My first visit here was last Thursday night. Its a real shame that I haven’t been before, living so close to it. I was very excited about trying the new Tasting Menu. I had also heard great reports about the new chef  Robbie Krawczyk. We arrived early for our table which was great as we got to walk around the beautiful grounds first and sip on a lovely chilled glass of prosecco. 20140918_182917

The menu reads very well and making changes to it was no problem. The restaurant was very quite, with one other table dining. It was early at 7pm and we didn’t mind, as we have a view of the kitchen and got to watch our dishes been prepared. Our waitress was polite, and explained our menu to us and very knowledgeable about the wines.

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We placed our order, and fresh from the oven our breads arrived. Having bread for me is a real treat as not everyone remembers the lactose intolerance girl dining. The bread was simple but my husband got to taste the butter and declared it was the best he had ever eaten. We couldn’t help but admire the dining room, it was so elegent and the lighting was just perfect. No posh table cloths, which I really do be grateful for, only because I have a habit of spilling food or drink all over them. ( usually red wine ) Our Amuse Bouche arrived. I know it was Salmon ( below left ) but for the life of me I can’t remember what else was in it.  It was just divine and went perfectly with our Prosecco. Light and delicate and I remembering declaring to my husband that I could simply eat spoonfulls of it. Our next course arrived and for me it was the best dish of the night, Crab and Lobster, Cucumber, Grapefruit, Roe. ( below middle ) trust me when I say that it tasted just as good as it looks. Again a very light and fresh flavour. The cucumber matched perfectly with the lobster. To be honest I wasn’t  sure when it arrived if I should admire it or eat it. Robbie is very talented. This dish to me was Michelin Star. It worked perfectly. It was then followed by Rhubarb Sorbet

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We were getting quite full at the stage and I did feel that the dishes were perhaps coming out to quickly from the kitchen, I would have preferred a little bit more time between courses. We still had three more courses to get through and another two tables had arrived and were enjoying the tasting menu also. Our next course was Hake, Sea Asparagus, Cauliflower, a Fennel puree was replaced in stead of the brown butter.  (Below Left) I found that the fennel puree slightly over powered the dish. Other than that it was a lovely course. The Hake was cooked nicely, great texture and quite a big portion. Next I was treated to Turbot, Ratatouille, Aubergine Caviar, Squid Ink. ( below middle ) Excellent piece of Fish. Unfortunately my camera does not do justice for this dish. The Aubergine Caviar was to die for. I honestly could have eaten pots of it. I was really impressed through out our evening that all dishes were seasoned perfectly. I did notice and did make the comment to my husband that a lot of components had been repeated in some of the dishes. I remember a few months back having dinner in Virgina Park Lodge where Richard Corrigan had put on a tasting menu for 30 of us. The same comment had been made to Richard where he quite simply told them, that he doesn’t believe in waste and if he needed to use the same ingredient in another dish then he will. I later discovered after speaking to Robbie that he had worked with Richard Corrigan. Im a great believer in not wasting food and had no problem with this.  For our final course I was in for treat.  I never order dessert anymore as I usually get the waiters head tilt to the side, as he explains that he’s sorry and that all I can have is a fruit salad. But this was not the case here. I was given chocolate and lots of it. I have to say its been years since Iv had chocolate. It was divine. The dessert was Coco Barr Chocolate, Edible Bark with a Blackcurrant Sorbet.  ( below right )

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I can not express enough how wonderful the food is here. The effort that Robbie and his team when to to make my evening enjoyable did not go unnoticed. Im embarrassed that I live so close to Tankardstown House and this amazing food, and it has taken me so long to try it out.  Im already planning my next date there. Sunday lunch with friends.

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