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Thursday, August 25, 2011
SAGE’S LOCAL MENU
Midleton’s Sage Restaurant is one of the first in the country to come up with a local menu. It is known as the 12 Mile Menu and is available at lunchtime everyday (closed Mon) from 12-3pm in conjunction with their regular lunch menu.
You may see their August suppliers on the board at the restaurant and also on their newly revamped website. The nature of this menu means that it changes daily and Kevin Aherne is always on the lookout for new suppliers in the vicinity.
Here are a few examples o f what you might find:
Slow-braised beef with bacon lardons & peas;
Roast shoulder of pork with apples & white turnip;
Buttered cabbage leaves stuffed with ham hock;
Local leaf salad with grilled courgette, roast beetroot & goats cheese.
I had recently tried their evening menu and was delighted with it as you can see from the review. So I was quite confident as I headed down to East Cork today to try the 12 Mile menu. I wasn't at all disappointed.
I had missed Kevin’s tweeted recommendations but, by pure coincidence, picked them: the Onion and Leek Soup and the Braised Pork Shoulder with apples, white turnip and red cabbage. The creamy soup still retained a delicious onion tang and we each thoroughly enjoyed a substantial bowlful.
I was fully confident that I was on a winner with the pork as it is supplied to Sage by Martin Conroy of @Woodside_Farm a regular at Farmers markets, such as Midleton and Mahon (where I often call to see him).
There have been some standout meat dishes coming my way in recent months such as Springfort’s Braised Feather Blade of Beef and more recently Market Lane’s Blasket Lamb. Now I can add Sage’s Braised Pork Shoulder to the list.
It was so well cooked, a pleasure to eat. And that pleasure was enhanced by the tastiest white turnips ever. Not to mention the baked potato, well made apple sauce and perfect gravy. I also enjoyed the different twist to the taste given by the red cabbage though there was a slight disagreement from the other side of the table (a bit too sweet!).
Never thought I’d get so enthusiastic about white turnip but this just underlines the value of local produce. Mainly, it is fresh and then the Sage chefs know what they are doing. There is that little bit extra to savour in each bite and that is what made the turnip, and everything else on the plate, stand out and give the taste buds a very pleasurable workout indeed.