This weekend is solely devoted to food - yeah, I know nothing new here. Anyhow, Di and I went off to Waterford on Friday to arrive around lunch time. We had a nice stroll in the city centre (girls, lovely shops out there) and went finally into Geoff's in John's Street. Voted best Gastro Pub in Waterford, we thought, we can't go wrong.
Walking in, I was set back to my student days where I sat long nights discussing world peace. The floor is worn down planks of dark wood, the tables, chairs and benches are a mix and match (or mis-match) collection of left over furniture from my past. The place was buzzing, people from all walks of life were coming and going. We found a free table in the middle of the front room (the whole pub is bigger than it seems from the outside) and looked around to see if we had to order from the bar or if there was table service. Hungry as we were (window shopping is exhausting), we grabbed a menu from the bar. The menu was divided into lunch and evening menu. Soup of the day was Courgette & Fennel Soup, served with homemade bread. Other dishes included salads (mostly with chicken), mains are beef stir fry, spiced chicken, pasta, cottage pie, Goujons of haddock, king prawns in filo pastry. Bruschetta, sandwiches and paninis rounded the lunch menu up. The evening menu included most of the lunch menu except the breadbased dishes. Dessert options are limited to 3, chocolate biscuit cake, eton mess with mixed berries and crumble of the day.
We both opted for the soup of the day, which had a lovely consistency and had a few bits in it. The bread was homebaked brown seedy bread. Di then was torn between the cottage pie and the goujons of haddock. Since I believe that everyone can make a decent cottage pie, I persuaded her to go for the haddock. Ok, they weren't goujons but end of tail filets in breadcrumbs. The tartare sauce was more like a mayonnaise, the leaf salad was a bit tired but the shoestring potatoes were lovely. The plate was too small for the amount of food (or too much food for the size of the plate) and most of it landed on the table. My bruschetta was a bit weirdly served. The menu stated that it was a goats cheese, tapenade and sun-dried tomato pesto topping - but what I got were 2 slices of pan-fried (and therefore slightly greasy) bread with 3 separate pots on the plate where an pinky-orangy coloured goats cheese, a very bitter tapenade and red pesto was simply too much to put on only 2 slices of bread (slices weren't big at all). Here also, the leaf salad had seen better days. As the place was very busy, we were mostly ignored but were finally able to order our dessert. It has been ages since I had a proper eton mess - and it will be another while before I will have one. The dessert wasn't bad but nothing to write home about either. We ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio delle Venezie each but have to admit that I have my doubts that I actually got a Pinot but wouldn't swear to it.
The pub is a great place to on a Saturday night for a pint or five but I would not say it is the best gastro food I have ever eaten. Saying that, they are trying to order as much as possible from local producers and I think if they can bring the food up a notch, they are on the right way - they really could be Waterfords or maybe even Ireland's best Gastro Pub. I would also recommend that they make it more obvious how to order (as we couldn't figure it out ourselves - even the staff asked shrugged the shoulders as if what ever way you want to order is okay) and have a better board for the dish of the day. But again, the locals don't seem to bother and know the procedure very well.
Hope they keep improving as I really miss a good Gastro Pub.