The Castle Café is owned by the same people as the Market Lane in Cork city centre. I mention this because - while I've never been to the Market Lane myself - I've only heard good things about it, which is also reflected in its position with Trip Advisor.
The Castle Café's location isn't quite as central, but instead you get a bit more coziness, as it's in the courtyard of the rather cute Blackrock castle. Weather permitting, you have three main areas to sit in to choose from: Outside, in the castle courtyard, inside in their new-ish extension (lots of glass, giving you a view of the castle), or inside within the old walls of a small extension building of the castle. On our first visit, we just had some light bites outside, and on our second visit - it being January, i.e. dark and cold - we went for the old set-back room, which even had a fireplace crackling away in it.
The menu was excellent - a good choice of creative dishes that still weren't afraid to be rustic/traditional. I had a venison pie, for instance, which was excellent.
Equal care as with the was apparently taken with the choice of drinks, with local Cider and Dungarvan beer being available alongside the boring Heineken draft standard fare that some people demand.
The service was also very good - friendly and attentive, without being overbearing.
So you get great food, great service, and a lovely (albeit not very central) setting - at very reasonable prices.
All in all - excellent, and we've already got a reservation for a family dinner in June.
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