2007 Award Winners SEAFOOD BAR OF THE YEAR 2007
Aherne's Seafood Bar & Restaurant, Youghal, Co Cork
Now in its third generation of family ownership, Aherne’s has a great reputation on several counts, including the FitzGibbon family’s hospitality and their luxurious accommodation. But it is for good food - and, especially, the ultra-fresh seafood that comes straight from the fishing boats in Youghal harbour - that Aherne’s is best known.
While John FitzGibbon supervises the front of house, his brother David reigns over a busy kitchen, and their wives (of course) keep a calm eye on everything. The restaurant is renowned for its seafood - specialities like pan-fried scallops with spinach, bacon & cream, or fresh crab salad make memorable starters, for example, and who could resist a main course hot buttered Youghal Bay lobster? These are, in a sense, simple dishes yet they have a natural glamour too.
But it is perhaps the quality and range of the bar food which is most unusual: the style tends pleasingly towards simplicity - oysters, chowder, Yawl Bay smoked salmon and oysters make for great snacks or starters (all served with the renowned moist dark brown yeast bread), and you'll find at least half a dozen delicious hot seafood main course dishes like baked cod wrapped in bacon (served with salad, salsa & sauté potatoes) and gorgeous prawns in garlic butter - its sheer freshness tells the story.
And, whereas lack of consistency in standards is a major problem in Ireland’s hospitality industry as a whole, Aherne’s Seafood Bar stands out as a role model of excellence - during the two or three decades that we’ve been dropping into the bar for a bite at all sorts of hours, the standards of both food and service have never been less than outstanding: it is well worth planning a journey around a bar meal at Aherne’s.
Sponsored by Bord Iascaigh Mhara
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