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“A wonderful experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of MacNean Restaurant

MacNean Restaurant
Ranked #1 of 2 Restaurants in Blacklion
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $141
Cuisines: Irish, European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Large groups, Romantic, Local cuisine
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
62 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“A wonderful experience”
Reviewed August 27, 2014

We visited MacNean House for dinner and an overnight stay and I have nothing but praise for the whole experience. The food was sublime but then again we expected no less. However as well as the food, what makes MacNean House so special is the staff, who are brilliant. We had a great chat with the barman who was so friendly and helpful and supplied us with a map of the area. We can't wait to return!

  • Visited August 2014
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Speedyreader
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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492 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
co mayo ireland
Level Contributor
47 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Belated birthday meal”
Reviewed August 24, 2014

And was it worth the wait, we were treated with 100%hospitality, the atmosphere was cool calm and friendly, neven and his staff were very friendly , chatting to each and everyone in his restaurant making everyone feel special, the food was wonderful and different but in a lovely different way to the norm, we loved it all , well worth the visit , cant wait to go back, not a place you would visit every month but as a treat or special occasion,, I even got a signed cook book from neven as a birthday present, how special is that, thank you to one and all

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank paulineweir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
76 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“So worth waiting for”
Reviewed August 21, 2014

We have tried to book this a number of times for different occasions and eventually we made our way to Blacklion last week. From the moment we walked in the door the experience started. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming - and not in an overly sweet way.
We were seated and a drinks order taken before a lovely Waitress explained the menu. As we were perusing it Nevan himself approached us to welcome us,and to see if we had any questions. He was very warm, affable and easy to talk to. He encouraged us to mix and match menus if we wanted to.
Once we were seated every staff member showed exceptional knowledge and professionalism, explaining each element of each dish in detail. It was such an experience to taste each of the flavours they described so well. Its a long time since i felt like licking my plates!!!
They had some good organic wine on the menu and their sommelier was again very knowledgeable and trusting her we really enjoyed our choices.
The atmosphere was lovely, really relaxed.
We left very well fed, very happy and looking forward to a return visit in the future.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Clare H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bailieborough, Ireland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Fantastic meal with excellent staff”
Reviewed August 20, 2014

Had a family meal for four.By far the best meal we have ever had in a restaurant. Would describe it as an EXPERIENCE rather than a meal.
I had been there before and wanted to bring family back to show what can be achieved by an outstanding restaurant.
We all agreed food was top class. Staff were something else. Everything was done to perfection from the minute we walked in to leaving 4 hours later. We were made so welcome by the Staff. Every dish was a masterpiece-both in presentation and in taste.
Would strongly recommend everybody should try this Restaurant for that special occasion as you wont be disappointed.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank John D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
469 reviews
192 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 335 helpful votes
“Superb Food, Lovely Staff (Birthday recognition disappoints)....”
Reviewed August 16, 2014

It's fair to say that MacNean Restaurant has become something of a legend, driven by the capabilities of the clearly talented highly energetic young Chef, Neven Maguire, and for more years than we care to remember, we've been trying to get a dinner booking here, matched with an overnight accommodation booking. Finally, with considerable effort, my "Better Half" M, managed to match-up these demands, to celebrate my Birthday. As a certain football pundit might say, it turned out to be a "good", but not quite a "great" outing for us.

It's roughly a 2.5 hour drive from Dublin, and directions on the MacNean website are pretty good. Blacklion is hardly a bustling metropolis - 4 Pubs, a Post Office, a Garda Station, a "Chipper" coupled with several rather forlorn vacant business premises. But MacNean is an impressive vibrant presence on the main street of this Cavan / Fermanagh border village. It's tastefully created and decorated, quite obviously the result of years of hard dedicated effort, and it impressed us from the time we arrived.

This review is essentially about the quality of delivery of a "food experience" when we visited in August, but we also consider it appropriate (and helpful to Trip Advisor members) to briefly mention some of the surrounding features we experienced. For example, we had been warned that the only accommodation available overnight was "small" - factually, this was an under-statement, as the room provided was, put politely, tiny and sizewise, the "en suite" seemed modelled on an aircraft loo. Lesson : no matter how desperate you are to eat & stay here, do not even consider accepting Room No. 4! And as regards getting this establishment to recognise and celebrate a special occasion, well, see our comments below.

But oh, the food and general service offering (in a rather cold / insipid Dining-Room, it should be said)! There's a 9 course "Tasting Menu" (Euro 87), a 5 course "Dinner Menu" (Euro 72) + a quite elaborate vegetarian option at the same price. The winelist is extensive - almost 220 options from Euro 32-50 upwards, with a strong French presence. Staff are extremely helpful in explaining the choices - the absolutely charming Zara, for example, couldn't have been better in bringing us along, while Blaithin, the quietly impressive Sommelier, was highly knowledgeable on wines and how to serve them to best effect.

So, in an excellent meal, we savoured early Quail and Scallop dishes, enjoyed warm Ham Hock Terrine and Lobster creations, and gave further high praise to the Assiette of Pork & Dry-aged Striploin Mains we selected. Our wines - Menitou Salon (Loire) and a New Zealand Pinot Noir - were equally impressive.

We seemed headed for a 5* rating of our experience, but, sadly, poor recognition of our special occasion undermined that : my "Better Half" had signalled by Email that we would like discreet recognition of my Birthday, highlighting my name, and, in reply, had been assured the restaurant would handle this professionally. What we got was a chocolate-iced nameless "Happy Birthday" plate with a candle deposited in front of HER at the dessert stage of the evening. Let's just say, through gritted teeth, neither of us felt good - surely it was more than possible for MacNean to do things a lot better, without any "song & dance"?

All of that said, we were generally impressed by our "Dinner Experience" at Neven Maguire's restaurant. He's a lovely man - a "true gentleman" as a local aptly described him - and he has deservedly built a great business in and around the Blacklion premises. We commend him and his equally lovely staff for their continuing efforts - clearly they "care", and we genuinely hope they will take our heartfelt comments on board in the right spirit. Ar aghaidh libh!

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Gooner10_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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