“Just Ask!” Restaurant of the Month for December - The Square Table, Blarney, Co Cork

An attractive, neatly presented stone building in the centre of Blarney is home to one of the area's most interesting restaurants, serving the very best of Irish food with a hint of French cuisine - ‘fine dining without the fuss’ in fact. It is run by twin sisters Martina (the chef) and Tricia (front of house) Cronin and, between them, they worked in some ground breaking restaurants, including Dublin’s Chapter One and the iconic Jacques Restaurant in Cork City, before opening their own restaurant in Blarney.

Top quality seasonal local produce is at the heart of this venture and it’s not something they’re keeping quiet about. Martina and Tricia are mad about their local produce and they’re two of the co-founders of the Old Butter Roads Food Trail (OBRFT) initiative which has recently been developed by the producers, eating places and visitor attractions of the area to celebrate the range of foods grown and produced in the Muskerry, Avondhu and Duhallow areas of County Cork.

So, of course, they love to share the local food story with customers. Many superb suppliers are listed, including a number of famous Cork butchers and meat and poultry specialists, among them Michael Twomey of the English Market (who is their mother’s butcher), Tom Durcan (famed especially for his Spiced Beef), the wonderful McCarthy’s of Kanturk (OBRFT), Ballinwillin House Farm of Mitchelstown (OBRFT) for wild boar and venison, Carrigcleena Farm Poultry and Gubbeen Meats charcuterie from West Cork.

Fish is sourced equally carefully - K O’Connell Fish Merchants, English Market, is a main supplier, and Smoked Salmon comes from Old Mill Bank at Buttevant, for example - and when it comes to vegetables and dairy, this lucky chef has an exceptional range of top producers to choose from, including some outstanding growers (Kilbrack Farm, Annabella Farm, Dripsey Farm Fresh), the incredibly beautiful Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms, and many famous cheeses such as Hegarty’s, Coolea, Macroom Mozzarella, Toonsbridge Dairy, Bluebell Falls, Gubbeeen and Cashel Blue….

And every detail counts in this kitchen, where the eggs are sourced from O'Briens Eggs in Whitechurch, Longueville House apple brandy is used through their cooking and they choose Follain Preserves for their jams.

As they say themselves, “As with all good places to eat, in order to meet our high standard of food we rely on good ingredients, produced locally where possible.” Menus (and staff) are very informative and the website is a joy, not only sharing a suppliers list and links to their own sites, but also a little video showing the produce and the beautiful dishes that Martina creates with them - including a must-try for anyone visiting the restaurant, their gorgeous Signature Dish of crispy egg with Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms and hollandaise sauce…

Martina and Tricia’s ‘eat local’ vision for this delightful restaurant is a real tonic - and it’s definitely worth a detour.

Dinner Served from 6pm to 9pm Wednesday and Thursday, 6pm to 10pm Friday and Saturday. Our Specials change seasonally.
Cocktail of mixed olives served with sun-dried tomato tapenade, house pesto, extra virgin oil and crispy bread €6.96 (1) (8)
Soup of the Evening €5.95
Tom Durcan’s Carpaccio of Spiced Beef, cured Foie Gras, apple purée and roasted hazelnuts €12.50 (1) (8)
Old Mill Bank Smoked Salmon with Irish crab, pickled ginger, avocado purée, granny smith apple €10.95 (2) (4) (7)
Bluebell Falls Goats Cheese, beetroot chutney, organic salad leaves and Parmesan crumble €9.25 (1) (3) (7)
Crispy egg, Ballyhoura mushrooms, McCarthy’s bacon and hollandaise €9.25 (1) (3) (7)
Charcuterie board of West Cork Gubbeen Salami and Chorizo, Ballinwillin Farm salami, Tom Durcan’s carpaccio of spiced beef, Michael Twomey’s crispy black pudding, Free range Duck ham, tomato and apple chutney, house piccalilli with breads €12.95 (1) (8) (9) (10) (11)
Pan-fried fresh Hake, Jerusalem artichoke and mussel velouté, Gubbeen chorizo and organic spinach €23.50 (2) (4)
Michael Twomey’s Angus Aged 11oz Rib Eye Steak with confit shallot onion, chips and béarnaise or pepper sauce €27.95 (3) (7)
Free range chicken, onion purée, Ballyhoura mushrooms, caramelised Gubbeen Salami, with a Whitechurch cheddar potato gratin €22.95 (7)
Roast Monkfish, Irish crab tortellini, peanut, coconut milk, chilli velouté with sautéed pak choi €25.50 (1) (2) (3) (4) (7) (8)
All the above dishes are served with mash potato and seasonal vegetables
Potato gnocchi, organic local spinach, roasted squash, Ballyhoura mushrooms with a tomato and chilli sauce, Coolea cheese served with organic salad leaves €18.50 (1) (3) (7) (8) (v)
Additional sides
Mash potato €3.95
Chips €3.95
Seasonal vegetables €3.95
Annabella Farm organic green salad €3.95
Homemade brown bread and soda bread €3.50

Vegetarians and people with dietary requirements please ask server.
Produce sourced locally and from the English Market.
Allergens:?(1) Gluten; (2) Crustaceans; (3) Eggs; (4) Fish; (5) Peanuts; (6) Soybeans; (7) Milk; (8) Nuts; (9) Celery; (10) Mustard; (11) Sesame seeds; (12) Sulphur dioxide and sulphites; (13) Lupin; (14) Molluscs.

LOCAL PRODUCERS - As with all good places to eat in Cork, in order to meet our high standard of food we rely on good ingredients, produced locally where possible. These are some of our suppliers (OBRFT - Old Butter Roads Food Trail member):

Vegetables and Salad
Kilbrack Farm (organic)
Annabella Farm (OBRFT)
Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms Ltd.
Dripsey Farm Fresh Veg

Meat Suppliers
Michael Twomey Butchers (OBRFT)
McCarthy’s of Kanturk (OBRFT)
Ballinwillin House Farm – wild boar and venison, Mitchelstown (OBRFT)
Gubbeen Meats
Tom Durcan Meats, English Market

K O’Connell Fish Merchants, English Market
Old Mill Bank Smoked Salmon
Liscannor Crab

Hegarty’s Cheese (Whitechurch) (OBRFT)
Coolea Farmhouse Cheese Toonsbridge Dairy (OBRFT)
Macroom Buffalo Mozzarella
Bluebell Falls Artisan Cheese (OBRFT)
Gubbeen Farmhouse
Cashel Blue, Crozier Cheese

Tom O’Brien, Whitechurch – Free range eggs (OBRFT)
Macroom Mill (flour)

Boulaban Farm, Tipperary (ice cream)
Featherbed Farm, Wexford (ice cream)
Velvet Cloud Sheep’s Milk Yogurt
La Rousse Foods
Redmonds Fine Foods

Bertha’s Revenge Gin (OBRFT)

Martina and Tricia are two of the co-founders of The Old Butter Roads Food Trail (OBRFT) initiative which is developed by the producers, eateries and visitor attractions to celebrate the range of foods grown and produced in the Muskerry, Avondhu and Duhallow areas of Co. Cork.

+ YouTube video - includes Signature Dish: crispy egg with Ballyhoura Mushrooms and hollandaise sauce
“A taste from some of our wonderful suppliers: Kilbrack farm, Annabella Farm, Ballyhoura Mushrooms, Michael Twomey Butchers, McCarthy's of Kanturk, Ballinwillin House Farm, Carrigcleena Farm Poultry, Gubbeen Farmhouse Products, Tom Durcan Meats, K O'Connell Fish Merchants, Old Mill Bank Smoked Salmon, Liscannor Crab, Hegarty's Cheese, Coolea Cheese, Toons Bridge Dairy, Macroom Buffalo Mozzarella, Bluebell Falls.”

The Square Table, Blarney, Co Cork
(021) 438 2825; www.thesquaretable.ie

Opening Hours
Wed-Thu 6pm - 9pm,
Fri-Sat 6pm - 10:00pm,
Sun 12:30pm - 4:30pm

MORE SAMPLE MENUS https://thesquaretable.ie/fine-dining-sample-menus/

“Just Ask!” is a public awareness campaign that aims to encourage consumers when eating out to look for information on where the food (particularly meat) on their plate comes from, and encourages chefs to provide this information on their menus. The programme supports both large and smaller artisan suppliers, encouraging both Irish diners and visitors from abroad to support restaurants that are in turn supporting their suppliers.
Here at Georgina Campbell Guides we have always been avid supporters of the ‘eat local’ concept, and we enjoy reading menus that have a real sense of place. The dining experience is greatly enriched by knowing that the food on your plate is inspired by the produce and traditions of the area, and sourced nearby – and we would love to see more chefs sharing that precious information with their guests. If you are a visitor to the area, learning a little about local food and the people who produce it adds a special extra dimension to the visit – and, for residents, it reinforces a natural pride in the good things of their locality and makes a meal all the more enjoyable.
So, we are delighted by the high standard of menus that continue to be submitted for our ‘ “Just Ask!” Restaurant of the Month Competition’, menus that really speak of the best of Irish foods – and the dedication of both the people who make them, and the chefs who select them to create wonderful dishes with real Irish flavour for our enjoyment.

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