The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS | EATING OUT -


Ring Vil­lage, Clon­akilty, Co Cork, 023-883 5741 ¤¤¤ Deasy’s won the lo­ca­tion lotto with its har­bour-side perch, on a wind­ing road out of Clon­akilty. From the out­side, Deasy’s looks like any other coun­try bar – step in­side and it’s a whole other ket­tle of fish. Fish – and how its cooked – is part of what makes Deasy’s spe­cial, along with the in­cred­i­bly warm wel­come and the kind of at­mos­phere you see on a Fáilte Ire­land ad, roll your eyes at, think­ing “it’s not like that in real life”. Chef Caitlin Ruth could prob­a­bly sit on the roof and cast a rod across the road to catch her own fish – and it tastes as fresh as if she did. Korean fish cakes (¤8.95), fat lumps of as­sorted fish, not a bread­crumb or potato in sight, are sweet and de­li­cious, with a spicy car­rot salad and umami-heavy dip. Squid, per­fectly slow-cooked in red wine (¤8.95), takes on a deep, rich al­most meaty flavour, with a bite of pecorino. The wine list has lots of sug­ges­tions for some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent, though we end up play­ing it safe with a 2012 Do­maine Seguinot Bordet Chablis (¤34.50). For mains, monk­fish with cele­riac puree and a punchy chilli and an­chovy dress­ing (¤28.95) is very good but a hake dish is bet­ter – a fat fil­let, golden topped and flaky, sit­ting on a creamy leek risotto with a plate-lick­ingly good smoked pep­per oil. A 12oz sir­loin from O’Neill’s farm down the road (¤28.95) is that rare pair­ing of an ex­cel­lent piece of meat cooked so well a regular knife slides through, re­leas­ing a slice into a sea of pep­per sauce. Desserts in­clude a rich choco­late pecan torte with flashes of salted caramel (¤6.95). This is a must-visit if you’re in the area.


22 Con­nolly Street, Clon­akilty, Co Cork, 023-8836938, ¤ A beau­ti­ful blue-fronted food haven in the cen­tre of Clon­akilty, Lettercollum is the brain­child of Con McLough­lin and Karen Austin, who have a Vic­to­rian walled kitchen gar­den in nearby Ti­moleague. They use their or­ganic pro­duce to cre­ate some se­ri­ously de­li­cious food for the shop in town. “Life-chang­ing bread” is a dense, sweet slice of nutty, seedy good­ness; there’s a se­lec­tion of savoury tarts (¤3.95 a slice, whole tarts from ¤9, ¤18 and ¤28) – one with a sweet, sticky Pissal­adière fill­ing of caramelised onion with tomato, goats cheese and olives is the win­ner when we visit. There are top-notch pizza slices (¤4): A slab of smoky house made chorizo and sweet potato pizza has us com­ing back for sec­onds. Sal­ads (¤3.95/¤4.95) are fresh and punchy, sweet treats in­clude Pastéis de Nata, those ad­dic­tive Por­tuguese custard tarts (¤1.50). You can get are take home meals, such as mous­saka and Goan curry (¤6.50/¤6.95) and the shelves are heav­ing with hard-to-find in­gre­di­ents: pre­served lemons, kim­chi, sauer­kraut w fen­nel , sheets of nori. Cooking classes are run by the owner Karen Austin, who also pub­lished The

Lettercollum Cook­book (¤21) late last year, a col­lec­tion of some of her finest recipes. Avail­able in book­shops or from the Kitchen Project web­site.

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