The untimely closure of John and Julie Finn’s much-loved restaurant Dillon’s was a big loss to Timoleague, but it has proved to be Kinsale’s gain since they opened their new venture, Finn’s Table, here in spring 2013 - and moved effortlessly into the top rank of a very competitive class, with many fans following them to their new location.
Inviting on the outside, with a beautifully painted exterior and smart white shutters halfway up the windows, it’s gorgeously comfortable inside and the step up, from bistro to full restaurant with beautifully appointed tables, has been achieved with flair and skill.
Importantly, the welcome and the chat are as warm as ever - and, of course, the cooking is a class act. As anyone who knows John Finn’s form would expect, valued local suppliers are a central feature of the menu, which is sprinkled with promising names like Ummera, Toons Bridge, and even the Finn family themselves, who are butchers and supply the beef and lamb.
Begin perhaps with lip-smackingly good starters like steamed organic Roaring Water Bay mussels with white wine, ginger and parsley or a confit of West Cork duck with foie gras and apple jelly - and, to follow, steak or rack of lamb from the Finn butchers will be very tempting, although fish also features strongly, of course. Hake with Ummera smoked bacon; pan fried medallions of monkfish with West Cork scallops; and grilled fillets of John Dory all caught the eye on a recent visit.
A short but tempting dessert list includes quite unusual choices such as a rosewater yoghurt panna cotta with poached rhubarb, which makes a gorgeous and refreshing dessert - ideal to follow the meat dishes.
An impressive wine list is quite extensive, with choices by the glass ranging from €6.50 for a Languedoc Merlot, or by the half bottle with a Loosen Estate Riesling at €15.50. Great choice by the bottle including, for instance, reds from the Napa Valley, Bekaa Valley, Gigondas and Piedmont.
Pricing matches the style and quality of food and, with lots of new produce coming in daily (including local lobster) there are changes to both the early evening menu and the à la carte every day - all of which which adds to the sense of personal care and value at this great Kinsale destination, ensuring that every customer will want to revisit as soon as possible.