After my incredibly disappointing dinner the previous night, I had to have my faith restored in fine dining, and what better and inexpensive place to do it than the Boathouse in Bangor.
I arrived at 12-30pm and just asked the chef to give me three courses and the Sommelier to pair the starter and main course with two glasses of wine.
My starter was Smoked Thornhill duck breast, pistachio crème, red onion, pickled kohlrabi, lemon dressed broad beans, girolles, turnip greens,pistachios, baby turnip. This was a wonderfully delicate dish and each flavour had a reason for being there, girolles pistachio cream and broad beans with the duck wonderful, the kohlrabi adding flavour and cleansing the palate for the next mouthful. The Sommelier paired this perfectly with a Pinot Noir from Burgundy. It was such a wonderful wine I searched for it and got myself a 6 pack of it.
Next up was a Cannon of Mourne lamb, trompette mushroom & mustard crust, polenta & goats' cheese cake, ratatouille, black olive, aubergine emulsion, tomato jus marjoram. The messiest plate of food I have ever had at this restaurant, but boy one of the tastiest. Paired with a Chianti Reserva, which was again on the money in terms of matching the course. Lovely bitter cherry fruit and vanilla oak with a fine tannic grip which was taken away by the ratatouille. Tomato is such a difficult taste to match up to wines, making them taste metallic, so I feel the Sommelier had put thought into his choice of wine here.
Dessert was Banana bread, Nutella mousse, crème de banana liqueur, peanut butter powder, lime & chilli infused banana, toasted peanuts, Glastry Farm coconut ice cream. This could possibly been a total overload of gluttony with rich flavours. But there was a light touch to this dessert. The chilli and lime was a wee bit lost, but the coriander leaves decorating the dish gave it an extra twist that brought a smile to the face.
There is alot of thought and planning gone into achieving dishes like this, that fill the soul as well as the tummy. If you go to this restaurant please bear that in mind. The two brothers who run this restaurant are giving you much more than just a meal to have out with friends. They are giving you an experience, that you will talk about for days and weeks afterwards.
Being a wine geek and knowing what the mark up is on the wines in this restaurant, I think that the represent excellent value for money. What is more, is there is as much thought put into the making up of this wine list as the food that goes onto your plate. Wines that are not expensively priced for what they are and wines that you may never have the opportunity to drink again, because they source wines from suppliers on the main land as well as from here.
Kudos Joery and Jasper and many thanks for the pleasure of eating in your restaurant.
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