Fans of Chef Michael Mee’s popular Carrick-on-Suir restaurant will be pleased to find that he has relocated to the holiday town of Tramore.
Set on quiet Market Street, the front door opens onto a light-filled double height room with steps leading up to a small balconied area, framed by pine railings. Original paintings (all for sale) add interest to pale cream-painted walls and an open door allows diners a view to the kitchen, where Michael is busy working – one of many similarities between this new enterprise and his previous restaurant at Kilkieran Cottage.
White-clothed tables are set with gleaming glassware, and pristine white plates provide the classic background for Michael’s well presented food. The welcome is warm and a friendly waitress - who is one of the team that relocated with Michael - quickly brings iced water in a pretty green bottle and a basket of homemade breads.
Everything is homemade here and Michael is committed to sourcing local, preferably organic, produce where possible. As you might expect in a coastal town, there’s an emphasis on fish, most of it landed in nearby Dunmore East.
Starters include Dublin Bay prawns with garlic and lemon butter – a speciality that’s also available as a main – and perhaps Atlantic crab cakes or pan-seared fresh tuna with Nicoise salad. Other quite classical starters may include duck liver parfait with redcurrant jelly and toast and roast mushroom & Blue Bell’s goats cheese gateaux, roast pepper coulis & black olive tapenade.
Of the ten main courses there will be about four fish dishes, typically including seared Dunmore king scallops with basil pesto cream and parmesan shavings and roast fillet of Dunmore monkfish in Parma ham, with red pepper jus.
But you don’t have to choose fish to eat well here, as lamb from the nearby Comeragh Mountains is a speciality; veal and dry-aged beef (both fillet and sirloin) are popular too, while Mary Walsh’s free-range chicken is a treat for poultry lovers. And vegetarians won’t feel left out either – a typical choice might be a well made wild mushroom and saffron risotto.
Main courses are served complete with pottaoes of the day and vegetables, which may include less usual offerings such as courgette fritters and al dente mange tout, broccoli and carrots.
Desserts are a highlight and the choice offers a wonderful pavlova with fresh strawberries (in season), almond tart and poached pears.
A shortish wine list is mainly French, with a sprinkling of European and New World bottles. Chilean house wines (€17. 50) are also available by the glass (€5.50) and some good value half bottles include a Faustino at €13.
The food is terrific, with some nice original touches, and portions are generous. Offering great value together with friendly and well-informed service, Market Street Restaurant has the recipe for success.