We came upon The Arches is a startling manner. As we were wandering down the main street of Adare after one of our pub evenings, PK was a few paces behind. She decided to peak into the window of a restaurant, for future reference, at exactly the same moment that the proprietor was peaking out! Well a conversation ensued, as it always does when PK is involved (truly the friendliest person on earth), and commitments were made that we would visit The Arches for dinner.
D started with a shrimp cocktail which was a work of food art, nothing less. It was our only taste of shrimp while we were on the island and we were duly impressed by the firm texture and subtle taste. Although these attributes can be minimized by an inattentive chef, this was certainly not the case. You could discern that they were pulled out of their poaching pot and plunged into an ice water bath at exactly the right moment, to bring out the best that they had to offer. The presentation was exquisite as well, because as we all know, we eat first with our eyes.
We had come for the lamb and DK & PK were not disappointed (except that it could not be served medium rare, as is preferred at home). They were presented with an entire platter of thinly sliced offerings from the roast. A robust gravy had been liberally poured from above.
D was equally impressed with his beef tenderloin; in fact he remembered the dish as being one of his favourite meals of the entire trip. Irish beef retains a distinctively deep, rich taste and we speculated that the Irish country side where the cattle graze, contribute to this. There was so much meat on all these plates that the potatoes, turnip and broccoli had to be served on their own side plates.
I opted for a Got Cheese Salad and in this case too, the Irish tastes are subtly distinctive from back home. The cheese has a pleasant pungency which was perfectly enhanced by the crispy wafers that they were perched upon along with the gorgeous array of fruits and crunchy vegetables.
We were astonished that the food in Irish restaurants is served, seemingly immediately. And as we looked around at the other diners, we began to surmise why. There were many locals who were just dropping in to consume their evening supper. They were there to eat and not dine. This bodes well for The Arches when locals would choose this affordability over eating at home. We also speculated that more leisurely time was spent in the pubs rather than in Irish dining rooms.
We would definitely return to The Arches, if only half of Canada and the Atlantic Ocean were not between us.
Kath’s quote: “I don’t want to be in the same country as goat cheese. It always tastes the way a yak looks in one of those National Geographic specials.” -Erma Bombeck