As a Castlebar native living abroad, for me, Cox's is generally synonymous with being the place I end up with the lads, at the late bar, because it's near our preferred pubs, it's free in, and we're not ready for Supermacs yet.
On my most recent visit home with my girlfriend, I spied a leaflet about some fancy-pants Steak on the Stone that was available there. It had been at least ten years since I'd eaten at the restaurant in Cox's, and memory of the menu gave a vision of glorified pub grub. I do really like steak, so I was very much intrigued about this cooking it on a stone, and I was happy to give it a go.
I booked a table for two, and it was ready for us when we arrived. The staff were very pleasant and friendly. We shared a deep fried Brie for starters, which was fine. Then it was time for the Steak on the Stone. It was fantastic, a very unique dining experience. The meat was of an exceptionally high quality, and the accompanying sides and sauce complimented it perfectly. We were both extremely impressed. On a personal level, I was so surprised - I would never in a million years have imagined that the place I go to drink until 3am would also serve such amazing food! I know I'll be recommending it to friends. Our last steakhouse experience was one with a Michelin-starred chef attached to its branding, where we were less than impressed, and Cox's wiped the floor with them.
Unfortunately, after this, the staff became less attentive. We had to chase them for the dessert menu, to give our dessert order, for the bill, and, surprisingly, to pay the bill. It was an unfortunate let down after being so impressed up until then, and the reason this review isn't getting five out of five. The staff were still perfectly friendly, and it won't put me off going back, but it's still far from cool.
If Cox's were to rebrand themselves to position themselves as a steakhouse or grill, I do think they could do very well indeed.
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