An attractive limestone-fronted building on the main street in Midleton, Pat O’Donovan’s highly-regarded restaurant blends traditional and modern decor - some features have been retained from its previous use as a pub, tables are elegantly set up with classic white linen tablecloths and napkins, and original modern oil paintings adorn the walls.
But the most interesting feature is the hand-written mouthwateringly promising menu which, with a choice of about nine starters and main courses and half a dozen desserts, offers a varied and adventurous meal and excellent value. Nothing but the best ingredients are allowed in this kitchen, and they are locally sourced where possible - fish comes from Ballycotton, mussels from Rossmore and scallops (when available) from Castletownbere.
The cooking is excellent, and some typical dishes will give the flavour - baked Ardsallagh goat’s cheese on puff pastry topped with fennel seeds, with a tomato chutney, blueberry and rosemary dressing, followed by a main course of roast chicken breast with chorizo and smoked paprika stuffing, with a wild mushroom and brandy sauce, and a delicious dessert of poached plum meringue roulade, with raspberry coulis: all perfectly cooked well presented and full of flavour.
Efficient, informative staff ensure that guests will enjoy their meal to the full, and a good wine list includes some interesting, unusual wines, and a fair choice of half bottles.
An early dinner menu offers outstanding value at about €25 for three courses, with a choice of five starters and mains and three desserts, many of which are off the main menu.