Wednesday, July 22, 2009

EL VINO in Cork

Read a couple of days ago that El Vino opened a new winebar in The Elysian and I thought last night was the right time to pay them a visit (Linda wanted to go to the cinema and choose a movie that is only released today - very brighteyed move). It was around 9:30 and as expected the bar was almost empty (I guess most people are still recovering from the weekend).

Anyway, the interior is modern contemporary in cream and copper colours with dark wood in between. Very relaxing atmosphere. Background music was low enough so that we were able to have a nice conversation but loud enough that the other customers didn't hear us (at least I really hope so - as the conversation was quite 'rated').

The menu included tapas (hot and cold), starters, main and desserts. The winelist had a very good selection of wines by the glass (1 page of white and 1 page of reds). All the usual wine countries were included in the winelist.

Since it was already late (and I had an early curry dinner with Jan earlier in the day and Linda just got up from the dinnertable - and after all this wasn't really planned) we thought we keep it simple with an Irish Farmhouse Cheese Plate (€15). Being used to cheeseplates, we expected 3 or 4 slices of cheese with the bit of relish (that's the reason we ordered a platter each) but we were pleasantly surprised when this big plate was put in front of us. One word - gorgeous. I was in heaven. Ballymaloe relish, figs, caperberries and different crackers (incl. charcoal) made my evening. Since we both had to drive, I only ordered one glass of wine which was Lupe Cholet (€8.25) - a lovely rich burgundy which went just nicely with the cheese.

The staff are great (still fresh since the bar only opened Saturday week ago). A very young waiter didn't know the winelist and I had to show him on the list which wine I wanted - "ahhh, number 12".... - outch (I felt set back to our local Chinese restaurant). But apart from him (and he was still very friendly), the staff is very attentive, lovely and smiling and that actually made the evening just perfect. One of these spontaneous decisions which turn out to put a smile on your face when you think back on it.

The prices are a bit steep (wine by the glass starts above the €5 mark) so it might be more beneficial to order the bottle rather than a glass (unless you want to try different wines) but the location and the atmosphere make up for it.

El Vino is also in Douglas (I never really go out in this area) and the prices on their website is a bit below from the Elysian one but as I said, the location might have dictated the price difference.

One thing is sure, I will be back - next time without the car.

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