Attractively situated on the quieter short stretch of road leading up to the gates of the Old Midleton Distillery, and opposite the river and a small park, this smart modern restaurant is an appealing place and especially convenient for visitors to the distillery.
Raymond Whyte is originally from the area and, together with head chef Stephen Lee (formerly at Jacobs on the Mall and Bayview Hotel Ballycotton), he has established a reputation for interesting food and top notch cooking - the style is broadly French/Mediterranean, although pride is taken in sourcing local produce for the kitchen, including seafood from Ballycotton, and meats from local farms.
There's a generous, welcoming feeling to the bright room (well heated in winter), which has very pleasant ambience with comfortable seating and large, well spaced tables - and, even at the busiest times, pleasant staff welcome new arrivals quickly and bring menus to the table.
A good choice of about seven starters and main courses is offered on set menus (the early dinner is particularly good value), with an à la carte also offered from 7.30pm each evening and all Saturday evening.
All the usual bases are covered well - salad, steaks, pasta dishes - but there is much else beside. Dishes recently enjoyed that are well worth watching out for include a starter tartlet of local Ardsallagh goats cheese with a fennel salad and a spinach herb pesto, and a delicious main course of free range duck - a half duckling with walnut stuffing, served with apricot and apple compote and jus - and finish perhaps with an enticing date and butterscotch pudding for dessert.
A surprisingly extensive wine list includes some treats, along with affordable house wines - three reds and three whites are available by the glass, as is a wine of the month. And it is worth noting that, although not listed, green teas and decaffeinated coffee are served.
For some time, Raymond has quietly been doing here what customers are now demanding - imaginative but not over-fussy cooking of fresh local ingredients - and a visit to this pleasing restaurant is sure to be an enjoyable dining experience.