Patrick and Helena Keenan’s gorgeous restaurant with rooms is in a stunning shoreside location, looking right up Lough Ramor - where little fishing boats and wildlife activity around pretty wooded islets are a constant source of interest.
It’s mainly a new build and, while it may still look a little raw and ‘nouveau’ from the road, once inside you’ll find a stylishly furnished foyer and bar/reception room and, beyond it, a spacious contemporary restaurant filled with shimmering light from the lough, which laps the shore just at the end of the garden. Even before you eat a mouthful, it’s easy to see why this has become a destination restaurant drawing diners from a very wide area – and the food is really good.
Chef Thomas McCaul’s seasonal menus offer a tantalising selection of quite classical dishes - with choices like seared scallops with pressed ham terrine, warm salad of baby onions & girolle mushrooms, chicken reduction & baby watercress among the starters, and mains including Kettyle beef (Irish angus sirloin or fillet in the evening, or roast ribeye for Sunday lunch) or a trio of seafood (with seasonal accompaniments such as baby new potatoes, leek & shallots and a warm tomato vinaigrette), you just want to try everything.
While you decide, there’s an irresistible selection of freshly baked breads with tapenade and flavoured oils to dip – and maybe even a little taster portion of something delicious, like celeriac soup, too.
The cooking is spot-on, with every dish tasting as good as it looks – which is very good indeed, with imaginative touches to lift the classicism yet none of the OTT cheffy excesses that currently spoil so much good food.
Unusual, refined side dishes featuring seasonal vegetables are a highlight, also beautiful desserts such as a perfect rhubarb pannacotta with light, crisp shortbread – and chocolate brownie with white chocolate & hazelnut chips, ground pistachio & honeycomb ice cream (“best ever!”).
Add reasonably priced wines, good coffee and efficient service to the mix and it becomes obvious why this lovely restaurant has become such a hit.
Accommodation is also available, in eight spacious en-suite rooms; all are furnished to a very high standard and five have lough views. A delightful place to stay and explore the treats that this beautiful area has to offer. [Registration pending.]