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Showing posts with label restaurant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label restaurant. Show all posts

Monday, August 6, 2018

Everett’s Vaulting To Culinary Peaks. New Waterford Dining Destination


Everett’s Vaulting To Culinary Peaks
New Waterford Dining Destination
Cod
Ireland’s love affair with wine has left a legacy of wine vaults. Some have been converted and are now being used as restaurants, Ely in Dublin and Holy Smoke in Cork spring to mind. The latest are Everett’s in High Street in Waterford who are using the 15th century vaults of a local mayor. 

James Rice gave this wine vault and the dwelling above it to Dean John Collyn on the 6th July 1468 and it was used to house the priests of the new chantry chapel built by Collyn until 1520. Now Everett’s, just opened a few months back and already gaining quite a reputation, are using the building for their 58 seater restaurant. The street level room seats 28 while the vaults below cater for 30.
Knockalara cheese

 It is quite an atmospheric place, especially if there’s a party going on downstairs! But no great point in having a historic venue for your restaurant unless the food is good. And that’s where chef Peter Everett, who owns the restaurant with partner Keith Noonan, comes in. 


The Chapter One trained chef, back in his native Waterford, is using the best of local produce and using it well. Beautifully cooked and presented plates are flying out of the kitchen and the customers are flying in. The menu is short but long on quality.
Rilletes

Three courses here will set you back forty euro. Let me be clear. It is not a set back, it is great value considering the high quality. And I reckon the Pre-Theatre menu is probably even better value. You may like to know that they do lunch on Fridays and Saturdays (not on Sundays).


We called there recently and, after an initial “set back” about the reservation, we settled in and throughly enjoyed the accomplished cooking and the service from start to finish.
beef

 We had five starters to pick from and one was the Knockalara Sheep’s Cheese with pistachio, baby artichoke and roasted red pepper. The cheese, made by Agnes and Wolfgang Schliebitz in West Waterford, was the centrepoint of a delightfully delicious dish.


Our other starter was the Andarl Farm Free Range Pork Rillettes, Cherry, Beetroot and Almond. Another winner, again beautifully presented, a gorgeous toothsome combination. Needless to say, two empty plates went back. And that was to be repeated, twice!
mash
I think there were five mains on for the night and mine was the Striploin and Braised Brisket of Derek Walsh's Beef, Carrot cooked in Ale, Spring Onion. The local beef was spot on, even the carrot in ale was a highlight.


Meanwhile, the CL was happily tucking into her Fillet of Cod, N'duja Crust, Courgette, Samphire, Sherry Sauce. The shimmering cod looked as if it had just been plucked from the ocean outside Dunmore East. And the mash was smoother, certainly more buttery, than an electioneering politician’s words.

Chocolat
Now for the real sweet stuff, the chocolat! At least, pour moi. Opera Chocolate Fondant with Malt Ice-Cream had me singing, well metaphorically so, for I was the class crow, not even allowed in the group - no bum notes allowed in Mrs Shaw’s chorus. 


And there were happy notes coming from across the table as the Fresh Peach Purée, Raspberry and Elderflower combo struck the perfect balance, the Peach on the sweet side, the Raspberry on the tart. Quite a finalé at Everett’s. Just opened in the spring, they may be in their infancy but the stride is already confident, the outlook good.

Also on this trip:
The Candied Hazelnut

Lunch at Spectacular Cliff House

22 High Street
Waterford
(051) 325 174


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Let's Avocuddle at Waterford’s Colourful Candied Hazlenut


Let's Avocuddle at Waterford’s Colourful Candied Hazlenut

The colourful tree, painted between the front door and the window, and climbing up the wall above both, catches your eye as you stroll along O’Connell Street in Waterford City.


There is a plant based restaurant inside and that interior is colourful too, a variety of tables and different coloured chairs, amusingly illustrated cushions scattered around a narrow shelf and a dresser full of pottery pieces.


Even the food is colourful. Gluten free, peanut free and plant based dishes are the order of the day (and of the evening) here and these dishes are full of flavour as well as we found out on a recent lunchtime visit to Teresa Heffernan’s The Candied Hazelnut.

Teresa, the chef/patron, is a busy girl, producing exciting, vibrant and extremely flavourful food using locally sourced produce. The menu changes daily and besides quite a few bits and pieces come from her very own garden.

With a rather big dinner scheduled for that evening, we were looking for something on the lighter side. Teresa has a good sense of humour too. After the first thing on the menu, Soup of the Day, she wrote: it’s too hot for soup folks! And, for most of this July, so it was.


I was tempted by The Bean Taco Fries served with salad (9.95). A terrific combination. The beans were a treat and you’d find it hard to get better fries.
Bean Taco Fries

At the other side of the table, the Blueberry Pancake Stack with Maple Syrup (5.95) was being eagerly demolished. And no shortage of blueberry. A few loose on the plate but plenty buried in the pancakes as well. Very very tasty indeed.

And we washed it all down with a a bottle each of the VitHit Apple and Elderflower (2.95,), a mid-day drink I’m getting to like, despite it costing forty five cent more here than I paid for it in Killaloe the previous week. They also sell bottled beer and wine by the glass and bottle. The wines (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvigon Blanc and Chardonnay) are all Chilean, all by Alameda, available by the bottle (€20), by the carafe and by the glass.

Some tempting dessert here also but we said we’d better give them a skip on this occasion. We certainly enjoyed our visit to this bright and colourful and high ceilinged dining room.

Also on this trip:
Lunch at Spectacular Cliff House
Everett's new Waterford restaurant
Another colourful building on O'Connell Street



Thursday, February 22, 2018

Jacques. Toujours.


Jacques. Toujours.
Scallops

I can never quite understand the rush of press critics to new restaurants. Some of them are hardly open a wet week and are winning awards. No doubt quite a few are well founded and will last the pace. Like twenty years. Thirty years. Maybe like forty years that the renowned reliable Jacques is now approaching. 

We called there last week and, well, it is as good as ever, maybe even better. The food is top class as is the service. Jacques were one of the first to recognise and support local producers and you know quite a few of them, including craft drink beer brewers and gin distillers, and so on. Have to admit we were on the wine though, a delicious pair at that, a cracking Albarino and a gorgeous Muscadet (biodynamique).
Hake

The Barry sisters may be approaching that big anniversary but their menu is innovative, not the least bit old stuff. Sure you can have your steaks and black-puddings and so on but it is the way they vary the dishes, the differing accompaniments, that keep the customers coming back time after time.

For instance, in July, your hake  will come pan fried, with lemon butter, crispy capers, parsley, Ballycotton queens and greens. The other night, a cold one, we enjoyed Fresh Hake, Seaweed, Fennel, Lemon Butter, Crispy Capers, Buttered Cabbage and Beans, Champ (23.90). A superb dish. Variety is the spice of life.
East meets ouest

That was CL’s main dish and speaking of spice, she had Smoked Morrocan Quail,  Spiced Couscous, Apricot, Harissa (11.90) as a starter. Another brilliant combination, bang on up to date with the evolving local cuisine. Don't think you'd have got that here in the early 80s!

And that exciting mix that has come to our plates over the past twenty years or so was very much in evidence in my starter: Asian Miso Seafood Bisque, noodles, vegetables (9.50). An accomplished and warming dish with hints of Asia and the Med, expertly cooked and presented, perfect for the cold.

And that high standard was maintained with my main dish: Fresh West Cork Scallops, Winter Remoulade, Celeriac Puree, Crispy Pancetta, Potato Rosti and a Tomato Relish 26.90. Scallops and Pancetta are a terrific duo but all the other elements played a role too. I took my time with that one and absolutely enjoyed it.

Still room for dessert and this time we broke out and had one each, sharing of course! The Oranges, Mascarpone stuffed Medjool Dates, Almonds, Pomegranate (7.50) were excellent but the winner, on points, was their Tiramisu - The Classic (7.50).

So best of luck to all the new restaurants and cafes that have opened up in the last few months - there are some excellent ones around town - but every now and then it doesn't do any harm to blow the trumpet for the old reliables who have worked their way through recessions and booms and who still come up trumps.

23 Oliver Plunket Street
Cork
021-4277387



Thursday, January 25, 2018

Dynamic Duo At Dockland Cork

Dynamic Duo At Dockland Cork
Lamb

Dynamic duo Harold Lynch and Beth Haughton are behind the new Dockland Restaurant on the very same site where their popular Club Brasserie stood up to a few short months ago. A hectic two month conversion process (= flat-out hard work!) saw a new, brighter, deli cum restaurant emerge to cater to the new lighter and healthier eating trend that has begun to emerge in recent years.

The welcome is as warm as ever. And don't worry! Lots of small bites but If you want your full dinner here, you’ll be in for a treat. Take your time as you make your way through the delicious starters, the array of main courses and the tempting desserts. 

We had missed out on the experience before Christmas but made it Lapps Quay the other night. And, yes, we were there for the dinner! Settled in and studied the menu, starting with the Bites to Bigger Bites. Something here to suit every pocket and taste, from a Bowl of Marinated Olives (3.00), to Baked Ardsallagh Goats Cheese, red peppers, chilli flakes dip, on toasted Arbutus Bread (5.00) to Baked King Prawns, garlic, chillies, olive oil, Arbutus sourdough (13.00).

My pick was the Ballyhoura Mushrooms crostini, cream, tarragon, parmesan truffle oil (5.00). Just love the texture and flavour of this little marvel. And CL’s starter was another gem: Roasted Aubergine, Toonsbridge Mozzarella, tomato fondue, parmesan and pesto (5.00).
Aubergine

There have a list of Pizzas as well but we concentrated on the Main Plates of which there was quite a choice. Mine was the Grilled Sumac Spiced Lamb steak (with tomato, herb cucumber salad, chargrilled vegetable couscous, spiced yogurt, and toasted almonds). What a lovely dish, a perfect balance of flavours and spice, tender and delicious, all for €18.00. 

CL considered the Fish of the Day but in the end went for the regular Baked Hake (22.00). The hake came with gremolata, parmesan crust, piperade, tomatoes, black olives , cream and basil. Lots going on there but the meticulous cooking of Harold Lynch and crew in the kitchen means every little detail was spot on, as was the case with the lamb, and the whole dish was a flavoursome treat.
Something Sweet was the next heading to be considered. CL picked the Yogurt, poached vanilla mint berries, muesli, honey, pumpkin seeds (6.30). This is a new addition to their morning, brunch, lunch and evening menu and perfectly described as “a little sweet healthiness”, which it certainly was. Mine was a little more indulgent but I enjoyed every little bit of the Rolled Meringue, lime vanilla cream, poached plums and toasted almonds (6.30).
Hake

The lunch menu is even more extensive and at all times you may spend as much or as little as you with. Drop in for a pair of the small bites and a glass of wine. Maybe just a pizza. If you don’t have time to linger, then join the queue at the Deli counter for take-out. By the way, even though there are 90 seats in the restaurant, you are advised to book, particularly at the weekend. 
Plum

Front-of-House is led, as was the case with Brasserie, by Beth. She and her crew make you feel welcome from the opening smile and they are efficient also. The bar is now part of the main restaurant and you may enjoy a favourite drink before you start, a gin and tonic perhaps, maybe a Negroni? Cheers.
“a little sweet healthiness”
Dockland
City Quarter
Lapps Quay
Cork
T: 353 (0)21 427 3987




Thursday, September 14, 2017

Variety is the spice of life at The Cornstore.

Variety is the spice of life at The Cornstore.

60-day steak

The ever-popular Cornstore specialise in great steaks, quality seafood, and fabulous cocktails. But within, and outside of, that, they produce a stunning variety, enough to keep the punters returning time and again. Last Wednesday night was cold and showery but that didn't stop the customers visiting the Cornstore.

And with the ground floor full, there was quite a buzz about the place. Great place for groups of six or eight or more to dine but no shortage of couples either on the night. And, aside from the three “pillars” mentioned, you can get something to suit your palate (and your wallet) from a selection of menus: the Early Bird (two course for €25.00), a 3-course Gourmet menu for €35.00, and the A La Carte. And then they do lunch everyday, with brunch on Sundays.

And, of course, there are the specials. Not just one to two on a board. On Wednesday, for instance, there were two extra starters and four extra main courses. Indeed, it was from the specials that we choose most of our meal.

The staff here rarely stand still but at the same time, they are courteous, friendly and helpful. Great to be in out of the cold, studying those menus, the wine list (with lots of helpful hints), the cocktail list, the beer list, the whiskey lists. I could go on… 

Our drinks, in the end, were a glass of a gorgeous Colleita de Martis Albarino (what a finish, and perfect for the fish) and one of a smooth El Bar Malbec from Argentinian with ”an alluring nose and blackberry flavours” that lived up to the blurb as it mixed with the Brazilian style steak, Tango and Samba.
Cheese fritters

My starter pick from the specials list (don’t worry about boards, it comes with the menus) was the Duck spring rolls with spicy sesame hoisin dipping sauce. A pair of tasty beauties, nice little salad too.

CL was enjoying her generous Goats cheese fritters, red pepper, black olives, tomato, fig purée ad balsamic reduction. The superb accompaniments enhanced the cheese no end.

And then for the South America touch. My Picanha steak had been Dry aged for 60 days and was served Surf & Turf style with a Prawn skewer, a shrimp & cod mash, Prawn skewers and a Béarnaise sauce. They recommend medium for this cut which you may see on a video here. The beef was perfect and I must admit I was really delighted with the mash!
Sole

The beef came from the specials as did CL’s pick: the Poached Roulade of Lemon Sole, stuffed with mussel mousse on potato confit, samphire and sauce Veronique. Again, the fish was perfect, tender and moist and the stuffing was outstanding.

I’m sure the desserts would have been special as well but our two courses had already filled us and soon we were waddling over to Patrick Street to catch the bus home, happy out!

The Cornstore are always ready and willing to take part in special events in the city and will be one of the restaurants on the Gourmet Trail (23rd Sep) during the Oyster Festival the weekend after this. You can check what they doing and even win two tickets for the Trail here

Monday, April 3, 2017

Cork’s Radisson BLU Hotel Reveals Luxurious New Ground Floor Revamp

Cork’s Radisson BLU Hotel Reveals Luxurious New Ground Floor Revamp 
Restaurant is renamed Maestro’s’
 
Welcome
Had many an enjoyable evening in Little Island while growing up nearby but last Thursday's event in the Cork Radisson Blu, as they revealed its luxurious ground floor revamp and officially renamed the lovely new restaurant Maestro's, was rather unique.
There was a little nervousness among the Radisson crew early on but soon that dissipated as the guests began to enjoy the occasion. We were greeted warmly with champagne, wines and cocktails.

We were soon seated and the music added to the feel-good mood. The restaurant staff took the chance to show their paces and there were tables groaning with all kinds of goodies. Lots of them! 

Elke O'Mahony recommended the chowder and she was spot-on! It was excellent, perhaps my favourite too. But then the dish alongside it, Salmon Chorizo risotto, also had its fans. Even the bangers and mash were high class. Indeed there was something for everyone, especially when those desserts appeared. Oh my!
A few short speeches then from Shane Fitzpatrick, the hotel's General Manager and from Colette Walsh, Director of Sales & Marketing. Then it was time for fun and games and prizes galore to be won. The big prize was, of course, for renaming the beautiful new restaurant where we were seated.

The hotel ran a renaming contest on social media. Suggestions came through in their hundreds, with people offering names both on social media and at the hotel itself. 
After weeks of deliberation, the team of judges decided to opt for a name that was put forward by a guest staying at the hotel. The successful entrant chose the title ‘Maestro’s’ and given that the restaurant is a finely-tuned machine that is operated with care and with a friendly but professional approach, the name seemed to be the perfect fit.

With the winner opting to stay anonymous, Shane, the  General Manager, decided that the amazing prize of dinner for two for a full year should go to a worthy cause. “We discussed how best to allocate the prize given the circumstances and it was unanimously agreed that it would be a well-deserved treat for the dedicated staff of Cork University Hospital,” Shane revealed. “They collectively do such great work and we would love to reward them in any way we can, so we will be offering the prize to them and we hope they will use it and enjoy it as they see fit!”

While he delighted in awarding such a hard-working team, Shane himself received a phenomenal accolade at the recent Shining Star Awards at the Park Inn by Radisson, Heathrow Airport. Fending off stiff competition in a category that included all GMs from Rezidor in the Western Europe region, comprising approximately 60 hotels, Shane scooped the title of ‘General Manager of the Year’. The prestigious award reflects his exceptional approach over the past 12 months to team building and development, customer service and financial excellence.

Speaking at the launch event, Colette Walsh, Director of Sales & Marketing, revealed Shane's win and paid tribute to her colleague’s amazing achievement and praised both his work ethic and motivational approach.

Also clearly delighted with the success of the hotel’s launch event, Colette said: “We are so thrilled with how successful our launch event has been and more so, we are ecstatic with the reaction of those who attended. Now that we have officially revealed our new look, we can’t wait to welcome both new and regular customers and to give them a taster of what the ‘new and improved’ Radisson BLU Cork has to offer. We are prouder than ever as a team to show off our beautiful hotel!”
The significant project, which incorporated The Great Island Ballroom, the chic hotel lobby, stylish Banks Bar and over 40 bedrooms, culminated in the complete revamp of the hotel’s restaurant. Now sophisticatedly adorned with plush carpets, mahogany furniture and brown leather booths, the restaurant is the cherry on top of the hotel’s brand new look.

Of course, I had to check out that stylish bar too. Having been in quite a few hotels who didn’t offer Irish craft drinks over the past week, I was delighted that the first thing I saw was the trio of taps for the Franciscan Well beers. Great to see this leading international chain supporting local and I drank to their future success with a delicious pint of Chieftain Pale Ale. Cheers Radisson! Here’s to many more years in Little Island.

For bookings and enquiries, visit www.radissonblu.com/en/hotel-cork or call 021 4297000

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Well Fed at Les Années 30

Day 14 (Part 2)
Well Fed at Les Années 30

2009


Crazy Salad and Aspic Bunny featured in the menu that drew us to Les Annees 30 in Chinon last evening. Well not in the restaurant's French language menu, but in the Google translation. Also, we had a recommendation from Sylvie, our hostess here at the gite.

Sylvie has good taste! It was an excellent meal, quite leisurely with French style service meaning a 10.15 pm exit after a 7.30pm entrance. But, in between, we enjoyed four lovely courses, some quite superb dishes and a bottle of excellent local Chinon wine.

Amuse Bouche
Rabbit in aspic, Grapefruit and Ginger, Ice Mustard, Surf Pink Grapefruit, 
Bouquet of Mesclun with Coriander. A superb starter.
Cream Codfish cumbava,Sandre chips and Smoked Salmon, 
Parmesan, Salad, Sauce Beetroot Balsamic Vinegar.
Loved this, especially with the other two fish, the
salmon and the sandre (river perch)
Dorade Redfish Snackée, Mashed Potatoes with Olive Oil and Fresh Cheese,
Espuma of Broccoli, Cream Lemon Tarragon. Five star dish!
Fillet Roasted Duckling Chinon Wine Jam, Duxelle Mushrooms, 
Roasted Pear and Celery Cream of the Tonka Bean.
Another five star!
Red fruit "soup", iced Pistachio with Amarena

Chocolate Mousse Guayaquil and Madagascar (chef's specialty),
Caramel Ice Lavender and Violet. Top class choc!







Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Enjoyable Stay at Dublin’s Ashling Hotel

Enjoyable Stay at Dublin’s Ashling Hotel

The four star Ashling Hotel  in Parkgate Street, just 200 metres from Heuston Station, was my base for a recent short stay in Dublin. With the station so close, and two Luas stops nearby, and visits to the Zoo and the Guinness Storehouse on the agenda, it was a convenient location.

And also a very good one. The staff, day and evening, were brilliant, at reception, in the restaurant and in the bar. The place was bright and smart and there was very comfortable seating in the public areas.

Anyone for Breakfast?
Chesterfield Avenue is nearby and takes you to the Zoo and the hotel restaurant has the same name. It also has lots of good Irish produce. I thoroughly enjoyed my Silver Hill Duck and Quail Salad. And that was followed by a delicious falling-off-the-bone shank of Galway lamb. The choice at breakfast, also served in Chesterfield’s, was huge, quality all the way.
Chicken and Gammon Sandwich in the bar.
 This being Guinness country, the busy spacious bar is named the Iveagh Bar. No Irish craft beer here but did enjoy a few pints of Erdinger and found the bar food excellent on the one occasion we ate there.

Restaurant dessert
 They are strict enough about check-in and check-out time but will hold your luggage for you, which is a handy facility. There are quite a few attractions in the immediate area, including the gaol and museum in Kilmainham. But it is very easy to get to the city centre. You’d walk it in about 20 minutes; the Luas is very convenient and so too is the bus.

Highly recommended.

Silver Hill Duck and Quail Salad in restaurant

Friday, November 2, 2012

Busy at the Chapel Steps

 Busy at the Chapel Steps

Outside it was gloomy but inside (left) at the Chapel Steps  it was bright and busy. This is Bandon’s newest restaurant, just 8 weeks after its upgrade from cafe status. The signs are promising. It is a lovely space and a big crowd was in last night (Thursday) and great food on the table.

And no great surprise with the top notch food when you are learn that the Head Chef is Kevin O’Regan (ex Electric) and that he is concentrating hugely on the marvellous produce available in the area.

Kevin, along with the owners Sean and Siobhan (her Dad, along his brothers, ran the place as a butcher’s shop from the 1960’s), have instigated a series of speciality evenings.  Wednesday is a great night for steak lovers - choose from an 8oz Fillet, a 10oz Rib-eye or 12oz Sirloin with all the trimmings for only €20 per dish. Thursday is fish night and I took advantage!

 But back to the start and a very warm welcome as we came in from the dark and the wet. Had a chat with restaurant manager Caroline O’Flynn as we settled to the table. We had already been told about the wine special, supplied this month from the McHenry Hohnen vineyard in the Margaret River Region of Western Australia.

Having met founder David Hohnen (he also founded New Zealand’s famous Cloudy Bay and is busy now preparing his Porker legs for the Christmas trade) hardly a month back in Ballymaloe, we naturally went for his wine (Sauvignon blanc Semillon).


Quite a choice of starters and appetisers here. CL went for Pan Seared Rosscarbery Black Pudding - with crubeen croquette, chilli jam and smoked pancetta. Chef Kevin loves his crubeen and this was a great combination to get the meal underway. And so was mine: Home Smoked Duck - with beetroot, port and burnt butter vinaigrette.

Fish, collected early in the morning in Union Hall, is a regular on the menu and there is a good daily choice but an even better one on Thursday. I went for that special: Spiced Monkfish, butternut squash puree, with roast vegetables, chilli, lime and parsley emulsion. Just enough spice to liven it up without dulling the fish flavour. Just loved it, the freshness, the flavours and the combination of the various textures. All for €15.00. A special for sure.

 CL also enjoyed great value even though her €17.00 dish wasn't a special but a regular part of the menu. It was Roast Cod with roast peppers, chorizo, tomato and olive ragu. Another really lovely fish dish and another with a smashing super tasty sauce. Healthy also.

After all that good eating, we treated ourselves to dessert at a fiver each. She really loved the lively flavours of her Autumn Berry and Lemon Roulade with berry coulis and sugared almonds while I was equally happy with my well made Sticky Toffee Pudding with toffee and vanilla sauce, rum and raisin ice cream. This was a piece of real pudding, the sauce an enjoyable addition rather than a disguise.

 Then we met Siobhan who told us about the history of the place and the apprehension ahead of their big step-up from cafe to restaurant. Two months in and it seems that the big step is worthwhile. Early days yet of course but a good start is half the battle. Best wishes for the future then to Kevin, Siobhan and Sean. The Chapel Steps is just a short trip from the city and one that is well worthwhile. No penance here!