Booked a table for Josephine s birthday this evening.
As usual Michael Deane’s Love Fish restaurant is top of the list. What I like about it is the smooth service with a touch of humour and great cuisine.
Starters were Jamesons and ginger and a Bombay and tonic and then on to the serious subject of food. The seared scallops with samphire, pancetta and garlic served in individual shells are to die for and the crevettes in garlic butter with sourdough take some beating.
We chose a bottle of 2012 Pecorino to accompany the meal and it has a perfect light touch that is just that bit more delicate than the Pinot Grigio that would have been my usual choice.
For mains Josephine took the fish pie and I the grilled salmon with Bombay potatoes and curry oil. We had a side of beef dripping chips. the latter are an indulgence not to be missed!
The fish pie is the best we have tasted. Not only is the filling a selection of fish with a light touch of sauce but the buttery mash topping is so light as to be melt in the mouth.
The grilled salmon has a light crust and the curry oil gives the Bombay potatoes a pleasant “kick”. A perfectly balanced combination.
The portions are balanced so that one can partake of three courses without feeling bloated so of course we chose the cheese, accompanied by a very palatable 10 year old port.
I am not one for chutneys so this accompaniment was lost on me but the “fromage de jour” was first class. In fact it was better than the selection that Josephine was serves a a birthday special.
To finish off I took the Bepi Tolosini grappa which is one of the smoothest I have had outside Italy.
Bill total including the 10% £140 of which £63.00 was drinks. Money well spent!!
Following our walk around Mount Stewart Gardens we felt a little peckish so, being on the right road, where else would one go for lunch but the Portaferry Hotel. I had a few qualms about getting a table as it is one of the most popular venues in the area on Sundays and holidays. They do not accept bookings for bar lunches but one can book a table in the restaurant. We arrived about 1.45 and found the bar full but the bartender suggested we have a drink and he would see what he could do. Being a sensible commercial enterprise they threw open the restaurant for the bar overflow so we were only kept ten minutes or so.
The lunch menu is pretty extensive but, as the hotel is famed for its fish and the haddock and mussels had run out, there was only one choice to my mind; seared scallops with bacon and garlic and sauté potatoes. Josephine went for the Steak and Guinness pie with champ and fresh vegetables. Unfortunately they do not have a Pinot Grigio by the glass so I settled for a McGuigan’s Chardonnay. Passable, just!
The scallops were a dream with piles of chopped garlic and julienne strips of bacon in a butter sauce. The sauté potatoes were more like wedges which mad them ideal for soaking up the sauce and garlic. This is not a dish for the cholestroley challenged patron!!
Josephine’s pie consisted of about half a pound of steak, in 2″ dice chunks, with the Guinness sauce and a feather-light puff pastry crust set on top. A generous helping of champ was served on a side plate and the vegetables, cauliflower and peas also came separately. Even with my taking one chunk of beef Josephine struggled to finish and enthused over the taste of bothe the pie and the champ.
I was unable to resist a portion of the double chocolate torte with fresh cream. Very nice if you are into chocolate as I am.
It is not surprising that it is so popular and one hopes that the lady chef, who has been in residence for 38 years, never decides to leave.