Food style/ethnicity: Modern Irish
Price: 32 - 60 (Euro)
**Location**: <p>3 Connolly Street
Clonakilty, Co Cork
Gleeson’s has been one of our favourite places to eat since we moved to Cork. Not only was the food always excellent but you were always made to feel extremely welcome. However, our last meal there late last year was not fantastic. It wasn’t bad, just not great. They also had hired some new waiting staff who were nowhere near as good as the owners themselves.
But when Granny Mary and Auntie Fiona offered to babysit on Friday we figured we’d give it another go. It was also likely to be our last or second last meal out before number five arrives as Catherine is starting to feel very uncomfortable.
We went for a 6.30 start and were the first ones in. All new waiting staff greeted us and they were superb for the entire night. I think the main guy was French and he had that attentive but not obsequious approach that they do so well.
We were overjoyed to see that the food is also back to brilliant. I had a simple Smoked Haddock with Welsh Rarebit, Warm Tomato Tart and Basil Pesto to start which was jam-packed with flavour and had beautiful fish. Catherine had Crab, Avocado & Pink Grapefruit Salad with Black Olive Crostini & Saffron Dressing which she totally loved.
I went with Roast Breast of Skeaganore Duck with Red Cabbage, Garlic Potatoes & Port Wine Sauce for main and Catherine had one of the fish of the day (monkfish) with a bearnaise sauce and green beans. Both were fabulous and some plate licking might have gone on in less proper surroundings.
Desserts were equally top notch with Crème Brûlée with a Chocolate Brandy Snap Basket and Raspberry Sorbet for wifey and a soft meringue with pistachio nut creation for me. Great coffees.
I also have to mention the wine list which is one of the most intelligent i have ever seen. It starts with some good value house wines and then has their special recommendation for the month. We went with the Portuguese red at only €20 which was lovely and light. I have never heard of any of the grapes in it but I’ll be keeping an eye out in future. The rest of the list is done by style so you can decide whether you are in the mood for a bone dry white or a heavy red, go to the correct section and then hit your price point. Fantastic idea if, like us, your wine knowledge starts and ends with Sauvignon Blanc.
Any time I have overheard conversations about good restaurants in the area, Gleeson’s almost always gets a mention. They deserve it. I didn’t notice a 2006 Bridgestone plaque on the wall. I hope that’s just because they haven’t got around to putting it up. If they don’t have one and Forde’s do, then I despair.