Monday 11 July 2011

Cistin Eile-A great Wexford restaurant

We took a fish last week (see post below) and we had it cooked specially in a local Wexford restaurant by Chef Warren Gillen. Jobst, Selby and John really enjoyed another aspect of the Wexford fishing. See a review of Warrens restaurant below.

logoWarren Gillen has a well-earned following in the South-East and many happy diners who remember his previous restaurant in Wexford Town, La Riva, will be delighted to see him back as proprietor-chef of Cistin Eile.

A long, narrow premises on several levels separated by a few steps, it's a simple little place with nothing wasted on the decor - green gingham style oil cloths on the tables (but good glassware and china) - and the focus very firmly on excellent food, pleasant, attentive service and good value.

Reception is friendly and prompt - Warren also greets his customers himself and later checks on them at each table, as has always been his way – and new arrivals immediately feel at home.

Warren is a great supporter of local and artisan producers and his short, interesting menus have a sense of place and promise contemporary Irish food with a rustic tone.

A speciality of Tony Butler’s black pudding with apple purée and cabbage salad makes a particularly pleasing starter, and you will find dishes not often seen on other menus and inspired by tradition, such as grilled Doyle’s corned beef sandwich with onion relish, or liver & onions with grilled bacon & porter jus.

Fish cooking is deceptively simple in the hands of this accomplished chef and, whatever he is cooking – Meyler’s natural smoked haddock chowder, perhaps, or grilled hake with broccoli, salted alomonds and orange butter sauce - his skill is in producing dishes that are richly layered with flavours yet always enhance the delicious seasonal (and, often, less expensive) ingredients he has so carefully selected, and never seeks to overpower.

This small restaurant is serving the best of contemporary Irish food prepared by a gifted chef who enthusiastically promotes local ingredients, and merits wider recognition.

With an outstanding kitchen backed up by well-informed and pleasant staff, and offering great value for money, the world will surely beat a path to his door.

Wine is supplied by Jim Neville of Wellingtonbridge, Co Wexford, whose brother has a vineyard in Langeudoc, Pat Neville Domaine Aonghusa. The list is quite short but will be added to in time; meanwhile it is very adequate.

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Forwarded to - The Irish Bass Policy Group (David McInerny, John Quinlan, Shane O Reilly, Mike Hennessy, Dr William Roche, Dr Nial O'Ma...