The wind whipped around our legs and rain spattered our heads, as we walked towards the entrance of Inchydoney Lodge and Spa, seeking shelter from a wild and wintry Autumn evening. It was a good evening to be indoors says Mary O’Brien and what better place to spend it than in the comfortable yet elegant confines of the Gulfstream Restaurant at Inchydoney Lodge and Spa.
As a pre-dinner walk was out of the question, we decided on a pre-dinner drink in the lounge instead! It would give us a chance to flatten down wind blown hair and settle ourselves. Sinking into the deep wrinkles of a massive couch, there were audible sighs of contentment from both of us! My friend was driving so was delighted to be presented with a non-alcoholic cocktail menu. She went for a Shirley Temple – a mixture of ginger ale, grenadine and lemon juice – declaring it delicious. I ordered an alcoholic Bellini. It was nice but I did have some drink envy after tasting her Shirley Temple. When non-alcoholic cocktails taste this good, there’s no need to worry about feeling left out if you’re out with a group and not drinking. Two trays of pretty taster platters arrived to whet our appetites — mine a very enjoyable vegetarian selection – both presented like little jewels on a plate.
Eventually we roused ourselves and presented at the restaurant. Enjoying panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and tastefully decorated in shades of calming blues and creams, the Gulfstream Restaurant offers a relaxed backdrop to a dining experience. We were there midweek and the room was busy with couples and families.
The maître d’ settled us in to our table and we were soon distracted from the impressive vista, losing ourselves instead in Head Chef Adam Medcalf’s creations, each plate more exceptional than the next.
Adam and his team have created a wonderful menu offering the best of fresh seafood and local organic produce. Influenced by modern French and light Mediterranean cuisine, the menu offers excellent choice.
As we sat back and enjoyed our glass of wine, we decided there was definitely no better place to be. I’m a vegetarian so I was delighted to be offered my own menu. Not used to having such a choice I dithered until I felt the stare of my hungry dining companion!
She went for the Atlantic Salmon Assiette: Baked Smoked Salmon, Beetroot Cured, Hot Smoked in Nori Seaweed with Cucumber, Candy Beetroot and Horseradish. I decided to start off lightly and ordered the Green Asparagus, Pumpkin Seed and Organic Leaf Salad. The combination of the perfectly cooked asparagus and crunchy pumpkin seeds was delicious. My friend declared her plate to be the perfect combination of flavours and textures, each ingredient standing alone yet marrying together wonderfully.
For our Entrêes, we chose Roasted Rump of West Cork Lamb, Pistachio Honey Crust, Pomegranate and Mint Cous Cous, Pickled Onion, Crispy Lamb Salami, Spiced Pumpkin and a Greek Yogurt Tzatziki; and Macroom Buffalo Feta and Sweet Potato Gateau. Kale, Pumpkin Seed Granola, Sweet Potato Purêe and a Sundried Tomato Cream. Our converstion stalled, as we savoured each bite. Heaven on a plate! The beautifully cooked pink tender lamb, offset by the fluffy lightness of the couscous and the tartness of the Tzatziki was declared exquisite. My dish was earthy and rich and flavoursome and devoured quickly. Both dishes were a picture of loveliness!
Although feeling quite full, we could not resist the temptation of the dessert menu to finish off our meal with the aplomb it deserved.
Meringue with a raspberry filling and a creamy pastry finished off a wonderful meal.
We enjoyed the evening from start to finish; the food and presentation was exceptional and the service impeccable. We came, we feasted, we went home content…we will be back!