I was invited here by the family so the three of us booked a table. I was looking forward to it as it was years since we had eaten here. We did arrive on time but the table wasn't ready since the previous diners hadn't left yet. We only had to wait about ten minutes though so we didn't mind. We waited downstairs where you could get a peak in the kitchen and hear the chefs prepping.
So we got seated, handed the menus and told we could find the specials on the blackboards (which were also on a page attached to one of the menus). Drinks order came first and after another few minutes the food. While we waited we looked around us. Lots of families with children (well behaved too) and plenty of adults mixed about the place. There was not a table empty so I advise booking. Mary, the owner, worked front of house and made sure to speak to every table, served whenever it was needed and generally made sure everything ran smoothly.
First courses were up - Mushroom and thyme soup, Seafood Salad and Garlic bread with Pesto. Soup came with some ciabatta and got a resounding 'very good' which translates to 'amazing' considering who it came from. Seafood salad was nicely cooked, not to big a serving and was dressed in something very nice. The ciabatta was pilfered for dipping, which I recommend. The last dish looked very good and had some goats cheese melted on it which got the thumbs up as it wasn't overly powerful as many can be. Dirty plates were gone in no time at all, which was almost a shame as there was still bread and some dressing left.
Was too long until the mains were up. Clare Island Organic Salmon, Sicilian Pasta and Spaghetti Pesto. Salmon came with some prawns and a creamy lemon sauce which was deemed 'very good' again. The Sicilian had prawns and a bit of spice through it - there had been some concern that it would be overly spicy but the waiter said he could have them hold back if we liked. I like to hear this kind of thing as it means the sauce is made up fresh rather than sitting in a bowl for a few hours or so. For the Pesto dish they offered to add chicken and bacon if it was wanted (not mentioned on the menu). There is nothing better in this kind of dish than bacon, made better by the fact that it was crisp giving that nice crunch to the dish. We got a side of garlic bread too for the sauce we knew we want to mop up. Bonus about the pasta dishes it that you can get a full or half portion as they can be quite filling.
Deserts - 2 of us managed. One apple crumble and one of the specials. Not sure what the special was but it had sponge and an abundance of dark chocolate, inside and poured over it. It was a decent serving too but it wasn't finished. A little too rich for the end of the meal. The other was an apple crumble, which was in a ramekin and had a very crunchy topping. It came with some custard that was in its own jug, which is a great way to serve it as it give the diner control of how much goes on. Both were served with cream and homemade vanilla ice cream, which was lovely.
The wine menu isn't huge but we got a very nice Frascati so we were happy.
Things I noticed in general - it is very popular so book a table. It is a little cramped but its nothing I've not seen before, it's manageable. Decor is nice with 3 large mirrors on one side and a large mural on the other. Getting to the toilets can be tricky as you have to weave past tables to get there. There is a table quite close to them which I don't think would be an appealing place to sit. Place can get a little loud as the ceilings are high and the sound travels. There is a kids menu too so you don't have to pay full price for dishes they can't finish. This place is on the second level so it isn't suitable for the infirm or disabled, but they do offer a takeout service so you can still enjoy the food at home.
Overall, great food and I'll look forward to going again.
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