This well-presented large bar and restaurant is easily spotted on the N15, a few miles north of Sligo Town, below the iconic flat-topped Ben Bulben mountain, and it is within walking distance of Drumcliff cemetery (the burial place of the poet William Butler Yeats).
Owned by the Davis Family since 1970, this attractive big modern restaurant’s warm welcome and generous portions of tasty fresh, locally sourced food has earned it a well-deserved reputation as a popular affordable eating place, for both locals and visitors.
Everything is neat and tidy, beginning with the large well-organised car park. A pleasing exterior with plenty of stonework, canopied windows and potted plants creates a good impression – which is continued in the spacious reception area, with its nice big automatic glass doors, colourful big fish tank, fresh flowers and tourist information on display.
The restaurant has lots of windows and wooden pillars and, although very big, is attractively laid out, with a bar dividing two main dining areas, nice comfortable chairs and lots of flowers. Pleasing at any time, all this space and comfort will be an especially welcome sight on a ‘soft’ Sligo day.
Extensive day and evening menus are offered and, although some dishes may seem a little pricey, they are designed to appeal to a broad range of tastes and budgets – and, in line with the Bord Bia ‘Just Ask’ programme, a supplier list is given; reassuringly, visitors will see that all are local.
Lunch menus offer a wide range of choices including traditional Irish favourites such as potato & leek soup and Irish stew with creamy mash, as well as some more international dishes. Roasts of the day (such as roast Irish beef, lamb or pork, with creamy peppercorn sauce or homemade gravy) are popular at lunch time but, for a lighter daytime meal, a varied snack menu is also available, offering a variety of panini, wraps, sandwiches, soups and specials.
In the evening, a very wide-ranging à la carte menu is offered. Local fish is popular - Drumcliffe Bay mussels steamed in their shell with wine, garlic, onions & cream, for example, and the ever popular Lissadell clams, that may be served as either starter or main course dishes.
Meat dishes include a range of steaks, of course, and if chicken is your thing you’ll find a choice of ten dishes ranging from the House Style Chicken Kiev with its breaded crumbed chicken fillet, flavoured with garlic butter, and served with homemade coleslaw, to Thai chilli chicken where sautéed strips of chicken are cooked in a mild coconut milk and served with a basil, chilli & lemon grass sauce and savoury rice.
Desserts include variations on old favourites such as fruit crumble pot (a combination of strawberry, apple & rhubarb crumble), served warm with vanilla sauce & vanilla ice cream; desserts are made in-house although, in the Guide’s experience, the accompanying ice cream is not, which may be disappointing.
Coeliac friendly dishes are available, and children are well catered for too with their own extensive menu, which also provides an activity sheet to help them recognise the various types of exotic fish in the eye catching aquarium situated in the reception area.
Service is quick and efficient, yet also friendly - and it is not surprising that this stylish and cheerful establishment is attracting many tourists, who appreciate its immaculate cleanliness and the appealing all-round formula.
Bar food is also available every day in the Yeats Tavern.