Taste Of India

This blog is slightly different from any other. Copper and Spices launched their Autumn Winter tasting menu on Tuesday 7th October.  I would normally blog about the food and atmosphere but I think my opinion would be slightly bias, seen as I own the restaurant, I don’t think it makes for good reading when you blog about yourself and blow your own trumpet, so I got all the guests to write down their experiences of the food, service and over all atmosphere. All content is genuine, good bad or indifferent.

Copper and Spices had the launch of thier Autumn Winter tasteing          Copper and Spices had the launch of thier Autumn Winter tasteing          Copper and Spices had the launch of thier Autumn Winter tasteing

 

 

 

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  Copper and Spices had the launch of thier Autumn Winter tasteing

 

Keith Dawn and Jamie Crawford ” We were greeted by Carmel Corrigan, owner of Copper and Spices with a big smile, glass of bubbles and a perfect atmosphere. For anyone who wants to experience the true Taste of India look no further than Copper and Spices Navan. Without doubt the best Indian food we have ever experienced. Bhalla Papdi Chat, lentil dimpling with tea infused chickpeas, they left a subtle but surprising taste a great start ( Jamies Quote) Scallops and Crab, presentation was amazing as they say you eat with your eyes, cooked to perfection, and a surprise to see on the menu, but a must try for seafood lovers. Pork belly and Shrimp, one of my favourites, but with an Indian twist, I’m converted. Lamb and venison, cooked to perfection, the lamb just melted in your mouth, the venison was excellent. Dessert, see below. We would like to thank Carmel and Nitin on a fantastic night, and a big thank you to the staff for yet another special evening. FYI DESSERT was amazballs, them macaroons were to die for. xxx”

  Copper and Spices had the launch of thier Autumn Winter tasteing

Lisa Boyle ” Very pleasant evening, glass of bubbly on arrival was a lovely touch. Great chance to try new dishes. Fish dish – delicious. Just the right amount of spices, 2nd dish Crab ball was yum, cauliflower puree went really well. 3rd dish prawns and pork belly, not sure bout the two together, but each component very nice (pork would be even yummier with crackling on top) Music creates nice atmosphere, love big candle holders and decor. Lovely staff, very helpful. I think Carmel is made for the job  the way she chats to each table.”

 

  Copper and Spices had the launch of thier Autumn Winter tasteing

Shane Glynn ‘The restaurant is quite pleasent and welcoming. First time here and first time to taste Indian food. The first 3 course were presented and tasted fabulous. The spices on the food were not to much and left an enjoyable taste in the mouth. We would return to the restaurant in the future and recommend to our friends.”

 

 Copper and Spices had the launch of thier Autumn Winter tasteing

Benny and Pauline Reilly ” Lovely friendly welcome with a glass of prosecco and a photo. The restaurant looks fab, very well laid out. Nice welcoming introduction to the evening by Carmel. Welcomed regular and new customers alike. Food was fantastic very tasty with just enough spice. Plates were very artistic and tasted as good as they look. Absolutely loved the pork and shrimps, it tasted sensational. Hubbys fav (so far) was Bhalla Papdi Chat. Great atmosphere, fab food, friendly staff. Will definitely be back again. Thank you.”

 

  Copper and Spices had the launch of thier Autumn Winter tasteing

Aoife and David Reilly ” 1st 2nd 3rd course stunning. Pork Belly amazing, never enjoyed pork belly like this in our life. Fabulous combination of flavours, spices and textures on every dish so far. Really seeing Indian food in a whole new light. With Carmel on front of house and Nitin in the kitchen it makes the ‘perfect” dining experience. Fabulous atmosphere and most importantly  fabulous food. Definite for a date night.”

 

  Copper and Spices had the launch of thier Autumn Winter tasteing

Nicola and Gordon McGuirk “Bhalla Papdi Chat, even though there was no meet the lentil dumpling was so ‘meaty’  we didn’t miss it. Loved the chickpea mix. Left a lovely heat after taste. This was our favourite dish so far this evening.  Scallops and Crab, first time eating scallops not a seafood fan but enjoyed it – not to fishy. Really enjoyed the crab croquette, soft and full of flavour. Excellent plate display, nice heat at back of throat. Pork and Shrimps, pork was soft and delicious. Enjoyed the Dhal. Shrimps were lukewarm and didn’t taste the chilli flavour, perhaps Dhal over powered the chilli.”

  Copper and Spices had the launch of thier Autumn Winter tasteing

Lorraine Melia and Des Corbet “We were warmly welcomed to the autumn winter tasting menu night at copper and spices with a lovely glass of bubbly. The night flowed perfectly from there, each course prepared for the next leaving us anticipating what came next. Had a very enjoyable night and as usual Carmel was the perfect hostess while Nitin works his magic in the back ground. Fabulous night, thank you for having us. PS omg- dessert – restaurant went quite. ”

 

  Copper and Spices had the launch of thier Autumn Winter tasteing

Claire Davey ” Nice neat flavours off the Bhalla Papdi Chat. The different textures of scallops/crab meat, cauliflower puree worked amazing together. Combination of mustard and curry crab meat, wow amazing. Ill be trying that at home. Melt in your mouth Pork Belly, nice hints of cinnamon from it. Perfect combo to the Dhal. Shrimp could do with more chilli/Lime very mild for my taste. Delicious Lamb cutlet, very tender and flavoursome, I felt the venison wasn’t at the same standard as the other items. It tasted very bland, over powered by the spring roll, it could have been any meat inside. Some jus or sauce would help? PANACOTTA PERFECTION, so many delicate flavours, did I taste Basil? The macaroon was a brilliant burst of coconut/pistachio. Nice to see local/Irish craft beers on draft, I hope more restaurants follow your lead. Thanks for a great evening”

 

  Copper and Spices had the launch of thier Autumn Winter tasteing

Tammy Byrne Tony Fogarty ” Enjoying the company and food. The food is fabulous, each course getting better. So we are looking forward to our final course, especially the dessert. The flavours and textures are fantastic and the presentation is 100%. I myself am not a fan of Indian food but have to say after tonight I am converted and I would gladly travel the 2 hours for dinner here again and we will book. DESSERT: WOW an orgasm in a bowl. ”

 

  Copper and Spices had the launch of thier Autumn Winter tasteing

Collette Carolan Grainne Cahil ” Fantastic food, just amazing well done Carmel and Nitin and staff. Very enjoyable evening.”

 

  Copper and Spices had the launch of thier Autumn Winter tasteing

Emma Mangan ” Pork and Shrimp was my favourite course, the flavour and combination of both the shrimp and pork was very enjoyable. Combination of flavours in the dishes were both unusual and exceptional, Tea infused Chickpeas.

Sylvia Skelton “Wow everything was amazing, had to choose a favourite, but pushed it would be the cinnamon lamb cutlet. Very enjoyable night, both relaxing and entertaining. Carmel was the perfect hostess as usual , one of my favourite restaurants, never fails to impress”

 

Copper and Spices had the launch of thier Autumn Winter tasteing              Copper and Spices had the launch of thier Autumn Winter tasteing               Copper and Spices had the launch of thier Autumn Winter tasteing

For pictures and tweets please check out https://twitter.com/search?q=tasteofindia&src=typd

Big thank you to The North Meath Herald and Kieran Mcguire Photos.

Copper and Spices  Autumn Winter tasting menu is available until the end January.

Copper and Spices had the launch of thier Autumn Winter tasteing

Copper and Spices

18Ludlow Street

Navan

Co.Meath

0469060648

copperandspices@gmail.com

copperandspices.com

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Winner of Ross Lewis Cook Book

It really has been a hard decision to pick a winner for this amazing Cook Book. I have chosen to give the book to Mark Bevin. On October 17th he is having a signed cookbook auction in aid of NIRDP. What a great cause. To find more info follow mark on twitter https://twitter.com/Robuchon1

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Smyths Beer Garden Festival

Attended a Craft Beer Festival last Saturday night in Smyths Beer garden in Navan which was hosted by Wayne and Janice Dunne ( known as the Beer Snobs)  Was really looking forward to this event as we were looking for another craft beer for Copper and Spices. I did attend the RDS a few weeks ago but it was so busy and such a great choice of beers that I simply couldn’t make my mind up.

We arrived at 8pm. Paid our E10.00 on the door, got our wrist bands and 2 beer tokens, the beer tokens enabled you to get 2 half pints of your chosen beer or 1 pint.  It was a little expensive considering that there was no food left, E5.00 for a half pint of craft beer. Also there were children present. I’m not a fan of seeing children at an alcohol event. These events should be strictly over 18.

First up to try was Dan Kellys Cider, a favourite of mine. It was also the first time some of my guests had tried it. My mom, my sister and a friend came with me. Considering my sister only drinks cider this was a great hit. She was very happy.

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I had to get my friend to try the new Brú, ( I’m a pro with bru beers by now) and again I was delighted that my friend gave the thumbs up. This beer never fails to impress me. There new flagship beer “Brú” is really great. I wish the lads every success with it. I know we will sell loads of it in Copper and Spices.

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Meeting lots of locals and customers, and listening to great music,until Dan Kellys cider ran out, as did my mom and sister, nothing left for them to drink (and we had purchased lots of tokens) so it was into a taxi and home for them.

With just the two of us left we decided to try and Bo Bristle IPA. Bingo. We had hit the jack pot. It was fabulous and I knew straight away that it would be getting stocked in Copper and Spices.  There was still a few beers left to try and we duly did, all were excellent but I had found what i was looking for.

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I think this event could have been a bigger success if it had been marketed correctly. From social media, local media, competitions, and local businesses. There simply wasn’t enough people talking about the event prior to the even except the brewers and organisers. I think its fair to say I’m quite active on social media and I think if i didn’t know the organisers i probably wouldn’t have heard about the event. I really do hope that more of these events take place around meath and we get to sample more great craft beer.

I would like to finally add that all the I formation in this blog is correct. I endeavor to give truthful constructive and unbiased feedback.

Ross Lewis Cook Book Competition

Received this amazing cook book in the post this morning. Really excited. Spent all morning looking at all the lovely pictures of great food.

However I can’t cook and I suppose been married to a chef I don’t need to know how to cook. So I  have decided to give this amazing cook book away to one of my lucky twitter followers.

Follow @Corrigansays to be in with a chance of winning this.

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Have you been on the Naughty Step ??

I’m always intrigued by customers requests when they come and dine.  Yesterday was another interesting one.

Where a young couple were not happy with our music selection. They left the restaurant when the staff refused to turn the music off.  (It had been turned down twice at their request)

I rather have a large back ground in Childcare and when I have to deal with  an upset  customer I think of them as  a child having a tantrum.
I must stay calm, maintain eye contact, take their name, and assure them that whatever has made them upset (if it’s possible) will be dealt with, always making sure that they don’t upset any of my other diners. If this fails then they must sit on the “naughty step” (exit door)

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Thankfully we don’t have to put this into practice often. More than 90% of our customers are great. What kind of a world would it be if everyone was the same.

How do you deal with naughty customers?

Virginia Park Lodge Pumpkin Festival.

FRIDAY 24TH – SUNDAY 26TH OCTOBER 

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What an array of events. 

  • Accommodation
  • Haunted Walks
  • Masquerade Pumpkin Ball
  • Lunches and Craft Beers
  • Paddy Casey Live 

The grounds of Virginia Park Lodge is ideal for this great festival.  I’m gutted that I’m going to miss this great event. Im a big fan of Richard Corrigan and have had the pleasure of dining both here in Cavan and in Mayfair.

Book now : info@virginiaparklodge.com

                   +353 49 8546100

Tankardstown House

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.

Get Twitting

Twitter
Getting Started with Twitter Marketing
Start at Twitter.com and open your free account – choose a name that represents your business eg CafeTropix, or use your own. Don’t be strange or mysterious – this is about promotion!
Next, answer the simple question on your Twitter home page: ‘what’s new?’ in 140 characters or less – that’s about the length of this sentence. In most cafes, restaurants or bars there’s a constant stream of news and changing events – it’s what attracts so many people to the industry! Here’s your chance to share it with hungry, thirsty and interested fans.
Once you have an account, you’ll want others to follow or ‘subscribe’ to your news – or ‘tweets’. It’s a little like moving to a new town, with no friends on the first day but they’re all around if you make an effort to find them. Use Twitter’s search function to find other restaurants or cafes, and see how they use the service – examples below.
Add a button like this to your website
Add a button like this to your website

Now promote your twitter name to customers, in promotional material and email signatures – you may have seen the little blue twitter-bird or logo that shows someone is using Twitter. If people follow you, follow them back if they look interesting – some people follow everyone, others are much more selective. Just click on the Follow button on their Twitter page.
You can post your Twitter updates directly on your Twitter home page, or use one of the ‘twitter tools’ that will follow updates and allow you to post without needing a web page open.
Popular tools for managing Twitter include:
Find people who Twitter in your local area usingNearbyTweets- make sure you include your city/town in your profile to help others find you in the same way.
Tweetr,TweetdeckandTwirhlto watch and post tweets.
UseTweetlaterto set up a series of Tweets for later – a great way to look busy and manage your time!
Create a special background for your Twitter page usingTwitbacks.
Important:Tweetbeepwill keep track of your name or the business name if it’s mentioned on Twitter.
…and many more – do a search for ‘twitter tools’.
Taking the first steps is simple…
1. JoinTwitter
2. Add a picture and write your profile – make sure to include a business name and describe what you do
3. Tweet something
4. Find and follow others
One tweet a week is OK, but one a day is better: managing the posts could be a good task for one of your young staff who always have their thumbs on their mobile, but make sure they can spell and run the item past you first! The main thing to remember:be interesting, don’t just rave on.
Your first twitter comments could be:
A menu highlight — A customer story — A local story or event
A staff comment — a surprising best seller — Wine tip — Special offer
Retweet (ie copy) of someone else’s tweet that caught your eye — Looking for a recipe
Unique ingredient or flavour — Wedding or function pictures — Another local business that twitters…
Watching how how other businesses like yours use Twitter will give you ideas about what to write. In your tweets, you can post links to websites and photos. For sharing pictures, use a service likeTwitPicand when you post a website link, it will be automatically shortened to fit within 140 characters.
Ideas for special Twitter promotions:
Ask followers for feedback on something specific eg ‘Please let us know how you liked Saturday night’s band?’ or ‘New menu now up – we’d love to hear you comments’
Promote a happy-hour event, music, food or sudden special
BUT: if you promote the same type of event every day, people will stop noticing or following you. Make the announcementrealnews, not just endless promotion.
Promote a Twitter-only Special. Customers who mention the Twitter special receive a special deal, free drink or something tasty. They will feel like ‘insiders’ and want recognition for being techno-savvy – make sure your staff know what Twitter is. Hopefully they are tweeting too!
‘Twitter Tuesday’ or ‘Twitter Thursday’ have a good ring to them – promote a special deal to be revealed in a tweet on that day. Promote your Twitter address on menus, blackboards and websites (where of course there’s a link to your Twitter and Facebook pages).
Offer a special prize for people who follow you eg ‘Follow @CafeTropico by 5pm EST to be entered to win a $100 gift certificate.’
Run a twitter feed on a screen or side of screen in the restaurant – one that tracks your Twitter feed or a special topic. Use a Twitter widget like the one at the bottom of this page, running it on the screen of a PC set up specially. It’s a small extra item of interest – an unused 17″ screen would be fine.
UPDATE: How to Use Twitter Searchfor business feedback, tracking news and discovering trends.
Restaurants, Cafes, Hotels & Bars Using Twitter
A very small selection of hospitality businesses using Twitter well – suggestions welcome:
SweetMandarin- a Chinese restaurant in the UK with a huge following
CarriageWorks- a Sydney event and entertainment centre
Kogi Korean BBQ- mobile food in Los Angeles
Double D’s Pizza- promoting regular deals and specials
FlatIron Cafe- they like talking about food!
Starbucks- keeping up a conversation with fans
Cafe Ba-Ba Reeba- updates from a busy Chicago restaurant
MuMu Grill- restaurateur very active with social media
Fix St James- restaurateur and sommelier very active with social media
Ken Burgin- the person who wrote this article!
There are more examples and videos about Twitter atTwitter Updateson this site.
You may want to include certain keywords in your tweets, called ‘hashtags’ eg #cafe or #Sydney – these are tracked by some people who use Twitter tools to keep an eye on certain themes. They’re also extensively used by people attending events – a hashtag will be promoted and everyone can follow subjects related to the event eg search for events about a recent internet conference with the tag #sxsw was used by the South by South West Technology Conference. Anyone can make up a hashtag.

Chameleon.

After a lovely afternoon walking around Dublin, we found ourselves in Temple Bar. We were hungry and it had started to rain. My husband suggested that we try Chameleon Restaurant. He had dined here a few weeks back and had teased me profusely  on twitter with his photos. I don’t like walking into a restaurant un announced, I tweeted to them to see if they could accommodate two hungry and wet customers.

We had a friendly welcome as we walked through the door from Nikki. She chatted with us for a while, and we were offered to dine upstairs or in the ‘Spice Bar’ down stairs. We decided to sit down stairs and we were allocated our table. Nikki explained the menus to us, and we decided to go for the Rijst Tafel Menu to share with a few extra Tapas. We decided to have the “Sumatra” . Tapas seems to be a big thing at the moment. A lot of places claim to be a tapas bar but are of course not. I was looking forward to seeing what Chameleon had to offer. Asian Tapas?

First we given Krupuk, to start  ( Deep fried crackers) a popular snack in Indonesia, as we were deciding on a wine. These were just what we needed to get our taste buds going.  ( Below Left)

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Our courses started to arrive and I was beginning to wonder had we ordered to much as dish after dish kept appearing on the table. But Nikki assured us that we hadn’t. First up was ‘Udang  Goreng” Black Tiger Prawns In their shell. ‘Ikan Bakar Colo Colo” Fresh Irish Fish baked in a Banana leaf parcel. (Above, Middle)) The prawns were Delicious, Crispy and cooked perfectly. The fish was really nice and with it wrapped in the banana leaf left it oozing with fresh flavours.  We had some lovely Spicy Condiments on the side which are great if you prefer your dishes a little more spicy. They were Chilli Paste, Soya, Pickled Veg and I think the last one was Onion. They were all so different and lots of flavours. My favourite was the Pickled Veg. (Above Right)

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The yellow curry was a big hit, mild,crunchy beans, courgettes and mangetout. Simple dish. The Crab and Haddock cake was simply one of the best “Fish Cakes” I have ever eaten. The Chilli and Mango dip on the side went perfect with it. Im not sure what Asian Herbs were added to it, and I forgot to ask, but I would suggest that you shouldn’t leave without trying this dish out. Tiger prawns with a chilli and pineapple were equally delicious. The Asian Salad (above and right) was another great dish and all the flavours were so different from each other.

Chameleon has a lot to offer for every tastebud and even all dietery requirements. I was very impressed with the food and flavors and the service was very friendly. Highly recommend.

An Port Mór.

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Been from Mayo I always love coming
home to visit my family.  Every time I’m home I come to see Frankie in An Port Mór.  The restaurant is located in Westport across from Matt Molloys pub. http://www.anportmor.com  Frankie has won several awards and most recently just won ‘Best Chef and Restaurant” in Connacht, in this year’s food and wine awards.

We arrived for dinner on a lovely summer evening.  Greeted by very friendly staff and shown to our table. We were starving and looking forward to some local honest food.  We were given the menus and as usual I had loads of questions. I really feel confident ordering in a restaurant where the service staff have a good knowledge of the menu. My queries were answered with confidence and our order was taken.

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I decided to order the Achill Island Smoked Fish Board, wild Irish tuna, peppered mackerel, honey roast Salmon, served with a selection of house chutneys. I couldn’t believe my eyes when it arrived. A feast fit for a king. I loved every element of this dish.  The peppered mackerel was to die for.

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The restaurant was buzzing and a full house on a Tuesday night.  I was getting very excited about my main course. Frankie was preparing something off the menu for me. I was been spoiled.

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When I received (pictured above) my main course, I was like a child with ice cream.  I couldnt wait to pick up my cutlery.  Wild Atlantic Salmon with Lobster. Sides of fresh Baby potatoes and in season greens. I really was beginning to feel like I was sitting on Keel beach in Achill.

No room for dessert we were given this lovely  jello shots. A nice touch at the end of the meal.

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Frankie and his wife Olivia really have a very special restaurant here in Westport. The menu has lots to offer for everyone from Pig Cheeks to Ribeye Steaks. However they pride themselves on local fresh seafood.