Showing posts with label Liberty Grill. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Liberty Grill. Show all posts

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Liberty Grill. Best of Food. Warmest of Welcomes.

Liberty Grill. Best of Food. Warmest of Welcomes.

Liberty Chicken

Céad Míle Failte. A worthless cliché? Certainly not at Liberty Grill, busy from early ’til late in Cork’s Washington Street. We called in for our 5.15 booking on a recent Friday and got the warmest of welcomes. And that chatty approach, studded with vital info about the day’s specials, continued from start to finish. We met three helpful and knowledgeable front-of-house people during our meal before we were waved off with cracking smiles. And, I’d better mention the food was superb as well.

The place was packed at 5.15pm. “You should have seen earlier in the afternoon,” our server said. “When I came on it was like Christmas. Great!” So if you’re thinking of going, then be sure and book ahead.

Just earlier we had been in the English Market, buying our Saturday dinner meat from O’Mahony Butchers. Eoin served us his special (pork steak stuffed with Italian sausage and wrapped in Parma ham) and when we mentioned Liberty Grill tipped us off that his 35-day aged rib-eye was on special and was worth looking out for.

So we did, and I ordered it. The Rib-Eye special was one of six listed and the full description was: Char-grilled 10 ounce rib-eye on the bone with Café de Paris butter or Béarnaise sauce, served with sautéd mushrooms and onions, oven-roasted cherry tomatoes and French Fries. I choose the Café de Paris and medium. 

I knew immediately I saw it that I was on a winner. Then touched it with the knife and the gentlest of pressure produced the tastiest biteful ever. Amazing steak, one of the very best I’ve had. Everything on the plate was perfect, the button mushrooms, the sweet onions. And terrific value at €22.90!

I wasn’t the only happy camper at this stage as CL was thrilled with her chicken. This was also a special: Amalfi Chicken (16.90), chargrilled supreme of free range East Ferry Chicken served with a warm salad of baby potatoes, spinach, sun blushed tomatoes, roast peppers, and tapenade. This had all the flavour and colour of a Mediterranean dish in the grey dusk of this northern city, a beautiful combination of tastes and textures, so well assembled, so well cooked, the chicken itself juicy, a plateful that illustrates fully that buying the best of local and treating it properly from delivery to the fairly-priced plate will keep the customer happy.

Liberty has always been well-known for its burgers and, while there is mega competition in the field, they are still very popular here. The choice is wide. Aside from six or seven on the regular menu, there were two on the specials: a spiced honey Halloumi (honey from their own hive in Fountainstown) and also a Sienna Beefburger featuring chuck steak and Toons Bridge Smoked Scarmoza.

We didn’t get to the desserts but did enjoy a couple of lovely starters, each from the regular menu.   I fancied the Mexican Mille Feuille description: Crispy tor­tilla lay­ers of tem­peh, gua­camole and salsa (6.50). A little bit of spice, a little bit of sweet, lost of textures and colours, an excellent starter. CL also enjoyed her Small Plate of Crushed tomato and avocado toast (5.00).

TEL: +353 21 427 1049

After Liberty, we walked to the “back” of the block to Impala, the new craft beer pub in Liberty Street. Buzzing, just managed to get two seats at the counter. Was looking for the February Flagship special, a pint of Sierra Nevada for a fiver. But it was no longer available so I enjoyed another ale, the Gamma Ray by Beavertown. A huge range of craft (and some mainstream too) available, no shortage of local gins either. And do bring your credit card. Well, they do take cash no problem but tap and pay is the customer’s preferred method of payment here!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Called in to Liberty Grill early (6.00pm) last evening. No reservation but no problem getting a table, though it did get quite busy later on. Seating was comfortable and service was friendly and courteous.
I started with the Southern Fried Chicken Salad (€7.65): slices of southern fried chicken on a bed of seasonal leaves with Jalapeno peppers, toasted cashews and tomato salsa. Really enjoyed this tasty (medium spicy) starter which is also available as a main course.
CL picked the Deep Fried Cambozola (€4.80) as her starter and was quite pleased with it. Nothing exceptional but well done and served with a cranberry coulis and salad.
Her main course, the Californian Chicken (€15.95), also falls in the nothing exceptional but well done category. This was marinated supreme of chicken, chargrilled and served with red pepper and basil oils, duck-fat roasted potatoes and herb salad.
I had been expecting something exceptional for mine (pictured); it was all that when I tried it first a couple of years back (they don’t change the menu much here). But, for the second time in a row (a big gap in between), it proved a huge disappointment.
 I’m talking about the Tennessee Flambé (€17.25), described as tender medallions of beef, peppered and flambéed in a shot of Jack Daniels and served with mushrooms, sweet balsamic onions, and with crispy garlic potatoes.
Description was pretty spot-on except for the most important word tender. The steak knife had trouble going through the first medallion and there was little improvement with the second. Shame really as, when at its best, this is a fantastic dish.

Thursday, December 9, 2010



Had an early evening reservation for Washington Street’s Liberty Grill yesterday and walked in to find the place full. As I left, about 8.00pm, the second “shift” of customers was arriving. Not bad for a Wednesday evening.

They keep coming to the Liberty because here you get good food, good value and good friendly service, not to mention a decent degree of comfort and the all important “buzz”.

Dishes are not necessarily high end but that doesn't prevent them from being top class. Take my starter for instance: a spiced beef salad with chestnuts. Excellent, innovative. It cost me €8.95 and is also available as a main course.

The Spiced Beef is part of the seasonal specials for December. Liberty, a member of Good Food Ireland, has an extensive menu and it uses these seasonal specials to increase the variety. They are usually worth checking out!

As long as I’ve been coming here, I’ve never had one of their burgers and it is for burgers, and the sheer variety of them, that Liberty is so well known and loved.

I tried the Lamb Burger, served with lettuce, cucumber, tomato and a bowl of fries plus a dip. It was a splendid piece of locally sourced meat, (from Carrigaline, I think). Happy food but good food and all for €13.50.

You have to wait 25 minutes for the lamb burger, 20 for the others. But if you’re having a starter, as I did, you won’t notice the wait and in any case, it is worth it.

Monday, July 12, 2010



The Liberty Grill in Washington Street is up among my top restaurants in Cork. Cooking and service are excellent. Though the Grill, based on the US East Coast neighbourhood restaurant concept, is justly famous for its burgers, there is never a shortage of variety on offer, that variety often enhanced by the addition of monthly specials.

Fancy an early meal today? Then why not have a look at their July Brunch and Lunch specials.

Brunch (‘til 5pm) 
Scrambled Serrano 6.95 
Shredded thinly sliced Spanish serrano with scrambled 
free range eggs on sourdough toast and served with 
tomato relish (with glass of cava plus tea or coffee 12.50) 

Irish Strawberries (v) 5.95 
with natural yogurt and toasted hazelnuts 

Banana Tempura (v) 5.95 
Sweet banana lightly dipped in a buttermilk batter, 
shallow fried and served with a choice of pancake 
or French toast, maple syrup and cream 

Lunch (from 12 midday) 

Peri-Peri Chicken Burger 13.50 
West Cork chicken breast, marinated in peri-peri 
sauce, chargrilled and served with avocado and lime 

Beetroot and Goats Cheese Salad (v) 8.95 
A summer salad of local leaves, young beetroot, 
Ardsallagh goat’s cheese with toasted barley, broad 
beans and sweet pickled gooseberries 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Liberty Grill, in a bid to make sure all its regulars get a taste of the Dine-in-Cork action, have extended the €25.00 offer until the end of the current month.
I took my chance last evening and wasn't disappointed. Started off with the Spicy Crab Toast: Atlantic crab on spicy sourdough toast and we also enjoyed the Marinated Yellow Fin Tuna – Louisiana Style: Rare tuna served with slow roasted tomatoes and bbq sauce. Very enjoyable, though I think the Tuna would get the nod the next time.
No disagreement on the main course: Cork reared Spring lamb – noisette of lamb from O’Mahony’s in the English Market with flageolet bean cassoulet with a tomato and bean chutney. Didn't look all that attractive but was a terrific combination.
Think I won the battle of desserts with my Panna Cotta with berries and shortbread soldiers. Our other dessert, there were loads of choices,  was a Sorbet (Lemon, Blackcurrant and Mango).
Wine: CyT Sauvignon Blanc, medium body, light and fruity, a bargain at €17.25. As usual, the service was friendly and efficient. Coffee was included in the 25 euro and, as we sipped, we reflected on a very enjoyable meal indeed.
If you do get a chance to call in before the end of May, this is my tip for a fine meal: Tuna, Lamb and Panna Cotta. But try it out for yourself!

Saturday, February 27, 2010


When you walk into the Liberty Grill, you are struck by the happy buzz. It is full again this Friday evening (we started at 6.45pm), all enjoying the good food, well cooked, well presented and served by a smashing staff.

A share of people are dining en famille. Don’t come across it much around town. The well behaved kids are well catered for here; they even get their food ahead of the adults.

Are you to limited to burgers and chips here? No. Far from it. There is a huge menu in this early 'til late venue. Burgers for sure, all made from the best local produce. Then there are tempting salads, fish, poultry, lamb and beef along with vegetarian dishes. Something for everyone.

Started with a Southern Fried Chicken salad: slices of southern fried chicken on a bed of
seasonal leaves with Jalapeño peppers, toasted cashews and tomato salsa. The advisor enjoyed the Deep Fried Cambozola (Italian cheese) with a cranberry coulis. Mine cost €7.95, hers €4.95. Promising start.

 My main dish was the Tennessee Flambé (17.95). This consisted of tender medallions of the very best beef, peppered and flambéed in a shot of Jack Daniels and served with mushrooms, sweet balsamic onions and crispy garlic potatoes. This was absolutely brilliant, couldn't recommend it highly enough.

The other main course at the table was a Salad Niçoise (14.95), a truly healthy and tasty mix of line caught yellow fin tuna, potatoes, hardboiled eggs, olives, French beans and seasonal salad leaves. This was quite a substantial dish and lived up to the description.

 There is an adequate selection of wines available, most between twenty and thirty euro, though the house wine costs just €17.25 (4.65 per glass). There was also a Wine of the Month available at 5.25 a glass. I enjoyed my Montemartel Cotes du Rhone (Syrah, Grenache and Carignan) very much.

 But the white, a Claire Moreau Muscadet Sur Lie, was a really gripping drink and you needed only the tiniest drop to become aware of the quality. Both wines are available at the Wine Buff, just across the road. You also have a number of sparkling wines available and a popular feature is the non-alcoholic Mocktail, a favourite with kids and adults alike.

Overall, the choice and the value are fantastic (through breakfast, brunch, lunch and evening) and you really need to check out the website to get the picture. Even then, you won't see the bunch of seasonal dishes that are added every month.

Denis O’Mullane and Marianne Delaney own and operate the Liberty and also the nearly Cafe Gusto (another interesting venue for coffee and lighter bites).

We asked Denis how the name came about and what it signified in food terms.
 “It is actually a shortened version of our first shot which was ‘Liberty Belle Cafe and Grill’. After seeing the room with its large windows and dark furniture, we knew we were going to do an American East Coast Neighbourhood restaurant, where grilled foods make a rather large part of the menu.”

BL: Who are the key players?
Denis: “Our customers, staff and suppliers.  Our customers for their loyalty and critical honesty. Our staff who work extremely hard and who have the unenviable job of starting from scratch everyday to ensure most honest product possible without a lot of shortcuts. Finally our suppliers who have to listen to us moaning if the quality isn’t right.”

BL: You must be pleased with your Bridgestone listing? 
Denis:  To be honest I feel a little uneasy about professional reviews as Liberty Grill is a neighbourhood restaurant which can be found on every block in major cities in the US, with a very simple function to feed from dawn to dusk.  An eminent restaurateur on our street queried whether being a member of Good Food Ireland sets expectations which don’t marry with what we are doing, we are currently considering our position.

BL: What of the future?
Denis: Cork is actually buzzing on the food front with most restaurants doing pretty well. I think with a little more co-operative effort, we have an interesting couple of years ahead.