An integral part of Cork life since 1982, sisters Eithne and Jacqueline Barry's delightful restaurant has changed with the years, evolving from quite a traditional place to the dashing Mediterranean-toned bistro it is today - and the great news is that it now opens every day.
There is always a personal welcome and, together with Eileen Carey, who has been in the kitchen with Jacque Barry since 1986, they are known for putting a high value on the provenance and quality of the food that provides the basic building blocks for their delicious meals.
Menus have always been based on carefully sourced ingredients from a network of suppliers built up over many years and this care, together with skill and judgement in the kitchen, shows particularly in having the confidence to keep things simple and allow the food to speak for itself.
You could start your meal in delectably civilised fashion with a half bottle of Manzanilla, served with nuts and olives, while considering choices from menus that are refreshingly short, allowing this skilled team to concentrate on the delicious cooking that is their forte. Moreish starters like warm salad of chicken, crispy bacon, nuts & rustic potatoes, with tomato vinaigrette are also available as a main course, and there are numerous wonderful speciality dishes including, perhaps, scallops on cauliflower puree, with crushed potatoes herbs & Gubbeen bacon. Delicious desserts could include rhubarb meringue pie or, if you have a savoury tooth, you might choose Cashel Blue cheese with prune & apple jelly and a walnut biscuit.
Consistently good cooking in stylish, relaxed surroundings and service which is unfailingly helpful and attentive have led to Jacques' present position as one of Cork's leading restaurants - and it's excellent value too, especially the early dinner. GC
Text by Georgina Campbell, reproduced with kind permission.
Visit her website on http://www.ireland-guide.com/