Located above the Strand House Bar in the heart of the picturesque seaside village of Strandhill, proprietor Anthony Gray’s hidden gem of a restaurant offers tempting menus specialising in steak and seafood.
The restaurant took its name Trá Bán (White Strand in Gaelic) from the beautiful unspoiled beach which it overlooks. Stunning views of the Blackrock lighthouse, dating from 1834, and the Clocháns on Innismurray Island can also be enjoyed from this first floor dining room.
With quality and freshness a priority, there is a commitment to using only the finest local ingredients and Anthony takes pride in listing his suppliers on the menu, among them the Sligo fishmonger John Flynn, who supplies fresh fish and shellfish; Dathi O’Dowd of Mullaghmore Sea Pond, supplier of fresh wild lobsters; Sherlocks of Tubbercurry butcher (beef and lamb), BD Foods (poultry) and farmers markets etc .
There is no getting away from the seaside in this busy restaurant, as walls are adorned with seascapes and fish dishes abound on menus which are wide ranging and carefully crafted to combine quality with popular appeal.
Good versions of many dishes that have stood the test of time, feature – fresh fish and seafood chowder, crab claws in garlic butter, anything on the steak menu, and reassuringly traditional desserts are all examples - but a favourite starter that indicates the chef’s more adventurous mindset is his famed Taste of the Wild Atlantic Way speciality of Pan Seared Diver Scallop, Kattaffi Prawn, Mullaghmore Baby Crab Cake and Lissadell Mussels with Carrot and Ginger Purée...
Another exciting dish that also has novelty is Daithi O’Dowd's Mullaghmore lobster tossed in fresh linguini with a champagne cream sauce,flaked almonds and balsamic cherry tomato. This very tasty and substantial main course has an element of surprise and, like most of the dishes, it is accompanied by an appealing selection of seasonal vegetables.
The atmosphere is relaxed, and the meal experience is casual and unrushed, so the diner has plenty of time between courses to watch the surfers catch a wave and, on a good evening, to enjoy the wonderful sunset over the Atlantic.
Service is friendly and efficient, with staff displaying good menu knowledge and able to explain exactly how dishes are cooked and served.
The value offered is good – notably on the 3-course early dinner (just €23, including tea or coffee).
Also at: Eala Bhán in Sligo Town