Showing posts with label Samphire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Samphire. Show all posts

Monday, January 2, 2017

Best Hotel Dining Rooms 2016

2106: Best Hotel Dining Rooms 2016
Duck at Bellini's

Bellini's, Marlborough Hotel, Cork City
Scallops at Cahernane

Herbert Room, Cahernane House Hotel, Killarney
Baked Alaska (for table!) at Samphire

Samphire, Garryvoe Hotel, East Cork
Steak in The Pembroke

The Pembroke, Imperial Hotel, Cork City

2016 Reviews - see also
Cafes by the side of the road.
Best Places to Stay
Meals with a difference

Best Steaks & 3 Best non-Cork Restaurants 2016

Monday, October 24, 2016

Social Eating Events Begin in Style at Samphire!

Social Eating Events Begin in Style at Samphire!
Eoin takes on the carving duty at this table! No bother to him.
Last Friday’s Dinner Table was the first of the Samphire Social Eating Events in the Garryvoe Hotel. And, judging by its success, it won’t be the last. Indeed, there’s quite a list organised already. So get your friends together for a dinner party with a difference.

You’ll have six or eight or so at a table and all the food comes out on platters for sharing, lots of it. And very good food too, the best of local produce sourced and cooked to perfection by Head Chef Kevin O’Sullivan. Nothing too fancy but dishes that are simply superb served in an causal fun atmosphere with a little jazz in the background. And some events have wine included (Le Caveau wines were included last Friday) and there is a whiskey special coming up too. See the list at bottom.

After a drink at the beautiful bar, we were seated with our companions and the starters were served. We hardly knew where to look as a series of the restaurant’s favourites arrived at the table: deep fried calamari, skewered prawns, goats cheese boules, venison terrine, chorizo, cured ham, pickled veg, also a selection of breads.

And then there was wine, one red and one white. The white was Cuvée Marine by Domaine de Menard in Gascony, a delicious blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Gros Manseng and Columbard. The red was the Gran Cerdo Tempranillo from Rioja in Spain complete with a cartoon label that featured a greedy pig (standing in for the bankers that didn't support the vineyard in its hour of need) eating a big bunch of euro. Good cartoon and excellent wine too. The wines were introduced before each course by Pascal Rossignol and Colm McCan of Le Caveau.

The meat for the main course was Roast sirloin of Prime Hereford Beef with a magnificent red wine gravy. And here the fun came in as a volunteer was needed to slice the beef. We had one in Eoin and he did a great job indeed. No need to cut the fish which was Baked Cod en croute with samphire, lemon and chive beurre blanc. Needless to say, they were served with all the trimmings, beautiful veg and excellent roast potatoes too.

And the wines were gorgeous as well. The red was Carmin Brilliant “Clos de Caveau” from Vacqueryas in the lower Rhone, its unusual wrap-around label designed by Karl Lagerfeld. A great label and a great wine too. The white wine was the Chateau Turcaud Cuvée Majeure from Bordeaux, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris. This is named after the local abbey, a big tourist attraction (the vineyard is just alongside), and is well worth seeking out.

The place was packed and there was a great buzz in the lovely Samphire, opened early this year. Time now for dessert and time too for another volunteer. First though there were gasps all round as the Baked Alaska arrived and more as it was flamed. When that died down, Elke took up the knife and dished it out in generous slices. And then a bit of a hush as we tucked into the soft sweetness. Oh my.

What would the boys from Le Caveau come up with? They offered a choice of two. One was the Corte Alta Prosecco from the Veneto but the one that really caught my attention, indeed the attention of the table, was the Alain Brumont Gros Manseng Doux from the south west of France, a lovely non-cloying sweet wine, the palate coating sweet fruits balanced by a fresh acidity. Perfect. Not too often you get two beauties from Gascony on a wine matching. Just goes to show that Pascal and company are expert at seeking out these little-known (and well priced) gems. 

Next up in the Social Eating Series:
November 4th - A Jameson Whiskey Night, with full dinner and music and more. Check here 

November 25th - Game Night. Longueville Cider, Le Caveau wines, and no less than five courses. Details here

December 15th - Christmas Masquerade Supper, a dinner party with a difference. Fun with a full meal and drinks included. Find out more here

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Samphire by Ballycotton Bay. Of Tropics and Turnips

Samphire by Ballycotton Bay
Of Tropics and Turnips
Tropics for two
Let’s start at the end. Because the end of the superb meal in Samphire, the new restaurant in Garryvoe Hotel, was rather spectacular.

That sweet ending was called Tropics for Two. We shared: Pineapple with white chocolate mousse, coconut, lime and coriander jelly, and passionfruit (16.00 for two). The flesh is removed and cut into in cubes which are then presented on skewers; the shell is then filled with the mousse and topped with the jelly. The coconut is the base for the little “biscuits” that are scattered around. What a delicious combination, meant to be shared!
And what of the humble turnip? These rarely appear on Irish menus but the side dish, Confit New Season Turnip, was a delight and this commonly overlooked vegetable, herbed and oiled, emerged as a serious rival to the ubiquitous Butternut Squash. The side dishes are listed on the menu; you get one included with your mains and the others will cost you three euro each.

The food is not the only spectacular element at Samphire. There is a stunning view out over the bay. From my table, I could see the island by Ballycotton, the lighthouse and that path up to the lighthouse. It is also a very comfortable place with a lovely bar in the round taking up about a third of the floor.
Goats cheese
And at this bar, they mix some serious cocktails. One of ours was the Dirty Martini with Dingle gin as the main base. Gins too are featured, some local, some not local. Buy local is my motto and so I went for the Blackwater No. 5 and the tonic was Fever Tree (they haven’t got Poacher’s, yet). Enjoyed that!

You may start with something from their nibbles menu, perhaps Spicy Chorizo al Vino (3.50) or maybe Local Naked Oysters from the Bay at €1.50 each.
There’s a good choice of starters too including my choice: Seared King Scallops, Heirloom Tomato Salad, Samphire, Wasabi and Courgette (9.50). Great flavors, textures, very happy with that. CL went for the local cheese, in a starter called All About the Goat: Ardsallagh Beignet, Thyme and Honey Mousse, Lime, Apple, Tomato and Ben’s Brioche, another delightful combination.

We got a lovely welcome at reception and in the restaurant and the service was nice and friendly with a check every now and then to make sure everything was alright. And it was, all through.
The Cod
The local input continued through the mains. CL picked a beauty: East Ferry Chicken char-grilled with gremolata, peperonata, chilli aioli, tender-stem broccoli (20.00), including a lovely side of cous cous. My turnip came with the Cod from the Pond, served with roasted cauliflower (mini-florets) and a Goan spiced cream (19.00). Both plates went back empty, not a scrap left on either, a vote of confidence!

And then it was time for that gorgeous finalé. Not local but we weren't to be denied a touch of the tropics on a rather coolish summer’s evening. Very Highly Recommended Dish in a Very Highly Recommended Restaurant.
Blackwater G&T and Dingle Gin Dirty Martini

Contact details below
Samphire at Garryvoe Hotel
Ballycotton Bay
County Cork
Open from 6.00pm Wed to Sun.
Phone: 021 4646728
Twitter: @Garryvoehotel