Crosshaven – The Moonduster Inn, Lower Road, Crosshaven. Tel 021 483 1610
Jody Drennan’s traditional pub is about five minutes’ walk from the Royal Cork Yacht Club Marina (opposite the Hugh Coveney pier and new lifeboat building) and has a cosy, homely atmosphere with dark wood, open fires and marine artefacts. Menus major in seafood (chowder, crab claws, whole garlic prawns with paprika butter; main courses like black sole on the bone or pan-roasted monkfish with crispy bacon, cherry tomatoes and citrus dressing) but there’s plenty else to choose from: T-bone steak, for example, roast chicken, or a house special burger with crispy bacon, grated cheese and fried egg, served on toasted bread. Dinner: Thursday-Sunday; Lunch: Sunday only.
Carrigaline – Gregory’s Restaurant, Main Street, Carrigaline. Tel 021 437 1512
Gregory Dawson and his partner and restaurant manager Rachelle Harley have been running this bright, comfortable and friendly 40-seater restaurant for a decade now, and it’s still going strong. Main evening menus are (sensibly compact) à la carte, but they also do an early dinner which is great value at E21 (booking essential). Expect classical cooking with an occasional modern twist, based on well-sourced ingredients – fricassée of prawns, perhaps, or rack of lamb with a herb and mustard crust – and you won’t be disappointed. Dinner: Wednesday–Saturday from 6.30; Lunch: Sunday only
Carrigaline – The Bistro, Carrigaline Court Hotel, Carrigaline. Tel: 021 485 2100
This 150-seater has the atmosphere of an independent restaurant rather than hotel dining room. Although large, it’s broken into three spaces, each with its own style – a clever idea that has gone down well – and menus are interesting, based on local produce (seafood is all provided by O’Connells of Cork), and affordable. Good food, efficient service, a pleasant ambience and value for money keep regulars coming back for more. Dinner: Daily; Lunch Sunday only.
Monkstown – The Bosun, The Pier, Monkstown. Tel: 021 484 2172
Nicky and Patricia Moynihan’s highly-regarded bar and restaurant is close to the Cobh car ferry. Seafood takes pride of place on both bar menus (chowder, garlic mussels, real scampi and chips and much else besides,) and in the restaurant (crab claws, sole on the bone, seafood platters) but other specialities include steaks and duckling – and vegetarian options are always available. Relaxed atmosphere, professional service. Bar meals 12–9.30 Monday-Saturday, Sunday to 9; Restaurant 12–2.30 and 6.30–9pm Daily.
Cobh – A favourite destination in Cobh is Robin Hill Restaurant (Lake Road, Rushbrooke; 021 481 1395). A phone call and a taxi are essential as it’s a good way to walk , and up a very steep hill (lovely views though); stylish, great food and heaven for wine buffs. Unfortunately they’re aiming to relocate, but will probably still be here in Cork Week. (Dinner: Wed–Sat, Lunch Sunday only; reservations required). Jacob’s Ladder, at the aptly named WatersEdge Hotel (021 481 5566) is handy and the contemporary restaurant has views across the harbour and a deck where you can make the most of any fine weather. Seafood tops the bill, as usual in this area, but carnivores and vegetarians are not forgotten. (Lunch and Dinner daily; reservations recommended).
Kinsale – Plenty of restaurants to choose from in Kinsale, of course. The special occasion place is Toddies on the Eastern Road (021 477 7769), which is well-located overlooking the harbour; for more informal outings Jean-Marc’s Chow House (021 477 7177) offers oriental cooking with a difference: stylish combinations of Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines go down a treat with the area’s discerning diners, who enjoy the atmosphere, Jean-Marc’s excellent cooking – and the prices – an average meal is around Euro 27. (Dinner only, daily, from 6.30 in high summer). If you’re in Kinsale at lunchtime head for Fishy Fishy Café (021 477 4453) near St Multose church; this delightful fish shop, delicatessen and restaurant is a mecca for gourmets – but get there early or be prepared to queue (no reservations). Lunch daily 12–3.45.
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