It’s a long way down from the main road to reach the Maharees, but many would make the journey just for a visit to Marilyn and Michael Spillane’s great traditional pub – it’s been in the family since 1875 and they work hard at both the food and hospitality, earning a loyal following as a result.
After many years of informal self-service, the Spillanes decided to upgrade their system and offer full table service instead, and to accept reservations – so get there early if you plan to drop in without a booking.
This is a very popular place and the wide-ranging menu is designed to suit all tastes and age groups, offering a selection of starters/light dishes, pizzas and burgers, and vegetarian dishes – but it's mainly known as a seafood destination and, along with great steaks, this is where its strength lies.
The Spillanes take pride in offering a wide variety of local fish and seafood at a reasonable price and, as the daily offering depends on the catch, specials listed on the blackboard are the first place to look - and, of course, there's a wider choice available in summer.
You’ll find Cromane mussels, local crab claws and Dingle prawns (in prawn cocktail, for example, or scampi - the prawns for scampi are breaded by Ted Browne in Dingle), maybe even crayfish, along with smoked haddock fishcakes and, perhaps, grilled hake fillet or whole baked seabass; with the exception of the ubiquitous tiger prawn, it's nearly all from Kerry, with occasional additions from other Irish ports, eg scallops from Kilmore Quay.
In addition to the main menu, the blackboard will offer at least one extra meat dish and several extra fish dishes such as homemade smoked mackerel paté with toast and red onion marmalade, locally caught hake with bonne femme sauce and veg of the day - and maybe Spillane's fish pie, topped with mashed potato.
The pub is full of character and it can get very busy, but the full dinner menu is available from 4pm which is ideal for families.
*Self-catering accommodation also offered, in two new 2-bedroom apartments opposite the pub (beside beach); each sleeps 5.