Conveniently located on the first floor of a neat modern building near the Ardkeen Quaity Food Store (and with ample parking at the door),Tony McMahon's stylish family-friendly restaurant specialises in pizza and pasta and is equally suited to a daytime bite or an evening out.
Arriving into the pleasing and comfortably furnished bar area, guests are promptly welcomed by friendly staff who may suggest a drink - cocktails are quite a speciality in the evening - or bring you to your table in the bright, attractively decorated restaurant, where menus are offered along with details of the day's specials.
Although pasta dishes and thin based pizzas are the main attraction for many, the broadly Mediterranean range offered by Head Chef Paul Power is wider than might be expected. The offering changes through the day, with a wider choice of light dishes (such as wraps and salads) at lunch time, while an early dinner offering plenty of choice is very good value. The children’s menu includes an option to have three courses and a cordial for less than a tenner, and there's an emphasis on freshly made food, including the pizza bases ('made several times a day'), fresh chicken tenders and 'our very own' meatballs. Crinnaughton organic apple juice is also listed.
Daily specials always include fresh fish, and appealing vegetarian dishes are sprinkled through the menu - an unusual summer special that may appear on several menus is stuffed and roasted aubergine, with red pepper, tomato, buffalo mozzarella, black onion, sultana and pinenut couscous and rocket leaves.
Popular starters include a crostini platter of toasted ciabatta with toppings such as hummus, red onion marmalade and basil pesto; risotto; coriander crab cakes (with confit tomato and a prawn bisque sauce); and Clonakilty black pudding (with caramelised apple chutney, toasted walnuts, pancetta and pea shoots), while evening main courses may include steaks or lamb shank, chargrilled pork fillet and confit of duck, with most dishes tending to have a Mediterranean slant.
For dessert you might try the house variation on Italian classics such as Tiramisu, or Affogata (vanilla ice cream served with a shot of espresso and frangelico), and the coffee is organic fair trade by Java Republic..
There's a full bar and the wine list is balanced and fairly priced.
Although service may sometimes seem a little casual, it is generally a highlight and can lift a meal here into more of an occasion - and a bill that’s modest for the quality delivered sends customers away happy. Takeaway menus are also available.