Down a lane a hundred yards or so from the main square, The Mews restaurant is a distinctive low-beamed stone building, reminiscent of Brittany, with a sun room attached that floods the small restaurant with light.
It is one of the area's most attractive restaurants and a lovely setting for the return to Baltimore - for one season only - of Susan Holland and Ian Parr, who now live mainly in France but ran the nearby Customs House to great acclaim some years ago.
This was what we said about them in 2004, when The Customs House was our Seafood Restaurant of the Year - and, give or take a euro (less) here and there, a few new dishes, and the introduction of BYO wine, it still holds true:
"...The secret of their achievement is an unswerving philosophy of using only the best and freshest of local produce in season, keeping it simple - and giving real value for money. They do great daily menus - menus that highlight local seafood, especially, which is cooked by Susan with flair and served by Ian with unflappability - and are incredibly keenly priced. The couple, who are Australian, have been running the Customs House as a seasonal restaurant since 1995, then use the winter months to travel. They have worked in some very distinguished kitchens indeed and, between them, have over 60 years experience in hospitality, in half a dozen countries - and, each summer, visitors to the little town of Baltimore are the fortunate beneficiaries of all this talent and commitment."
"...Superb ingredients are presented with deceptive simplicity, mostly in classic French and Italian dishes served with organic salads, or simple, perfectly cooked organic side vegetables like new potatoes and spinach. You may well begin the EUR38 menu with a wonderful seafood tapas plate, typically of langoustine (Dublin Bay prawns), ceviche of brill, peppers stuffed with brandade of salt cod and crab claw meat, each with its own dressing or garnish; alternatively there might be a rocket salad zinging with vitality, with parmesan, pine nuts & balsamic vinaigrette - and perhaps one or two unlisted ingredients added, like semi-dried tomatoes and puy lentils; thoroughly satisfying. Main courses depend on the catch but at least three of five or six main courses will probably be fish: a classic Dover sole meunière perhaps; a duo of brill and turbot fillets, with salmoriglio sauce; monkfish flamed in brandy, with langoustine sauce. Then there are those unbeatable timeless desserts - rich chocolate fondant with house lavender ice cream, tarte tatin with house vanilla ice cream, or farmhouse cheese - Cooleeney, Ardagh - in perfect condition. All this is complemented by Ian Parr's efficient, refreshingly low-key service."
Plus ca change.
Get there if you can.