Tucked into the cliffside above the beach at Myrtleville, near Crosshaven, the heart of Paul and Julie O’Brien’s beautifully located bar and restaurant is an early 19th century private house. Serving as a bar and restaurant for many years now, it’s famous for its great views of the Cork coastline and the Atlantic - and, over the last couple of years, good food has been an equal attraction too.
Large windows allow you get the best of the views from the long, comfortably furnished restaurant and, for fine weather, there’s plenty of seating outside on a spacious terrace with gardens running down to the sea.
Given the location, seafood is a first choice for many customers and there is plenty to choose from with the day’s specials on a mini blackboard brought to your table and a lot of options on the menu too - including starter specialities like chowder and seafood cake (cod, salmon & potato cake with sweet chilli mayo) and mains like beer battered fish & chips with mushy peas and tartare sauce featuring on both lunch and evening menus.
Dinner dishes tend to be more formal and one of the most popular is a poached seafood selection (monkfish, salmon, prawns & crab claws in sweet chilli & coconut cream, with wild rice). If grilled bream on fennel with a chorizo cream sauce is on the menu, give it a try - the sauce is terrific; but then again, so is the scrumptious fish pie…
But there’s much more to these extensive menus than fish, with plenty of light dishes - salads, open sandwiches, burgers and wraps - offered at lunch time, along with several hot main dishes (some coeliac friendly and most with vegetarian options).
Some unusual choices in the evening include a lovely starter of warm poached figs in red wine & port reduction with mascarpone, while main courses include shredded lamb in pastry (a puff pastry parcel of roasted vegetables and shredded lamb), and roast half duck with sun-dried apricot stuffing, coffee bean & orange glaze - and, of course, a good range of steaks in various sizes and a choice of sauces.
And there are plenty of good things to drink with this lovely food, with about ten red and ten whites offered on a well selected wine list, about three of each available by the glass. There’s also a full bar service and they do quite a selection of teas and coffees.
With a gorgeous location, impressive modern Irish cooking, friendly service and good value there’s plenty to bring you back to Bunnyconnellan - but do take the time to take a walk around the terrace and take in those views again before you leave.