The smartly presented traditional frontage of The Spinnaker would draw any hungry passer-by in to Niall and Maria Edmondson’s attractive neighbourhood pub/restaurant. And once inside the little porch it’s a welcome sight, with its rustic nautical theme and sturdy, practical tables set up for comfortable dining - very relaxed and enjoyable for family or group meals, it really works well.
Wide ranging menus offer plenty of choice, a mix of old favourites and other nice options. The famous seafood chowder (€9.95) is the house speciality and you can find the recipe on their website. It comes with homemade bread and it’s a really big portion - too much for some, it would be nice to see a half portion offered at a more accessible price (and it's worth mentioning that some prices have actually been reduced recently.)
It’s not all about fish but, given the location in a major fishing port, the fish and seafood choices are especially appealing and other great regulars include The Spinnaker’s excellent traditional beer battered fish with homemade chips mushy peas and salad, and baked “Dunmore East” seafood pie - a great mixture of smoked haddock, salmon, hake, prawn and mussels with a cheese and herb crust, salad & chips. Also great open salads - prawn, smoked salmon or crabmeat - on homemade brown bread, with salad and coleslaw.
Non fish eaters might be tempted by the homemade “Lamb Burger” which is served in the local speciality bread roll, the Waterford Blaa, along with Ballymaloe relish (made nearby in East Cork), salad, coleslaw and homemade chips, or perhaps one of the steak options, from Bobby Flynn’s butchers in Waterford - sirloin, fillet or surf’n’turf.
The Spinnaker is a Good Food Ireland member and there’s an emphasis on local suppliers which gives the menu a sense of place - an omelette among the vegetarian options is tempting when you see that it’s made with Rathmoylan eggs (local and free range); it comes with side salad and homemade chips (€14.95).
Except for the ice cream (made by Paginini in Wexford, you’ll see their ice cream cart at the door) all the desserts are homemade, and there’s a very nice children’s menu (including a junior version of those delicious lightly-battered fish & chips) and - a really lovely touch - they provide little steps in the loo so kids can reach the basins.
With a cosy fire in winter, outdoor seating and a pleasant semi-outdoor covered area too, it’s a really nice place to be whatever the weather - and, if the pricing seems on the high side for your needs, check out their special offers.
Kids eat free until 7.30 on Fridays, for example (max 3 kids per family); parents also must be eating (naturally enough) but there may be an early bird menu or an offer of dinner for two with wine for €60, so it’s well worth asking what’s on the cards. BYO is also allowed (€5 corkage) and there's regular music and big screen match coverage so there's always plenty of entertainment as well as good food.