Finaly made it to Augustine's in Washington Street and I was a silly goose not going earlier. We didn't book a table so we just went and were told by Carol, front of house, that she will have a table ready in about 45 minutes and if she could call us when the table is available. We agreed to that and went for a glass of wine to the newly opened wine bar Terroirs. I had a glass of Mas Nicolas 2003 Van der Merwe. A mix of Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet. Either my mouth was too dry or I am loosing my touch but the first sip of the wine tasted bitter but it improved after the next few sips I took.
We got the call about 20 minutes later and walked back, The restaurant is actually tiny with tables being quite close together. The waitresses need to be trained ballerinas as they managed to get through without spilling or dropping anything.
The waiter came with a wicker tray of bread and we could choose which type of bread we wanted. I took the fennel bread roll. The butter was chilled just enough to be spreadable (the way butter should be). We were then served an amouse bouche which was a roast pepper cazpachio...one of the best I have ever eaten, with garlic giving it a nice zing.
The menu is very versatile with something for fish lovers, meat eaters and veggies. I opted for the Ardsallagh Goats' Cheese on Mushroom with pesto topping. THe goats' cheese was smooth (as it is expected from Ardsallagh), the mushroom nicely cooked and the pesto had a lovely crunch. The dressing was a sweet balsamic reduction which went so well with the cheese. My main was the Risotto Nero. I had this risotto in Ivory Tower and loved it. This one was mixed with petit pois, roast garlic cream and crispy parsnip crisps. A rich creamy dish with deep flavours. The ink didn't overpower the rice which wasn'tr overcooked but had still a nice bite to it.
The dish was so rich that I ws not able to finish it but I still had a peak at the dessert menu. My eyes were screaming out for the sticky toffee pudding with bananas and butterscotch sauce but my stomach was begging to order the green apple sorbet. The sorbet was fresh, zingy and absolutely yummy.
The service was casual but professional and I asked Carol to give me the name of my future husband and she told me that she has to divorce him first (ups...) anyway the head chef is Brendan Cashman and he was trained in Ireland mostly around Cork (Silversprings etc.) and I have to say, he has outgrown his teachers by miles. The food was outstanding. The tables were dressed in white linen, the glasses were polished and the presentation of the food was just excellent. Maybe one of the best restaurants I have eaten in a long time in Cork surroundings. Michelin star worth????? Maybe if he keeps it up.
Only downfall was the size of the restaurant and a party of about 20 boys and girls, some of them drunk before they actually came to the restaurant and when finally sitting down, were just gulping the wine down which didn't help their behaviour. The staff was still lovely tho and didn't let on if they were annoyed or not. It is really a pity as they won't remember a thing about the food they were served by the time they wake up this morning.
Will I go again.....oh yes....but I think I will go on a Thursday and call beforehand to make sure that there is no birthday party booked.