This centrally located restaurant in Holywood is one of those very useful places with long opening hours and the smartly streamlined décor, in pleasing shades of brown, cream and mushroom, works well. as the ambience changes throughout the day.– when good lighting brings the understated décor to life.
They do a very nice breakfast at weekends (including good coffee and irresistible Danish pastries) and an all-day menu from 12-7pm, often including a meal deal for two with wine.
Menus offer a good choice and, although visitors expecting an almost seaside restaurant to major in fish may be disappointed as it plays a relatively minor role, this is covered in the main menu by the 'fish of the day’ option and there may be additional daily specials too.
And the seafood offered is very tempting - crab with toast and celeriac remoulade makes a lovely starter, for example, and a speciality main dish is Portavogie prawns & tarragon, with Mornay sauce and duchess potatoes.
Other upbeat classics with eye appeal as well as plenty of flavour include a starter salad of poached pear, with little gem, watercress, candied walnuts and blue cheese, and a choice of steaks - including a steak sandwich at lunchtime. Expect nice vegetarian options too - wild mushroom & garlic tartlet, perhaps, with red onion jam, toasted pine nuts and mustard cress
For dessert, you can't beat good renditions of favourites - strawberry pavlova, for example, or a luscious hot praline soufflé with berry compote – and there's that good coffee to finish.
The value is fair and friendly staff are a big plus, so a visit here should be very enjoyable. Music Sundays, held on the last Sunday of month, have become a diary fixture for local fans.