The scenery of Waterford’s ‘copper coast’ is a treat in store on a visit to the South-East – and the savvy traveller will also bear in mind the possibility of a visit to talented chef Eugene Long’s restaurant, The Copper Hen.
A short move – from Tramore – to this lovely space above Mother McHugh’s pub has put the small village of Fenor firmly on the map. Following two previous incarnations as restaurants, and then a complete change of use to what must have been a terrific apartment, it has now been transformed again.
There are two separate rooms, the first with a real fire for those cold evenings and the second a split level space. With high ceilings, cream painted walls and wooden floor, the skylight windows bring a sense of light and space to this old building.
The restaurant serves both lunch and dinner through a long weekend, which is a big plus for people travelling, or holidaying in the area. Given this committed chef’s track record, excellent food is also to be expected – and you should not be disappointed.
Although there is no specific sourcing statement or suppliers list on the menu, a commitment to quality ingredients is seen in the dish descriptions, which include, for example, natural smoked haddock organic Arsallagh goats cheese, local pork, Hereford beef and free range chicken. Dishes suitable for coeliacs and vegetarians are highlighted too.
The lunch menu is quite short but appealing, offering a selection of starters, open sandwiches and panini - an enjoyable example is a flaky pastry tart of Ardsallagh goat’s cheese, roast tomatoes and basil, which is available as starter or main course.
Sunday lunch is a more extensive affair, with half a dozen choices each for both starters and main courses – and not the usual traditional roasts either, although there is some concession in, for example, a dish like slow-cooked topside of Hereford beef with red wine gravy, or herb-roasted free range chicken with a mushroom jus.
Dinner offers a choice of eight starters – perhaps mussels in a cider, bacon and cream sauce with fresh herbs or natural smoked haddock chowder with poached egg. You might follow this with slow roast belly of Fenor farm pork on sautéed potatoes with roasting and sage jus, or pan roasted cod on basil mash with overnight tomatoes.
Do leave space for one of the wonderful desserts, such as Irish whiskey and pear bread-and-butter pudding with vanilla icecream, or baked vanilla cheesecake with warm berry compôte.
Service in this stylish and wallet-friendly casual restaurant is friendly and informed – and a short wine list offers a choice of just eight whites, seven reds and three sparkling/rose, each from a different country.