Southern Comfort Food Part 2: 16 Dishes on the Wild Atlantic Way
In Part 1 , I shared the first 8 of my favourite 16 dishes on a trip to Cork last summer, from Crosshaven to Kinsale. In Part 2, I'm picking up in the Black Pig Winebar, after we had a little pre-dinner apertif in Bastion.
9. The Black Pig was opened in 2014 by Gavin and Siobhan Ryan, formerly of Dublin's Ely wine bar. They offer 50 wines by the glass and specialise in locally-sourced organic produce, served on small plates and boards. We went for a selection of dishes to share, I started with the smoked Ummera duck breast, with orange, rocket & fennel and Korean sauce.
10. Organic Ballyhoura mushrooms on toast with Parmesan and local leaves.
11. Kinsale crab and macroom ricotta ravioli, with tarragon and ginger cream, sea samphire and parmesan.
12. It was a warm evening and we went outside to their cobbled courtyard to have their cheeseboard with St Tola, Comte, Brie de Meaux and Crozier Blue, and a glass of Madeira.
13. The following day, we drove on to Baltimore, stopping at Inchydoney to look out at the beach from the car. Deciding against a walk in the rain, we drove on. The sun was out again by the time we reached Baltimore and we had pizza for lunch, sitting outside Jacob's bar at the harbour.
14. Back to Jacobs in the evening for fish and chips in the evening sun.
15. Earlier in the week there had been an article in the Irish Times on women running food businesses in West Cork. One of these was Glebe Gardens and Cafe, which was a few minutes from our B&B so we headed there the following day for lunch. Glebe is a family-run cafe, garden, farm shop and venue, another spot that is showcasing the produce of the region. Besides their great food, it's lovely to wander around their herb and vegetable gardens for a few hours. Below is the Baltimore Burger with melted cheese, cucumber pickle, homemade sweet chilli jam, with roasted potatoes and cabbage, pear and hazelnut slaw.
16. I went for the spinach, alaria seaweed and cheddar pastry with baked egg, broadbean pesto & beetroot salad.
A walk in Knockomagh wood, near Baltimore.
Dolphins on the boat trip we took from Baltimore harbour around the West Cork coastline.
So that's 16 dishes!
But! Saving the best for last, for our last night in Cork we had booked a table at Mews Restaurant. Looking at their website weeks before, there had been 1 table available the week we were in Cork, so we pretty much based our trip around that booking. It's a stone-walled coachhouse that had received brilliant reviews since opening in 2015. The 'ingredient-focused convivial menu' outside the building lists the ingredients they are cooking with on a given week, based on what's been gathered from the local area that day - meat from local farmers, fruit & vegetables from market gardeners and wild foraged ingredients.
Each dish was introduced as it was brought to the table, and is served as a series of dishes to be shared amongst the group. We went the whole hog and went for the wine pairings too. Each wine was introduced by their Sommelier, starting with an Irish Perry Cockagee. Perry...what a delicious drink, a sparkling pear cider, I had never tasted it before and it was a gorgeous start to our meal. The food was fantastic, simple ingredients cooked perfectly. A highlight for me was Sarah Devoy's courgettes that had been barbecued outside the kitchen, smoky and meaty. On their menu they request no phones in the restaurant, so no photos of the dishes here. Mews is one of those special places it's worth making a trip down to Cork for, and a perfect place to wrap up our week.