Opposite the Everyman Palace Theatre and approached through a cobbled courtyard, this attractive Cork hotels got comfortable spacious rooms at a fairly reasonable price.
The hotel is on a very busy street, but well designed double glazed windows successfully reduce traffic noise and all rooms have air conditioning. Fourteen newer superior rooms are quietly impressive and they set the standard for refurbishment of all the existing bedrooms (now complete).
A few of the rooms at the back have a charming outlook onto the waterfall, which is a feature from the restaurant.
Small Conferences (50); broadband wi/fi; secretarial services available (from reception), video conferencing by arrangement; laptop sized safes in bedrooms. Children welcome (under 3 free in parents room, cot available free of charge, baby sitting arranged). All day room service. Car park nearby. No pets. Garden (courtyard). Self-catering apartments available (open all year).
Rooms 47 (14 executive, 4 shower-only, 37 no-smoking, 2 for disabled). Lift. Room service (all day). B&B €45-60 pps, ss €15. Closed 24-27 Dec.
Despite being next door to the well-known Isaacs restaurant (with the confusion of the hotel's similar name) Greene’s is well-established as a successful stand-alone restaurant and has a well-earned following - and the ante was upped again in 2013, when the highly regarded chef Bryan McCarthy (formerly at Springfort Hall, Co Cork and, briefly, the Savoy Hotel, Limerick) joined the team.
The approach from the street is attractive: the entrance under a limestone arch leads to a narrow courtyard with a waterfall - which is floodlit at night - making an unusual feature when seen from the restaurant.
Large windows and high ceilings make for a bright and airy feeling in the reception and restaurant areas – and, with stonework and brick walls, a pleasantly green outlook (complete with waterfall) and modern darkwood furniture all providing character, the atmosphere is definitely 'independent restaurant' rather than 'hotel dining room'.
A range of menus is offered at different times, including a Brasserie lunch menu, an early bird and the main evening à la carte.
Chef McCarthy loves his local suppliers and you will find many treasures - such as Jack McCarthy meats, Ummera smoked foods, Skeaghanore duck, Ardsallagh cheeses and Ballyhoura Mushrooms - listed on his well balanced menus. Expect to see foraged items too - the aim is for “simple food based on the best of ingredients and cleanly presented in a contemporary Irish style”, and vegetarians are not overlooked.
The quality is outstanding from start to finish, with all the niceties of fine dining observed and carefully sourced produce creatively handled and well delivered by Bryan McCarthy and a strong team that includes 2012 Euro-Toques Young Chef finalist, Jack O'Keeffe.
Following an amuse bouche such as spinach mousse with smoked duck, starters offer a diverse choice ranging from line caught mackerel to a shared English Market platter. Favourites include a dish showcasing a whole range of local foods - pork belly and scallops with Jack McCarthy black pudding, apple and cider - and organic salmon from Ummera 'three ways', served with lemon, beetroot, crème fraiche, cucumber and organic leaves.
Main courses offer everything from beef and lamb to duck (Skeaghanore Farm) and several seafood options, such as monkfish, brill, cod and scallops. All are tempting, but beef lovers should try the chef's speciality of slow cooked feather blade of Hereford beef, served with onion, shallot, shiitake mushroom and mashed potato, which is famed locally and beyond..
To accompany, the large well chosen wine list offers a good range of prices, countries and varieties. Reasonably priced favourites include the La Finca Torrontes and Malbec, both from Luigi Bosca of Mendoza (Argentina). If you are celebrating, there are some sparkling wines including a classy champagne by Bruno Paillard. There's also a large selection of beers and spirits available from the bar, and cocktails too - including a couple of non alcoholic ones.
Staff are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful, and this - plus a lively atmosphere and quite reasonable prices - adds to the overall experience.
The 4-course Early Dinner/ pre Theatre menu offers especially good value – and you can opt for a glass of wine in lieu of starter or dessert if you wish.