Southern Comfort Food Part 1: 16 Dishes on the Wild Atlantic Way
1. The first stop on our Cork road trip last summer was Cronins in Crosshaven, which is included in the 2017 Michelin Eating Out In Pubs Guide in Ireland. It was Cork Week, so the boat folks were in town, ahoy hoy. I'd heard it was a great spot for seafood and it turned out that one of my Ballymaloe classmates, Erin, was in the kitchen, a good sign. She recommended the hake in dill cream sauce, with green beans and fried potatoes.
2. My travelling companion, and sis, Laura, went for the Mussels, Monkfish & Chorizo, braised in cider, finished with cream, with crusty bread, salad and chips. Both dishes were perfectly cooked and presented, served with hearty sides, fresh salads and veggies.
The following day we drove west to Kinsale, one of my favourite towns. With plans to watch the Wimbledon Men's Tennis Final in the afternoon we got an early lunch at the Bulman, another Cork pub included in the Michelin Pubs Guide (pic below taken while we waited outside in the rain until they opened). It was a dull, grey day but, hey ho, we weren't in Cork for the weather.
3. I went for the half Kinsale Lobster, grilled with olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs, homemade mayonnaise and local leaves, with a Bloody Mary. Sitting at a window seat we looked out at the crashing waves, and enjoyed our feast. Heaven.
4. Our Kinsale Dilemma was that we were only there for 2 nights. How many meals could we reasonably squeeze in? Where to go? Geniuses that we are, we decided to split starters and mains in different places to ensure maximum restaurant coverage. That night we went to Aperitif and I had the starter below of Iberico chorizo with Rioja reduction, white pudding bon bon & smoked paprika mayonnaise. Aperitif is a wine and tapas bar, part of The Blue Haven Hotel in the centre of the town.
5. We had booked dinner at Fishy Fishy, an old favourite in Kinsale. In the picture below is the Seafood Chowder. And yes, that is the second starter of the evening. It's always busy and welcoming with a great atmosphere. It was loud and buzzing with couples, families, a large table of American golfers who had played out at the Old Head golf club. More bread and wine for the ladies at table 26. (Side note, wouldn't Loaves & Fishes be a great name for a seafood restaurant? Filing that one away under Pipe Dreams.)
6. Taste of the Sea platter and a glass of Rose. More oysters!
7. Pavlova with strawberries and cream for dessert.
It wasn't all eating and drinking. The next day we went out to the Old Head of Kinsale for a walk in the rain, good old Irish summer.
8. That evening, after a drink in the Greyhound, we stopped into Bastion for a quick bite, before our booking at The Black Pig Winebar. While Fishy Fishy and the Bulman are old favourites, both of these places are relatively new in Kinsale. It's a cozy spot that specialises in small plates. They also have a Bar Bites menu and Prosecco on tap. We sat at the bar and went for the oysters with shallot vinaigrette and mac and cheese croquettes. Both really good, and would go back to try more of their menu.
After Bastion we went on to The Black Pig, I'll fill you in on the second half of our evening and our travels further South to Baltimore.