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Showing posts with label Pure Cork. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pure Cork. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Maryborough Food and Wine Evening. Rhone Wine Week Celebrated!


Maryborough Food and Wine Evening
Celebrating Rhone Wine Week
Cool. Sorbet


A wine of the Rhone and some fantastic Irish venison came together in perfect harmony at the Maryborough Hotel’s Food and Wine Evening in their Bellini restaurant last week. 

But first, there was a Kir reception where the hotel’s Adrian Fitzgerald welcomed the guests on a wet and windy evening. Kir or Kir Royale (the one with the bubbles!) were part of that welcome as we sat and relaxed by the fire.

Soon we were led to our tables and then the food began to appear. First up were some lovely breads and the highlight here was the Cranberry and Garlic Butter. The kitchen team, led by the Head Chef Gemma Murphy, then sent out the starter and a delicious one it was: Torched Mackerel, Cucumber, Miso, Yuzo and Coconut. 
Breads, with that superb butter top middle

A good fresh wine was required to match the tasty oily fish and we had just the job in Chateau Pesquie’s Le Paradou 2016 from the Ventoux, from under the white head of Mount Ventoux. It is a superb Viognier, with apricot flavours, floral, fresh, and delicious. Perfect for the first half of the meal.

Now the soup appeared. Not quite. First came a bowl with a chanterelle topping a neat and small arrangement. Next the staff poured from little jugs and it all came together as Quail Consommé with chanterelle, fig and walnut. It was a gorgeous combination, even the consommé on its own was quite a pleasure.
Mackerel

Consommé
Chef Gemma always has a great touch with her sorbets and this occasion was no different. Her Mandarin Champagne and Lime Sorbet (it was in a lime skin) looked well and was a superb refresher at more or else the halfway point.

Still with me? Here comes the Sea Bass with artichoke, Savoy cabbage, Leeks and Sauternes Vinaigrette. I rarely order Sea Bass (mainly because its not Irish) but this was an exception and exceptional, beautifully done and again Le Paradou, now nicely warmed up from a rather cold start, matched up spectacularly well.

By now, the friendly and efficient staff were pouring our red, the Côtes du Rhone Cuvée d’Alize 2016. Irishman Simon Tyrrell, an unofficial ambassador of the Rhone, produced this beauty at the Les Deux Cols . It is called after a local wind. Lots of winds around here, after all Ventoux is the windy mountain. By the way, Simon is also known for making cider in County Wicklow.
Sea Bass
The blend of Grenache Syrah and Cinsault (Simon calls this the Pinot Noir of the south) was soon put to the test but, no worries, it matched well with the venison, a super dish indeed. Let me give you the full title: Venison Loin, coffee and orange glazed salsify, heritage beetroot, parsnip foam. A magnificent combination and that venison was superb, possibly the best piece of meat, of any kind, that I’ve come across this year.
Venison

Now we were ready for the finalé: It just had to be Valrhona Chocolate which is, of course, produced in the Rhone Valley and this was very much a Rhone Wine Week event! So we finished with a French flourish: Valrhona Chocolate and Praline Torte, nougatine parfait, pear emulsion and hazelnut, every element on the plate a pleasure but that chocolate is something else. Indeed, the wine dinners at the Maryborough are also something else so do keep an eye out for future events.
Chocolat!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Rest. Relax. Restore. At The MET


Rest. Relax. Restore. At The MET
Pic from The MET

Have you seen the refurbished dining facilities at the Metropole? Very impressive, well designed and ultra comfortable, plush, relaxing whether you’re in for a pint or a cocktail, a steak or a sandwich, a cuppa or the full afternoon tea. Dress up and come on down and restore, relax, rest. And the food is good too!

We got the grand tour of the McCurtain Street’s Grand Old Lady in midweek, eye-popping, jaw dropping. The inviting bar is a superb introduction and a superb Old Fashioned set the tone for the evening.
Fillet

Old Fashioned

I enjoyed mine in the afternoon tea area, just out of sight (and sound) of the bar, a green tinged oasis of peace and calm - well we were among the first in. Might not be so calm if you have a group of ladies in sampling the savoury and sweet offerings of the classic Afternoon Tea. The MET will have some variations on the theme.

The jewel in the crown though is the restaurant, just behind the bar, a 45 seater. Oh but what seats. Again the decor is superb, along much the same lines as the Afternoon Tea room, beautifully lit and comfortably furnished and linen on the solid tables.

The wines (they have quite a selection here, many by the glass) were being poured as Head Chef Stuart Dardis introduces the new menu that has been designed for the late Autumn and mid-winter. Stuart explained that there had been many in-house tastings as they selected the dishes and is very proud of their local beef offering (we would soon find out why!).

Lots of sharing going on as the kitchen team did their best to help us get a good idea of what they had to offer. I got to taste two of the starters. One was the Roasted Asparagus, smoked bacon crisp, crispy egg finished with a silky Hollandaise sauce. Tasty stuff as was the Parmesan Cheese Shortbread Biscuit, spring vine tomato compote and goats cheese mousse. Other starters on the menu include a Saffron Risotto, Smoked Salmon, Burrata, and Pan Seared Scallops, also a Soup Du Jour.
Asparagus



And then it was time for McCarthy’s Grass fed 8 ounce fillet of Hereford Beef, served with a few tomatoes, tender, perfectly delicious, top class. On the side there were Gratin Dauphinois and Garlic Roasted Violet Potatoes.
The mains are more or less fifty fifty between meat and fish and our fish was an excellent Pan Fried Fillet of Hake with crispy kale, black pudding grits and a white wine cream sauce. Other mains include Catch of the Day, Sea Bass, Braised Beef Short rib, and also Rib Eye Steak.


Four desserts on the new menu. The ones we enjoyed were a Classic Pecan Pie with a dollop of vanilla cream (this could become a favourite of mine!) and a Strawberry Mille Feuille with mascarpone cream. Other temptations were Petit Choux Buns with hazelnut ice cream, warm chocolate sauce and also an Almond and Raspberry Bakewell Tart. 
Dessert

To get more detail on The Met menus (they also do lunch here), their provenance, and wines, check here.  




Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Bridge Bar. Fine Wine, Craft Beer, Top Spirits, Tasty Food, Music.


The Bridge Bar
Fine Wine, Craft Beer, Top Spirits, Tasty Food, Music


It is the last day of August and very wet as we reach Bridge Street in Cork’s Victorian Quarter. We didn’t complain too much about the rain after such a fine summer - remembering that we were praying for it a few weeks back.

In any case, we were going indoors, into the warm and snug Bridge Bar. Here, a few yards from Patrick Bridge, they serve fine wines, classic cocktails, craft beers and some really cracking gins (including quite a few Irish ones).

They also do a great pre theatre offer of a bottle of wine with a sharing board of light bites for two for €25 which is well worth a try judging by our experience. And if it’s just a drink you want then this long and narrow bar is perfectly situated if you’d fancy a drink before or after the show at the nearby Everyman or when dining on McCurtain Street. 

They also do a great Aperitivo & Nibbles, available Monday to Saturday 5 - 7pm. Enjoy two Gin & Tonics or Aperol Spritz with nibbles for €12.

When we were seated at the bar, we had a quick look at the wines on offer, quite a few very tempting indeed. The Spanish Ayud Chardonnay is unoaked and organic and, on the red side, I spotted the delicious Samurai Shiraz from Australia.

But beer won out in the end. They have the usual main stream beers and also quite an array of craft beer on tap as well including Blacks of Kinsale, Yellow Belly, Kinnegar, White Hag, and Franciscan Well. And more keep coming according to manager Gavin.

We enjoyed the Kinsale Pale Ale and also the Ale from Sligo’s White Hag. In the meantime, we had a look at the food board. They have Valencia Salted Almonds and Olives Marinated in Chili with Thyme and Garlic as nibbles. There’s a very tempting meat and cheese board for sharing for €15.00.
White wines

The value is excellent here as we found out when we shared the Antipasto Board with cheese and no shortage of bread. The cheeses were Coolea and Cashel Blue and came with lots of little bowls including three tasty dips/spreads (including a beetroot hummus), a dish of artichoke hearts, a fine mix of marinated olives and a few other bits and pieces, all for a tenner! Top class stuff, as you can see by the cheese offerings, very tasty indeed and amazing value.

We were in early on Friday and the place gradually began to fill. Back in the spring of the year, we called in there much later in the evening and the Bridge was packed, great craic, and music playing. The Bridge is now heading into its second winter here and the frequency of live music events will increase as the daylight decreases. 

You’ll also see they do talks on everything from whiskey,  to local foods and Big Sporting events on the large screen too. Handy spot too for a party. Indeed there is a free White Hag beer tasting on this evening. Check them all out on Facebook @thebridgecork and Twitter @thebridgecork. 

6 Bridge St
Cork
Message: m.me/thebridgecork 
Call (021) 239 6185 
The Bridge (pic by The Bridge)