There's no shortage of quality at Charlie Mac’s, Linda Mounir’s gastro pub on the banks of the beautiful Blackwater River in Fermoy. No shortage of quantity either as chef Fred Desormeaux deals in the most generous of portions in this prime town centre location.
The French chef, formerly at Greene’s Restaurant in Cork city, built up an impressive menu here within a short time of opening, and it is interesting and varied. But what really catches the eye is the huge list of specials - such choice!
Fred has a following for his seafood cooking but even ardent fans will be amazed at the presentation of his Mediterranean seafood chowder - very different from any other version, its great colour and a hint of spice combine to banish the Blackwater chill.
Not that it’s all seafood here - he even makes traditional liver & bacon look very inviting indeed (and it tastes great too). And, as Fred is a regular at local farmers’ markets it should be no surprise to see the likes of Ballyhoura Mushrooms on the menu, brilliant on toast with a cream of porcini dust - not exactly pub grub as it has been known in Fermoy to date.
From the specials, you might choose a warm chicken and chorizo salad, or maybe a lamb burger in a floury bap. From the sandwich menu, the traditional Croque Monsieur is very tempting and it's great to be able to enjoy the real thing without taking the ferry - or there's the not-so-traditional Cod-Dog (freshly breaded cod, deep fried, on a toasted hot dog bun with coleslaw, mayo and chips).
Later in the day, you might fancy loin of bacon, the 14oz T-bone, or perhaps tender slow braised shank of lamb.
Service is nice and quiet and efficient, with menus and water delivered to the table as you start to settle in. It is a bar though, so if you have a favourite place to sit you may need to arrive early, as this place is certainly getting popular.