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Thursday, October 18, 2018
Beats and Brunch. Music and Munch.
All Happens at The River Club.
Cork’s progressive River Lee Hotel has spectacularly transformed its dining and beverage facilities in recent months. The eye-catching River Club is now their ultra comfortable centre.
Here you can relax and enjoy brunch, lunch and drinks (with the alternative of the adjoining enclosed riverside terrace) and there’s sophisticated dining in the Grill Room. Sophisticated or casual or just in for a drink and nibbles with friends, the River Club is worth a call.
We visited the colourful venue on Sunday as a part of a Media Sneak Peek. Head Chef Paul Lane had a line-up of tempting brunch dishes for us while the music, from vinyl, added to the buzz. Claire and Sinead, rightly proud of the new set-up, greeted us and told us their ingredients come from an array of local suppliers including the English Market and that all their beef is 100% per cent Irish.
Soon their Signature Bloody Mary (Ketel One Vodka, River Club Mary Mix, Lemon and with or without oyster garnish) made a welcome appearance and we were up and running in our comfortable high seats. You also have the armchair option! Enjoyed too one of their Juicery Shots (mine was the Blueberry with Almond Milk and Coconut water). And then followed the Granola (Greek yogurt, seasonal fruit compote).
By now, we were finding out more about the menu, making our choices. I put my eye on the Sautéed Wild Mushroom and Spinach (English muffin, poached eggs chilli flakes, and hollandaise sauce) and I wasn’t disappointed. Far from it.
CL too was very happy with her choice: Tomato and Avocado Toast (English muffin, poached eggs, chilli flakes and hollandaise sauce). We were both saying that we preferred the muffin to sourdough in the dishes. What do you think?
Also available were the River Club Brunch Special, Eggs Florentine and Toasted Banana Bread. And, don’t worry, on their full menu you’ll find Eggs Benedict and Eggs Royale and more.
And we also had dessert. CL picked the Lemon Posset, a very good one indeed. Meanwhile I was spooning from my tall Chocolate Sundae and sipping from a flavour packed Espresso O’Martini (Kalak Irish Vodka, Black Twist Liqueur, Espresso, Demerara). Both the Kalak and the Black Twist are Irish by the way.
Lots of tempting cocktails on offer, a selection from their Hi-Ball and Classic lists. Very tempted by the Safe Harbour (Kraken Spiced Rum, Ginger Beer, Lime, Murphy’s Irish Stout, Demerara) and the Barry’s Brandy (Courvoisier VSOP Cognac, Cold Brew Barry’s Tea, Honey, Lemon). I did get a taste of the the Brandy but my favourite was the Velvet Lady (Blackwater No. 5 Gin, Velvet Falernum, Cointreau, Lemon). Just perfect!
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Afternoon in the Idaho Cafe
Surprised to see so many customers in the Idaho Cafe at 3.00pm on a drizzly Tuesday afternoon. Just goes to illustrate that this Caroline Street venue is as popular as ever and that goes to the credit of Richard and Mairead Jacob and the way they have been running it for eleven years.
Their way is really a philosophy, a combination of simple things: local ingredients, well cooked, and served with a smile and a chat and, oh yes, a large dollop of hard work behind it all. Simple but superb. And obviously appreciated by their many regulars.
I think their Facebook Page sums it up very well: “We are a small, but perfectly formed Cafe, serving breakfast, lunch, coffees and drinks to an eclectic and much loved group of customers.
Our menu brings you great breakfasty treats such as Waffles with Bacon, Porridge, Bacon and Cheddar Croissants and our famous Bacon and Sausage Baps.
Lunch revolves around more great Irish ingredients served with simplicity and style. Shepherdess's Pie, Smoked Fish Pie, and hot toasted Baps are complemented by regularly changing Salads.
We are striving to source ALL our core ingredients from a 100km radius of Idaho Cafe, Bacon, Sausages and Black puddings come from Limerick, Our cheeses are from west Cork, Our apple juice is from Cappoquinn, Breads from Cork City..... I think you get the message !!!!”
We were treated to Afternoon Tea. This is not a regular on the agenda but is available on request. We had a great chat with the proprietors as they took little breaks in their turn. Dubliner Richard is the front of house while Corkonian Mairead is the chef. She is always trying something else and we got a chance to sample her delicious Sweet Geranium Syrup that is going down well with some of the breakfast regulars who take it with the porridge.
We had started with a local product, Frank Hedderman’s gorgeous salmon on brown bread. Again local, simple and simply delicious! Perhaps the highlight though was Mairead’s Gooseberry Crumble. This was made from their own home grown red gooseberries and was simply outstanding.
Impossible to top that but the final treat came close! These were the macarons made by John and Sylvie McCormick. They look much the same as any other colourful macaron but the fillings are something else. If you don’t believe me, why not try them out at Mahon Point Farmers Market.
And, one more thing, why not try out Idaho Cafe itself? A place to relax and replenish your resources, just a few yards from Patrick Street.