great value.

All their offerings are cooked and filled in front of you, and there's a chat as well, as the salads and relishes are added. And, if necessary, they even provide a tailor-made insulated envelope to take your purchases back to the office or home.

Bella Napoli Dec 2022

Bella Napoli came up Rigatoni with Ragu Napoletano with six-hour braised beef in an onion and tomato sauce served with rigatoni pasta and bruschetta (17 euro). I hit the jackpot here. This was beautifully cooked, the quality of the beef was top class and plenty of it as was also the case with the ragu. Very happy with this one.

L'Atitude pic Dec 2022

Slow-Braised Beef Cheeks, Celeriac Mash, Spiced Pickled Cranberries (a cool inclusion) was one of the highlights of a recent visit to L'Atitude, a superb dish in an impressively expanded menu and well worthy of inclusion here. More details at

* All these dishes enjoyed relatively recently but remember that menus and chefs change.

Monday, December 12, 2022

Wine and Dine at L’Atitude. Huge choice of excellent wines and a much expanded menu.

Wine and Dine at L’Atitude. 

Huge choice of excellent wines and a much expanded menu.

Beef cheek

On an overdue visit to L’Atitude, we started with the wine, even though our main objective was to try out the expanded food menu that has grown since the most popular wine bar in town overcame one major hurdle after another to once again shine on at No. 1 Union Quay, although the Santa-red City Hall was hard to ignore outside the window!

You have scores of wines to choose by the glass. Not just by the glass: you may have a 125 ml glass, a 175, a 250 pichet or the full bottle. And then there’s another packed page on sale by the bottle only. It is also a wine shop, so if you want a bottle or two or more for home, then you’re in the right place. And if you want to know more about wine, you’re also in the right place - check out their social media for tastings and wine courses.

The Whites

2021 M&A Ardorfer Gruner Veltliner, Kamptal Austria | Gruner V. N ON TAP

2021 Judith Beck 'Weissburgunder', Burgenland, Austria | Pinot Blanc

Anyway, to the wine and our two Austrian whites to begin the evening. A few years back, on a trip through Austria we found that when we ordered wine at a bar, we were often followed to our seats by a server with water who insisted we have”water with the wine”!

Since then, we have learned much about wine and particularly about organic wine which Austria is strong on. Judith Beck of Burgenland is a renowned producer and I’m quite a fan of hers, including her Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), and I ordered a small glass (6.50). Refreshingly aromatic with a great mouthfeel, full bodied with exotic and citrus flavour and quite a dash of spiciness. 

Austria is probably best known for its Grüner Veltliner and ours was by M&A Amdorter of the Kamptal and the small glass (6.30) was poured from the tap. No tap when we were in Austria but one evening, at a Heurige (traditional wine tavern) in the Vienna Woods, a party had been arranged and, to save time, the tavern served their Gru-Vee in beer mugs. Quite a night followed, dancing in the aisles as the folk musicians played. No Schrammelmusik at L’Attitude on our night but the Gruner was superb.

The Reds

2021 Maison Ambroise Lettre d'Eloise', Burgundy. France | Pinot Noir

2021 Angiolino Maule 'Rosso Masieri', Veneto, Italy | Meriot, Tai Rosso

Back in 2017, in St Peter’s Church (not the one in Rome but the one in Cork’s North Main Street, ), I was delighted to have the chance to chat to Bertrand Ambroise (below right) and taste his delicious Burgundy wines, an earlier vintage (named after his grand-daughter) of this among them. Organic farming is a way of life for the Ambroise family.

I have regularly had Bertrand’s wines since then and this 2021 is a gorgeous well-priced wine (5.60 for 125mls in L’Atitude).

A few years ago a Veneto Masterclass in Dublin, speakers praised the Maule family and said they were at the forefront of the natural wine movement, and not just in Italy.


In Dublin, Francesco Maule, son of the founders, called this their “basic red”. It is a blend of Merlot, Tai Rosso and a little Cabernet Sauvignon. Tai Rosso is more or less the same grape as Grenache.

I got myself a 125 glass (7 euro) the other night. This deep ruby wine has ripe red fruit and hints of spice in the aromas. It is fresh with red fruit on the palate and that spice too. Quality on the palate and on the finish as well. Really well-balanced. They make a terrific white counterpart as well (also here in L'Atitude).

The Food

One for the season!
Pic from L'Atitude's Facebook

There have been changes, (bigger and better choices) to the L’Atitude food offering. Owner Beverley explains: “Our kitchen has been going from strength to strength since we reopened in 2020, constantly improving and evolving with the seasons, under the guidance of Simone Kelly, who you’ll all know from Rocketman. And consequently, we find more and more people making L’Atitude their destination for a night out over a meal, as opposed to popping in for a quick pre-dinner aperitif or a digestif on their way home - although we still very much welcome both.”

And we were looking forward to our meal especially when we saw the expanded and varied menu. There are nibbles and you can move on from there to small and not-so-small plates.

Pickled eggs

We started with their Pickled Egg and also Banderillas - anchovies, olives and roasted pepper, a duo that certainly woke up the taste buds. Other dishes in this category include Sliced Saucisson,  Tête de Moine Cheese, Toasted Almonds, Mixed Olives, Artisan Sourdough & Glenstal Butter OR Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and an Aperitif Plate - Almonds, Olives, Pickled Grapes and Tête de Moine.

Quite a selection of fuller plates too: 

Horizon Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Buffalo Ricotta, Peanut Rayu; 

O'Mahony's Bavette Steak, Ballyhoura Mushrooms and Greens; 

Pappardelle, Pork & Fennel Ragù;

Baked Mont D'Or, Irish Air-dried Ham, Sautéed Potatoes, Sesame Toast- for sharing (allow 30 mins);

Board of Cheeses Charcuterie or mixed, and more including organic salads. 

Our picks were Fish Croquetas, Ginger, Kohlrabi & Lime Mayo; and also Slow-Braised Beef Cheeks, Celeriac Mash, Spiced Pickled Cranberries. A big thumbs up for each. Throughout, local producers are supported so a big thumbs up for that also!

A tempting line-up of desserts included some with an appropriate wine in tandem. Our favourite was the Chocolate Piedmont Hazelnut Torte with Vanilla ice-cream. This was worth the seven euro for the amazing nuts alone!

That was us finished and well satisfied. Out into the freezing night then and glad to see a bus at the stop as we arrived in Patrick Street. We had walked down (to work up an appetite!) but there was no way we were going to walk back!

L”Attitude opening hours: 

Wine Shop: Wednesday to Saturday from 1pm till late 

Wine Bar: Wednesday to Saturday from 3pm till late. 

Kitchen: Wednesday to Friday from 5pm. Saturday from 4pm.

Stay up to date by checking their Instagram page here

City Hall (from L'Atitude window)


Monday, August 22, 2022

The Bookshelf Elysian hosts Cork on a Fork Dinner. And it turns out to be a superb evening!

The Bookshelf Elysian hosts Cork on a Fork Dinner.

And it turns out to be a superb evening!

Sweet sandwich!

The Bookshelf at the Elysian made a rare evening opening to host a one-off 4-course dinner experience for the Cork on a Fork Festival, with a specially created menu filled with produce from the region.  

Goats cheese, beetroot

The dinner, helmed by Head Chef Rebekah Harrington, was class from start to finish and featured an array of top notch local produce.

Pom'O x 2

In between the starters and the mains, we had a Mead interval. The meads, all by the Kinsale Mead Company, were Hazy Summer, Atlantic Dry and Wild Red. They were paired with nibbles that included Gubbeen Smoked cheese and Ballyhooly Blue (whipped) from Fermoy. Both the mead and nibbles impressed and you could see it forming the basis for similar demos at markets and other restaurants. More on Kinsale Mead Co here. 

Cider sparkling in the cloudiness

After a warm welcome, and with live music in the foyer, we were soon checking out the menu. There was a choice of three starters, each with a wine pairing (from L’Atitude 51). Out two were Chicken liver mousse éclair, piccalilli relish and Textures of beetroot, Sunview Goats cheese (from Kilmichael). The pair were shared and each was excellent and easily polished off.

Mead break

After the mead interlude, it was on to the mains. No need for sharing this time as we had each picked Free-range Caherbeg (from Rosscarbery) confit pork belly, blackberries, with Pom’O apple port jus. Just perfect. The pork was excellent and lifted by the amazing Pom’O by Killahora Orchards (that we would meet again at the end).

Pork Belly and that sauce!

Drinks? One was the Ameztoi Txacoli de Getaria Rosado “Rubentis” and the other was an unfiltered and delicious classy cider from orchards just west of the city. Each had plenty of acidity to go well with the pork and hard to pick between the Basque wine and the Irish cider. The only thing missing was that the wine wasn’t poured from shoulder height as they sometimes do in the lovely village of Getaria where this one comes from.

The Basque wine

Time for the sweet then. Two available so we took both. The Sandwich of meadowsweet namelaka and strawberry cremeux was a delicious as you’d anticipate, really well executed while the other, the Blackberry and lemon balm granita, with chocolate aero and candied nuts, was superbly refreshing. Thumbs up for two desserts worth waiting for!

Chicken liver mousse éclair

On then to the finalé. It was billed as a Dessert Cocktail featuring that fantastic Killahora Orchids Pom’O. But no cocktail! The Bookshelf decided that the Pom’O was so good there was no need to add anything and that proved to be a great call. What a finalé!

Blackberry & Lemon balm....

* Killahora on that unusual drink: “Our Pom’O is an apple aperitif made from rare apple varieties, grown in our 200 year old Orchards on the south facing slopes of Ireland’s County Cork. We mix the juice from our bittersweet apples with the finest apple brandy, then age it in Irish whiskey barrels for at least a year….”  More on the Pom'O here.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Celtic Cousins Linked By Wine. Galicia's Albariño Very Popular Here

Celtic Cousins Linked By Wine. 

Galicia's Albariño Very Popular Here 

Our Celtic cousins in Galicia, in Spain’s North West, are thrilled to know that their Irish relations are huge fans of their Albariño wines from the Rias Baixas region. Believe it or not, we are the fourth largest importers of this particular wine in the world!

Lynne Coyle MW

It has all happened quickly and relatively recently.  “It is a young industry,” said Lynne Coyle MW one of our hosts at the Rias Baixas Tasting in L’Atitude last Tuesday, “In 1975 there were just 200 hectares of Albariño here, now there are over 4,000, lots of small holdings, cottage farming. Indeed, Lynne herself has made Albariño in Rias Baixas, on an 11 hectare vineyard “which is regarded as quite large”.

“It is not organic here”, she told us. “It is a difficult area to go organic and they focus more on improving sustainability.” One method they use is to grow the vines on pergola type horizontal trellises. This helps ventilate the grapes and also allows the farmers grow their cabbages underneath!

Our afternoon of tasting and masterclass began downstairs in the renovated and always impressive L’Atitude. Lots of chat and lots of bottles lined up on ice for a silent tasting. Not quite silent though.

Basque vines grown in "pergola" system

They had a few sparkling Albariños on show and I immediately gave a big thumbs up to the Bodegas As Laxas Sensum  Brut NV, a gorgeous opener, from a winery in the sub region of Condado do Tea. The same winery also had an excellent still wine from 2020. 

As Lynne Coyle indicated, there are few large-scale producers but Martín Códax is one and a very consistent one. The winery is named after one of the most important medieval Galician troubadours and was founded in 1986 thanks to the idea of a group of winegrowers; as a winery made by people for the people. 

Their 2020 is of medium intensity with ripe citrus notes and tangerine. On the palate it is fresh with good balance and the citrus is there right through to the finalé.

Bianca points to the rias

Soon, maybe not as soon as planned, we were seated upstairs and Lynne filled us in on the area and later Blanca Valencia would enthusiastically tell us all about the similarities between Galicia and Ireland and also about the food of the area. And the first dish up was a beauty and typical: Razor clams, Mussel and potato crisp and a lively Olive and anchovy combo.

Val de Salnés, towards the north, is the main region. And it was from here and its granite soil that our first upstairs wine came from, the Mar de Frades 2020 in an eye-catching blue magnum with a big white wave splash as a label, the blue chosen apparently to remind us that this comes from the Atlantic coast where some vines have their roots in the coastal sand. And that ocean influence was evident in this dry crisp and elegant whine. “No oak, really fresh”.

Number 2, the Granbazan Etiqueta Verde 2020, also came from this area. Citrus and floral, “with more salinity, a quintessential Val do Salnés. The other sub regions are Ribeira do Ulla, the tiny Soutomaior, Condado do Tea, and O Rosal. 

Terras Gauda is perhaps my favourite from O Rosal and their 2020 tasted very well. This is, by the way, a blend. Mainly Albariño of course but with 20% Caiño and 8% Loureiro. 

You can expect more fruit in O Rosal and Condado do Tea, maybe not quite as fresh as those further north. O Rosal still benefits from the ocean of course while planting at altitude helps keep the wines of inland Condado fresh.  One of the big takes from the afternoon was that we were learning that not all Albariños are the same, that is there is quite a variety.

Lynne is often asked what should they change to make Albariño more popular? More sparkling? The use of oak? More blending? She was emphatic in her answer: "More of the same!”

Now, as Blanca took her turn we enjoyed a plateful of mainly bonito and sardines. Delicious, as was the final plate of cured meats and Galician cheeses. She told us that the area inland was very mountainous. “But the coastal areas are vibrant and dynamic. The scenery reminds me of Ireland.” 

She invited us to visit and not just for the Camino. But if you do find yourself in Santiago di Compostela, then head for the market and choose the seafood. It is not expensive. “So you don’t have to do any penance to enjoy it!”

And if you want to spend more, then there are scores of Michelin starred restaurants in the general area, one with a menu at less than 30 euro. 

People are very similar to the Irish, “they don't like to say no!” Someone suggested the phrase “I will, yeah!” They love their vegetables and greens. Pork is important, veal too and the cheeses are mainly from cows milk. Albarino works fantastically well with Indian, Asian and Mexican food also.

Tetella cheese (DO)

By now we were making progress on the second flight of wines. I noted two, both citrus and dry, each lip smacking. One was the Señorio de Rubios 2020 (imported by Honest 2 Goodness), the other, regarded as a modern classic, the citrusy mouthwatering Pazo Señorans 2020 (imported by O’Briens). 

Great to be back at a full room tasting again after the Covid enforced drought, not so much a lack of wine but a lack of company. And good too to have experts on hand such as Lynn and Bianca, with Lynda and Sinead of Wine Tasting Ireland keeping it all together with a pour and a laugh.