The scenery of Waterford’s ‘copper coast’ is a treat in store for visitors to the South-East – and the savvy traveller will also plan to fit in a visit to The Copper Hen, run by talented chef Eugene Long and his wife Sinead Frisby.
A short move – from Tramore – to this lovely space above Mother McHugh’s pub has put the small village of Fenor firmly on the food lovers' map.
There are two separate rooms, the first with a real fire for those chilly 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.
In high summer the elegantly appointed 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.
Everything used in the kitchen is carefully sourced and suppliers proudly credited on the menu include Comeragh Mountain Lamb, Hereford beef along with local pork 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 a classic chicken liver pate with toasted focaccia bread and onion jam giving it a contemporary lift, or barbecued salmon with pickled cucumber crème fraiche. You might follow this with succulent slow roast belly of Crowes' free range pork on spring onion mash potatoes with fresh thyme jus, or Baked supreme of free-range Irish chicken with Gubbeen chorizo and sun-dried tomatoes served on crushed basil potatoes.
Do leave space for one of the homemade desserts, such as chocolate brownie with vanilla ice-cream and chocolate sauce or apple and berry crumble with vanilla ice-cream - popular dishes but the difference is in the taste.
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.