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“Has to be one of the best places to eat in Ireland” 5 of 5 stars
Review of MacNean Restaurant

MacNean Restaurant
Main St, Blacklion, Ireland
071-9853022
Website
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Ranked #1 of 2 Restaurants in Blacklion
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $0 - $141
Cuisines: European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Doing business, Romantic, Entertaining clients, Large groups
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Reservations
Sligo, Ireland
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Has to be one of the best places to eat in Ireland”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2013

Worth the long drive. The tasters menu is fantastic as are the choices of wines. A relaxed atmosphere staff are helpful and friendly. You never feel rushed. The food is like a work of art. A great experience

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362 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    326
    21
    12
    2
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cork, Ireland
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
138 helpful votes 138 helpful votes
“One of the best experiences I've had”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2013

Blacklion is a fair old drive from where we live in Cork but it was worth it to experience the Prestige Tasting Menu that is offered here by chef and proprietor, Neven Maguire. We were a bit hungry upon arrival and dinner was still a few hours away so thanks to the staff for sorting us out with a coffee and a few biscuits to keep us sane while we waited for the main event. In fact, service here is exemplary. Everyone does what they can to please and you really feel that the customer service is being driven right from the top down. Before being seated for dinner, we were seated in the bar and could go through the menus. Everything looked fantastic and we were having a hard time deciding what to go for. At this point, we got to meet Neven himself which was amazing - he's so natural, down-to-earth and engaging. Discussing our dilemma, he offered to give us a little, tiny extra sample of kid goat along with the Prestige menu (which it was absent from) - as that would pretty much allow us to taste everything we wanted to, we decided to go with that ... along with the wine choice :) It wasn't cheap but we had come a long way and were unlikely to be back for a while. Thanks to Neven also for his kind gift to me of a signed copy of one of his books on account of the fact that it was my birthday - a lovely, touching gesture and another example of superior customer service.

It was the right move to make though. Such a selection of wondrous food and fantastic accompanying wine served on unusual and striking crockery. Presentation, staff, taste, texture, balance - everything was so good. We had problems keeping up with the new wines for each dish - maybe we shouldn't have but it was fun doing so. Definitely one of the best culinary experiences that I have ever or am likely to have.

Overall, it was a little pricey to eat there but it is definitely a treat experience and you get an outstanding variety of food to eat. The staff have to be paid too, I suppose, and one gets the feeling that they're all in it together. You just get the feeling from the work ethic in the place that Neven is probably the hardest working man in Cavan. Would absolutely love to go back but the booking experience is a little awkward and it is too far from Cork to be convenient so it will have to wait until another special occasion in the future - until then we wish the MacNean team every success.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Northern Ireland
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“More of an art exhibition than a dining experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2013

The staff were as warm, knowledgeable & hospitable as you could find anywhere in the world. The presentation and flavour of the individual dishes was exquisite - a painstaking amount of effort had gone into each of the 9 tiny courses(including the 4 mouthful maincourse) we were served. This is the modern trend in highest quality cuisine where Nevin competes against Roux, Blumenthal and the like. He does it exceptionally well. He is a really nice guy - we met him on a previous visit and he is as genuine as he appears on his TV series.
However, something has been lost in all of this. For me, it was too pretentious. We ate at Rick Stein's restaurant in Padstow a year or so ago. Decent portions of simply prepared but highly flavoured food. The beef on my main course in the Macnean was 2 teaspoon sized pieces with an intricate, colourful display of sauce patterns on the plate. They both tasted quite nice for the 5 secoonds it took me to chew them.
I'm not directly criticising the Macnean, more the current fashion in haute cuisine.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Ireland
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“Another special event; Another evening at McNean's”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2013

In celebration of Thanksgiving we booked into McNean's, sure that we would have a perfect evening. We were not disappointed! Over the years we have made the journey to this family-run restaurant; over the years we have experienced spectacular food and service. The enterprise has expanded beyond the original B andB/restaurant to several times its size but it has maintained a high quality of service, food and professionalism. A very generous host and creative chef. We opted for the five-course dinner menu but with the amuse broche it turned into an eleven course event. Small portions but each one impeccably presented and a treat for the eyes and palate.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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ireland
1 review
“What a beautiful Sunday lunch experience at McNean's”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

Excellent all round experience. We thoroughly enjoyed lunch at McNean's. Staff knew menus and wines and helped provide a wonderfull afternoon of great food and pleasant surroundings. This was certainly worth the wait of having to book so far in advance.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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