Monday, August 13, 2012
Lunch Treat at O’Brien Chop House
The Vee, we dropped down to Lismore and sought out O’Brien’s Chop House for lunch. Best decision of a very good day in the area! The lunch, in the garden, was top drawer. Local food - they get their meat from McGrath’s on the main street - served simply, as they say themselves. Simply superb!
One of our starters was the Apple & celery salad with toasted hazelnuts, Cashel Blue and a yoghurt dressing (€7.90). It wasn't mine but I did get a few samples and it was gorgeous, a brilliant combination of textures and flavours, really well balanced. Very pleased too with my own choice: Ballyvolane saddleback pork terrine with pistachio and pickles (€8.90). Looked well and tasted well.
We both agreed on the main course: fillet of Hake with sea vegetables and a lemon/butter sauce (€21.90). The Hake was cooked to perfection and the sauce and vegetables were an apt accompaniment. The sea vegetables were brilliant, comfortably crunchy and with a robust taste. Oh and we also got some tasty spuds! Highly recommended, if you get the chance.
With the sun beating down, the rosé was always a likely wine choice. O’Brien’s have a gem: Artadi Artazuri Garnacha 2010 from Navarra, €7.25 per glass, also available in 150ml pitcher, 250ml pitcher and full bottle.
But the drinks highlight for us was the Elderflower Bellini (€7.95). The Prosecco provided bubbles galore and there are inviting scents and flavours via the Elderflowers. Well worth a try!
Saw the Badger and Dodo logo in the bar on the way in, so guessed the coffee would be good. It sure was, sterling stuff. Excellent way to finish off an excellent meal.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Got a good nose for that those strange things the experts find when they sniff a sample of wine? No wine in Little Buddha’s in McCurtain Street but you could certainly give your sniffing "muscles" a workout in this treasure trove of teas and coffees from around the world.
Called in there today, after a longish absence, on the lookout for some Pu-erh, the black Chinese tea. They had at least six on the packed table (must have been about 100 types altogether).
Lifted the lids on the big jars and sniffed. Some were very flowery (you could see the petals and stems) and in the end I settled for some Shu Pu Erh and some Pu Erh Pomegranate and Nettle.
The first is a four year old loose black tea, from the Menghai district in Yunnan province, the second is 79% tea to which have been added nettle leaves (7.2%) and pomegranate seeds (1.3%).
I let slip that I had been drinking branded varieties of Pu Erh. The lady was rather shocked. “Oh, those are very weak.” She warned. “These are much stronger. For the morning, not for the evening.”
They also have a big selection of flavoured coffees and lots of accessories. If you can't get into town (to give those sniffers a test), then the next best thing to view the website.
North Main Street proved fruitful. Called into Michael in Bradley’s for some Howling Gale made by the Eight Degree Brewery in Mitchelstown.
Man does not live by beer alone so next stop was Daily Bread, just a few doors up, where I bought a lovely Country Loaf. The young lady behind the counter while plying me with a sample of their breads along with some tasty Spanish ham told me they had recently taken over the shop and would have some publicity material available shortly. I’ll let you know.
O’Brien Chop House are well known for their Curry Nights but there are some big differences on July 22nd as the event is being held in Ballyvolane House and is in aid of charity. Get the details here.