As soon as we saw that there was an award winning restaurant in the village of Adare, we knew that we had to visit. The Wild Geese has been included on Bridgestone’s top 100 restaurant in Ireland for the past 13 consecutive years. D called to make a reservation and then we had to delay our arrival a number of times because the four of us had separate itineraries that day. Having been in the restaurant business ourselves, we know that juggling last minute changes can be difficult to manage, but Julie handled our postponement with much grace.
As we entered Rose Cottage, we were escorted into comfortable sitting room with a cozy fire place and big comfy couches. We choose a bottle of Les Jamelleo Merlot which was poured out and served with pitted black olives that had been smoked in brine. These were such a treat that I searched them out while we were in Galway, purchased them and carried them all the way home to Canada in my suitcase. While relaxing over our pre-dinner glasses, we were brought menus and asked to make our selections for the evening. I am not sure if this is unusual in Ireland, it certainly would be considered so in Canada, and yet knowing that the Irish like to have their food arrive right away, this makes perfect sense.
Upon moving to a comfy table in the dining room, a server came by with a handled bread basket and then indicated each bread variety that was available. I chose a Parmesan roll but all the choices were absolutely delicious.
But the truth is-they had me at the dishes.
The practice of serving an Amuse Bouche has become more common of late, but I am still as delighted as a little girl receiving a surprize birthday gift. These were a pesto cheese a top a tiny biscuit, floating upon a red pepper puree-sublime.
First courses were a variety of little plates which were intended to be your own but because we are all food crazy, we love to share bites with everyone (what family is meant for).
There was Chicken Liver Parfait with orange segments and tomato chutney,
Duck & Vegetable Spring Rolls with a Japanese drizzle,
Goat Cheese baked with a light curry crust, balsamic and an apple puree.
And lastly, a Crusty Brie with a light pesto cream, pineapple/cucumber salsa and red pepper essence. I could try to describe the potpourri of tastes but sometimes I just let the carefully selected ingredients (and photos) speak for themselves. And this was just the first plates!
As I go back and unarchive my photos, scan my travel journal and check my notes-I can not for the life of me recall what I ordered that evening! Perhaps I got chatting with Julie or telling some boisterous story and forgot to take a photo, before I tried to get caught up to everyone. But here is the thing-it does not really matter what I had on my plate, I was with my beloved husband, brother and his wife and I took just as much pleasure watching them as they ate, then I know I would have enjoyed my own. Does this make sense to you?
The table chose 3 ribs of Lamb which was served with a rosemary and garlic potato gratin and a rosemary juis for extra measure.
The Duck was accompanied by sweet potatoes and mushrooms.
Lastly, the Sirloin was tossed in garlic butter and came with a mushroom and Parmesan tarte and rosemary & garlic potato gratin.
There was definitely no room for dessert and sometime in the midst of our in-depth conversation with Julie, we realized that we were the last table in the restaurant, so it was definitely time for our short walk to the Manor gate.
Having met Julie we can see first hand the attention to detail and love of local food that she and her husband are committed too. We know too (not because she was complaining) that it is an increasingly difficult time to be in the high end restaurant business with Ireland’s current economic conditions. We wish Julie and David much success as their passion for food and the hospitality business is obvious from the very first time you walk into The Rose Cottage.
Kath’s quote: “The best way to lose weight is to close your mouth – something very difficult for a politician. Or watch your food – just watch it, don’t eat it.”-Edward Koch