Monday, August 3, 2009

My Weekend

Wow, what a weekend. Okay, I am not talking about the weather... :-)

I didn't make any plans as I was for some reason not in the mood for anything. I promised Wendy that we would go to Myrteville on Saturday (I was actually supposed to go to a BBQ in Kinsale but Steve had to work, so I decided to spend the Saturday with Wendy). But lets begin at the start...

Friday, weather was dreadful, so I planned a quite evening in front of the telly. While I was in town on Thursday I got some cheese from the market and I thought, the evening called for some 'Me-Time' (as they say in the Radox was a quarter to me). I made a nice plate of Munster, Durrus, a really lovely Pont L'Eveque and some Ardrahan. A few grapes followed the cheese onto the plate. I had a bottle of Farnese Montepulciano d'Abruzzo in the fridge. So I lit the fire (the weather really was dreadful) and settled in for the night. I felt great...I didn't leave much of the cheese

Saturday morning was spent in a very (and I mean) very lazy manner until it was time to drop my brother off at the airport. Picked up Wendy on the way and continued further to Myrteville. I have never been there (to be honest haven't even heard of the place) but Wendy was told that the restaurant Bunnyconnellan was suppose to be really we arrived in Myrteville and had a lovely walk along the beach (weather was gorgeous at this stage). We asked Sabrina along (she just lives up the road in Carrigaline) and we were meeting in the restaurant at 5pm. The restaurant wasn't open (although it said 5pm) and we got a table in the bar where the same menu was served. The staff was very attentive, polite and friendly. Starters included soup (€5.50) and crab claws (€9.50). Main were mostly concentrated on fish wiht hake served with tarragon butter (€22.00), steaks (€22.50) and the usual suspects of lamb curry, stir fry and risotto. Special of the days included baked cod with a sundried tomato crust, pan-fried seabass, steak sandwich with sauteed onions (all for around €19). Sabrina ordered a goats' cheese tart with Serano ham, I had bruschetta with sundried tomatoes and Wendy had melon with Serano ham. The pastry of the tart was undercooked with a big chunk of goats' cheese topped with the bruschetta was dipped in oil and baked topped with minced sundried tomatoes which didn't taste of anything. Wendy's choice has been a lot better. Her melon and ham came with a port and mulberry reduction (although they called it jam....nothing jamming about it).Sabrina (being Italian) and myself ordered the mushroom risotto.....I am too polite to actually describe the taste and texture of the risotto (they actually microwaved it). I had two bites and returned it to the kitchen. Sabrina picked out the mushrooms and returned it as well. Again, Wendy was the clever one having ordered the pan-fried seabass. The fish came with a potato cake. The waitress was very apologetic and offered a new dish for us. I thought I better go with fish as Wendy's dish looked really good so I asked for the baked, big mistake again. The fish was undercooked (Sabrina and myself really doubted that it was actually cod - I still assume it was monkfish), the same tomato mixture was used to top the fish I had on my bruschetta (the taste didn't improve with the fish) and the potato cake was greasy (I bet the chef put the cake in a cold oiled frying pan). The cake was simply mashed potato (salt must have been out that day), squeezed into a cake and dropped into a cold oily pan...the potatoes really soaked the oil up.....I gave up at this point. The wine we were recommended by the waitress was absolutely fantastic and made a bit up for the awful food (a white Rioja).

The location makes this restaurant a big success due to the beach and being the only restaurant at this location.....seriously, next time I am going I will stick to the wine.

Anyway, after that we decided to follow Sabrina home and there we were spoiled with some red Spumante. Quite sweet sparkling wine but great we all forgot about the food really fast (sorry forgot to note the name). Nick showed us some old movies of him and Sabrina and we had a good old laugh....a perfect ending of the day especially as we decided to pay Kerry a visit the next day.

For Sunday, we decided to meet at 5 in Waterville where Nick was able to book us some rooms in the Bayview Hotel. Okay, I have to say that this was an adventure for me as the furthest I have ever driven myself was to Baltimore....I normally get driven. So I was dead proud that I found the place. Since Wendy and myself left Cork quite early, we decided to stop in Kenmare for some lunch. She has been in Kenmare before and told me that the restaurant Jam is quite nice. So off we went. You can describe it as the little sister of Nash 19. Not as classy as Nash but with a lot of character. Wendy ordered the leek and potato soup and I had the chickpea and feta roll. The flavour of the roulade was nice but a bit dry. The place was buzzing.

The weather didn't improve much so we headed back to the car and continued our drive to Waterville. The Bayview Hotel is in the middle of the town with a great view towards the water (we didn't care much for it as we just wanted to get inside). The hotel dates back to 1889 and we assumed it hasn't been updated since (it reminded Sabrina of an old lady who still wears her clothes from her youth) but I bet it was spectacular in its days. The hotel was extremely family friendly which meant loads of children who loved to run down the corridors (and there were lots of corridors - the hotel seemed like a maze at times). When we were all gathered we settled in the hotel restaurant for our evening dinner. Being so close to the sea, the focus was on seafood. Looking at the prices I didn't expect much....but wow, can they cook their fish. I had fish and chips (this time it was actually cod in a lovely beer batter). The fish was flaky and the batter was crispy - just the way I like it. The peas were cold but I was so happy with my fish that I didn't care. The portion of tartare sauce was very generous and I didn't talk for a while. Wendy had mussels and she also had a happy expression on her face. I can't remember what all the others had just that Bernard had a seafood chowder from the starter menu that looked more like a maincourse and since he scooped out even the last drop of the chowder, I can only assume that it was a good one. Sue and her brother had a chocolate cake.....woooooooowwwwoooooo. That was the yummiest I have ever tasted and we kept scooping away on it (it really was a massive piece and Sue was happy to share - really). The prices were amazing as well....€10 for my dish.....hellooooooo Cork......take note. I wasn't impressed by the sad looking burger Nick had and the mashed looked a bit greyish but he loved I held my tongue. Nick and Orla treated us with a session of lovely music and even took requests (the hotel staff was lovely enough to give us a private room). A great ending to a great day.

Next morning we went for a nice walk along the beach before we got back into the cars and headed for Valentia. The island is lovely but the weather really was dreadful. My rain jacket was tested to its limit. We found a lovely shop that was a quirky mixture of cafe, museum, second hand bookshop, meeting point, Internet cafe etc etc etc. Books were ever you laid your eyes on, tables were squeezed into every available space and there was a buzz around that was infectious. Cabinets filled with old china and bits and bobs....I was in heaven. Went through all the books and got some great cookbooks (will write about them later). We had a lovely piece of homemade cake there. I caught the owner and was begging her to sell me one of the cakestands in the cabinets but she was steady in her NO.....she collected them over the years and most of the china is from Wales. But she referred me back to Waterville to a woman called I have to go back to Waterville soon.

Nick then had the great idea to follow the tetrapod trial......not a good idea in the rain.....I got stuck with the car but was lucky that help was at hand.....whoever you were, thanks a million for pushing me out.

After that adventure we decided to head back to Cork via Killarney and to stop in Killorgin for something to eat. We arrived around 4:30 and the town was closed down. We found one place open called Bianconi. Sounded Italian but there was nothing Italian about the menu and I didn't fancy anything on the menu. Sabrina ordered a cheese plate.....the weirdest looking excuse of a cheese plate I have ever seen. Anyhow, they had grated (and I mean finely grated) cheddar cheese topped with a dollop of chutney. Crackers were already topped with some cheese which made them kinda soggy. All that for a whopping €13.90 so I was happy that I didn't order anything but a tea. Thanks God we found an Indian restaurant (Madras Inn) and since Sue and her brother are Indian, we were hoping for some treats. One word, the food was excellent (saying that, Sue's mum makes a better Biryani) and we all were happy leaving for the final part for the way home.

So, that was my weekend and I still have a big smile on my face....hope you all had a good time too.


talesfromagarden said...

hi there, just wondering have you ever visited cafe la paix in washington st opposite the square deal furniture store?try their tartlets with feta,olives and sundried tomatoe,comes with devine wedges and dressed salad! i would love to hear what you think,best to visit on a sunny day when you can see the weir outside and take in the view!

Elke said...

Hi there,

yes I have been at Cafe la Paix about 2 years ago. Not sure why I never returned. We sat out in the back and looked over the weir, had a lovely glass of prosecco and I remember having a pasta dish which wasn't bad at all. Can't remember what Ciara had. Thanks for reminding me, I will pay them a visit soon. Watch this space :-)