A jaunty blackboard welcomes visitors to Ballycotton harbour into Colin Hennessy and Holly FitzGerald's appealing restaurant. It takes up a couple of rooms at The Inn by the Harbour pub and, while simple, is a very pleasant venue, with sea views on two sides which adds to the experience in fine weather.
Seafood is of course the speciality that every visitor to Ballycotton expects and, although the offering is season and weather dependent (the selection will inevitably be more restricted if Ballycotton is storm bound), fish lovers should not be disappointed. In season there is likely to a good selection of very fresh shellfish - shrimps, prawns, scallops, lobster and crab - on the menu, as well as freshly caught hake and other fish off the boats based in the harbour below.
However Colin, who is the chef, has a culinary ace up his sleeve, as he aims equally to showcase 'the harvest of our local farms' - and this may be part of the reason for their success as, despite Ballycotton's reputation for being very seasonal, Colin and Holly have made Pier 26 a popular all year destination.
As to the food, it is a delight. There is a strong emphasis on blackboard specials (on all courses) and a brilliant suppliers list welcomes the dinner into their local world of food.
Simply and carefully cooked to bring out the best in these carefully sourced ingredients, every dish is appealingly presented without undue fuss, served with efficiency and charm - and tastes wonderful.
No wonder this pleasing restaurant is so successful, it is well worth the journey.