OCEAN BAR AND GRILL
Strand Road, Bray, Co Wicklow, 01-286 5071, oceanbarandgrill.ie ¤¤ Housed in a large building overlooking the Bray seafront, Ocean avoids feeling too cavernous with exposed brick walls and warm-coloured furniture.
There are some nice booths alongside the back wall, a wood-burning stove and the separate White Room – which has a strong nautical theme )no shortage of anchor motifs, shells and lighthouses) is available for private hire. Once this never-ending winter passes, the front terrace gives great views out to sea (ignore the car park below).
Breakfast is served on weekends only, and has a limited menu. Better to order from the lunch menu, which has a standard ¤6.95 for all starters (such as chowder with brown soda bread or Tiger prawn and crab risotto cake with rocket and salsa), and ¤5.75 for desserts (sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and ice cream, or chocolate and hazelnut panna cotta).
There’s typical grill offerings, such as steaks and seafood; the burgers are large (the kind that need a steak knife to hold them together), while chips are the fat, fluffy kind, served in a mini deep-fryer basket.
There’s a theatre and dinner deal with nearby Mermaid Arts Centre where you can get a ticket to selected shows plus two- or three-course pre-theatre meal and glass of wine for ¤32/¤38. (the Albiez Trio plays tomorrow night). There’s a two-course meal for ¤24 from 5pm and the kids’ meal, while of the goujon, lasagne, sausage and chip variety, is just ¤6.95 with a dessert and drink.