Not a million miles away from central Dublin this family restaurant on the Main Street of Castleknock village was introduced to me my good friend Joe Griffin who lives a medium stones throw away in Dunboyne.
We called in for lunch in-between meetings at the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation in Brunswick Street North and Castleknock College; as one does!
It has a pleasant and comfortable atmosphere and a staff to match. I had intended to have a snack but the menu was far to appetizing and, on top of that, they were offering Chicken Puttanesca, breast of chicken in a piquant sauce containing chilli and anchovies (I’m a sucker for anything containing anchovies). We both chose this and added a portion of fries between us to accompany it. In for a penny in for a pound we rounded off with an excellent Tiramisu and coffees. Add in a bottle of Peroni and the bill was €53.60 – great value for money as well.
We visited for Sunday lunch on a Groupon voucher. The menu was pretty comprehensive and all available. We chose the goats cheese with parma ham and whitebait as starters both of which were very good. For mains my wife had Roast Sea Bass with prawns and capers on samphire with new potatoes whilst I had the duo of Monkfish and Mackerel with sweet red onions, roast potatoes and a massaman curry sauce (which I had on the side). They have a very nice Chablis which complemented the fish really well. We followed it up with the cheese board. The cheeses were ripe and tasty and served with crisped homemade bread. I do not think the prices were exorbitant given the quality and quantity of the dishes and £24.00 for a good Chablis is not over the top (we didn’t realize you could bring your own wine). The staff were very young and friendly if not totally au-fait with the dishes but then this was not Deanes. The decor is definitely different but does not detract from the atmosphere. An enjoyable experience and we will probably call again.
Stopped off in Dundrum Town Centre for lunch after a quick recce of the flood damage at the Mill Theatre.
Sitting outside under a parasol at the side of the pool on a sunny afternoon after a three hour drive from west Cork seemed a good move and we were rewarded with some great service by our Italian waiter.
I ordered a Fagioli salsicci, a sort of bean and tomato stew with fragrant herbed sausages sliced into it, accompanied by crusty bread. Definitely to die for. Josephine chose the Gourmet Cheese and Ham sandwich with onion relish. Unfortunately whilst the cheese, ham and relish was unsurpassable the roll had been put under the grill and proved to be somewhat too crisp in places!
In the absence of a Pinot Grigio the waiter suggested the Falanghina which proved to be another worthwhile discovery. Will be on my buying list if I can find somewhere that stocks it.
Against our better judgement we were talked into a sweet! Josephine got the last of the “House Torte”, really a mixed fruit tart with cream, and I had the pear variation and a coffee. All extremely palatable
All in all a pleasant lunch and, at €42 excluding tip, good value.
Giulio Passami L'Olio
We came across this restaurant on our way from Castel Sant’Angelo to The Trevi. Tucked away on a small road, Via di Monte Giordano 28, it looked typically rustic and there were a few locals under the awnings. The billboard outside offered Pizza/Pasta, side salad, bread and water all in for €12 which, by Rome standards seemed pretty reasonable.
Whilst not being exactly enthusiastic the service was competent and we ordered a Pizza and a spaghetti carbonara. The salad proved to be leaves with a few slices of tomato but the carbonara was as good as I have had anywhere, and a reasonable sized serving. Josephine ws less impressed with her pizza but she had been spoiled with the one form the evening before!
We ordered a couple of glasses of the house red, about which one could not complain at al,l and at €3 each was well within budget.
The owner was obviously well known as there was a trail of local businessmen and women calling in and chatting over beer or wine.
Whilst one could not say it is top of the range it certainly provided a pleasant meal at a reasonable price and one cannot complain about that. The loos were clean as well!
Kilemore Quay is a picturesque heritage fishing village on the south east coast of Ireland about 22km from Wexford Town and has been an RNLI lifeboat station since 1847. With it’s thatched cottages, harbour and views out to the the Saltee Islands bird sanctuary and St Georges Channel it makes an ideal spot to stop off and explore a little of the local history, and have a bite of lunch of course.
We picked on the Silver Fox restaurant, from about half a dozen possibles, as the ideal spot and it turned out to be a good choice, although Josephine reported that the tea was an awful grey colour and tasted the same; but then if you will order tea when there is wine and cider available I have little sympathy!
Crab Claws & Prawns
Josephine only wanted a scone but I could not resist the Crabs claws and tiger prawns in garlic butter with a side salad. They managed to serve the claws so that you do not spend a great deal of time and effort attempting to dig the flesh out so it was a double treat!
We finished our visit with a visit to two “craft” shops along the front. Although they had one or two nice pieces most of their offerings were definitely geared to the lower end of the tourist market. If that is what sells who can blame them.
Altogether a very pleasant trip out.
Neue Post Hotel
Our first stop at the end of the Zillertal Steam Train journey. The hotel is a typical Austrian resort hotel/restaurant catering for the international tourist trade as well as the locals and was recommended by our guide, Julian. They provide menus in both German and English, but as is usual these lose something in translation.
The Skull Room
It is a large establishment and the restaurant is divided up into a number of areas, including one adorned with a myriad of goats skulls.
The service is efficient, if a little brusque, and they are obviously used to dealing with large influxes of customers.
The beer is excellent, as it is throughout Austria and Germany and their Dunkel Weissbier is a classic.
The best menu to order from is the Tageskarte, the days specialities. They have a three course menu for around €7.50. Vicki and I chose a champagne based soup; very nice, and Gröstl, a pan fried concoction of local black pudding, onions and potato scallops which turned out to be perfect. unfortunately Josephine and David settled for the Goulash. Do not be tempted by this unless you are a fan of nudeln, a soft, semi tasteless semolina pasta. Unfortunately the 4 or 5 pieces of beef that came with it were rubbery and the only saving grace was the sauce; but even that was mediocre.
Our 3rd course was a chocolate mousse to die for!
A mousse to die for
All in all I would award it about 7 out 10 overall and would be tempted to call in again if we were ever in the area.
Tried out the Cow’s Lane branch on our stop over in Dublin en route to Munich. Same superb cakes, tarts and coffee. More room here than their shop on Lord Edward Street but still very busy. Service with a smile as well. Definitely could become a regular.
Quen of Tarts, Cows Lane
Made a flying visit to Mount Sackville College, not far from Castleknock, to do a measure up. Was not there long and as Myos was a prominent feature opposite the Topaz garage where I stopped for diesel (15% cheaper than the North) and the car park looked pretty full I decided that it couldn’t be too bad for a spot of lunch.
Entering the large open plan bar area the response to my query as to the availability of a sandwich was that there was only the carvery at lunchtime.
In for a penny in for a pound; I went round to the counter. There were a couple of people ahead of me so I got a chance to look at the offerings. The roast beef and bacon joint looked really well but I am wary of the amount of food one is expected to eat: asking for small portions is normally greeted with disbelief and the request ignored anyway.
I looked at the plates (about the size of serving trays) of the persons in front of me and saw that they were piled high with meat, roasted and mashed potato and a selection of vegetables. If I’d eaten that lot I would have needed to sleep for the afternoon!
I settled for the peppered beef with rice and turned down the offer of vegetables and potato on the side! As it was it would have fed a family.
One could not complain about the quality or the quantity. They serve decent quality food at a reasonable price (€10.00 for the carvery).
As for clientèle; amongst others there was a party of three young mothers with their children, a couple of local businessmen, a construction crew and the architect and the principal of the college. Not a bad mix for a Tuesday lunchtime.
Village Hotel, Otley Road, Leeds
Flew over to Leeds for a couple of meetings with suppliers and after a trip out to Skipton and a tour of Leeds University ended up for lunch at the Village Hotel North, on the Otley Road about 8 miles from Leeds/Bradford airport.
Very smart looking building and big airy foyer. The receptionist recommended the bar rather than the restaurant. This has two big screens showing Sky Sports News, luckily without any sound. They also have smaller screens with the hotel channel showing easy listen music videos.
The menu is pretty extensive with all the usual “pub-grub”, burgers etc. One chooses and then goes to the bar to order. My only concern would be that they take your credit card off you and keep it behind the bar in a glass. In these days of credit card and identity fraud personnaly I would not be too happy about this. but my companion did not seem concerned. Trusting crowd Yorkshire people (and not a bad thing either I suppose).
My associate does not indulge in red meat and chose the chicken burger and chips and, as he was driving, blackcurrant and lemonade. For myself the spaghetti with meatballs in a lightly spiced tomato sauce and a glass of Sangiovese.
Cheerful service, very good food, inexpensive and a big car park. If you can live with the credit card problem – or get them to process it when you order – a good place to eat.
This is Rose week at Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park so lunch at Malone House just off the Milltown Road, only a stones throw away, seemed like a reasonable option. Hadn’t been there since the factory moved from the Boucher Road five years ago so was not sure what to expect. It is run by Belfast City Council and is popular for weddings, funerals and conferences; not necessarily in that order. It sits in a pleasant park bordering on the DUB playing fields, which meant the dogs got a walk, and the views from the rear of the building across the Lagan valley are exceptional (hence its popularity for weddings).
The Barnett room, which is the bar/restaurant is cosy and seats about thirty at a push. There were a few tables occupied and a funeral party were in one of the function rooms. This means that the staff were shunting between the two venues so the service was a little slow.
We waited about ten minutes to get menus and were informed that the days special was baked gammon with parsley sauce. We ordered this and a couple of glasses of sauvignon blanc. The wine, and water, arrived shortly but it was near fifteen minutes before the main course arrived.
There was a substantial slice of gammon and the parsley sauce was rich with cream. The mashed potato was a good as one would get anywhere and the vegetables, cauliflower, green beans, broccoli and baby sweetcorn suited my preference for having them undercooked but Josephine felt they were a little bit too much on the raw side.
At £22.90 one could not complain about value for money.
They also do a great line in scones with cream and jam as elevenses or afternoon tea.
P.S. The roses were impressive too!