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Two Hundred Year Old Pub Gets New Lease of Life Thanks to Máire and Victor.
Emphasis very much on Local Food and Drink at O’Mahony’s Watergrasshill.
O’Mahony’s Pub in Watergrasshill packs a lot into its weekend life. Start with the food: delicious sharing boards and small plates are based on the best of local and seasonal produce and don't cost the earth. While you will get your mainstream pints, you may also enjoy a good craft beer or two and their current House Drink is Bertha’s Revenge Gin made by their neighbours over in Castlelyons.
And that’s only the start of it. Take a look outside and you’ll see an area “as big as a field”. More like a big garden, with a stage platform and there’s lots of cover here making it an ideal spot for a celebration of any kind (they’ve already had a wedding here) and great too for BBQ with its own bar.
And it’s also here that you’ll find the Long Room, the music venue. And if you feel like dancing, go right ahead. Take the floor, a real dance-floor, maybe a chunk of a ballroom of romance recycled.
And all that music and dancing takes place in a recycled cow shed. The village used to be a staging post for cattle on their way to the city and indeed, there was a slaughter house at the back (a glasshouse will be going up there soon). The meat hooks hanging in the bar will remind you of those times.
Artists at work
And that’s not all you’ll see hanging here. Máire is an artist and her works are proudly on display. And that leads me to the kids. Yours are more than welcome. Their own menu is up on the big blackboard. And there’s another blackboard, a whole wall of them, outside in a smaller sheltered area. Here the children can draw to their heart's content and every now and then there is a competition.
Just so much going on here. The Bushby strawberries, those beautiful fruits from West Cork had run out, just a few left. No problem. Blackberries are growing well “out the back” - lots of herbs there too and there will be more. So those blackberries are on the menu in an instant! Beat that for fresh and local.
So what did we have al fresco on a sunny Friday evening? Started with Antipasto (10.50), one of three sharing boards. It consisted of Pana Sourdough, Mozzarella from Macroom, artichoke hearts and more, with little bowls of hummus and pesto. Enjoyed that, me sipping from a cooling flavourful pint of Eight Degrees Howling Gale Ale (5.00) while CL was enjoying some of Bertha’s Revenge Gin with Fever-tree Tonic (9.50).
Victor is well known for his part in the House Cafe in the Opera House and there are similarities with the food in that successful venture. For instance, suppliers such as Ballyhoura and Kilbrack Farm also feature in Watergrasshill.
As does butcher Eoin O’Mahony (no relation). The O’Mahony’s Bavette steak salad, a beautiful Asian marinade worked a treat on the meat which is scattered with sesame seeds and served with vermicelli noodles (9.50), is a beauty.
The Lamb Kofta is another highlight, also €9.50. This comes with Cork made Syrian flatbread, hummus, tzatziki, sumac pickled onions and leaves.
Dessert, with ultra local blackberries! The timber serving boards are made in nearby Carrignavar.
Time now for dessert. With the strawberries running out, Victor suggested the Treats Board (8.50). And we shared the delights of the mix of a Shortbread treat with fruit (those blackberries from Watergrasshill, not Guatemala), a chocolate brownie, a lemon curd slice, and more.
Local drinks: Bertha's Revenge and Eight Degrees
Too full to dance after that! Only joking. The food here is excellent, well sourced and you won’t be stuffed with chips, mash, baked potatoes and so on. But do watch out for their side of Patatas Bravas, just one of many good things in this warm welcoming venue. Try it out soon, just ten minutes from the tunnel!