Wineport Lodge Restaurant: "One of the Very Best Ireland has to Offer" Athlone Restaurant Tip by SabrinaSummerville
Athlone Restaurants: 4 reviews and 15 photos
This is, perhaps, the best meal that I have ever eaten in an Irish restaurant.
It came well recommended from someone whose opinion I value, so I was glad that it more than lived up to reputation and recommendation.
The restaurant is built on the banks of Lough Ree and makes the best of its very lovely natural surroundings. Yachts and rivercraft tie up to the moorings here and hearty looking sailors transform into elegantly dressed diners, as others arrive by Bentley and Jaguar.
We arrived early by humble taxi as late lunchers sat in the gardens enjoying a drink and the last of the days sun. There was no rush on anybody. As the evening wore on lamps and open stoves were lit in the gardens to add light and heat.
I took a stroll alone in the gardens before dinner and breathed in the fresh, lakeside air. It gave me an appetite for the amazing meal to come.
Favorite Dish: I decided to try the tasting menu - it's something I like to do in a famous restaurant. It gives you a little notion of how they are all round.
I started with an amuse bouche of shredded duck with plum sauce - very Thai and very tasty.
Then came the gambas - a single proud gamba served with a little bunch of asparagus wrapped in pancetta. It was tasty, a little mouthful, but just enough with all that followed.
The next course was my favourite of all - pan fried foie gras with marinated strawberries. It was divine. Perfectly crisp foie gras outside, meltingly liquid inside. The marinated strawberries added a kick that was perfection itself.
There followed the most unusual course - the tomato plate. There were three cherry tomatoes marinated in I know not what, but the result was almost fizzy and rich; a roulade of tomato flesh stuffed with mozzarella; a glass of a tomato-type liqueur made from the dripped juices of over ripe tomatoes, vodka, and tobasco (kind of a culinary bloody Mary); and some basil pesto to finish.
The beef that followed was divine - just two pieces of succulent beef served very simply with rockett and bearnaise sauce.
The cheese course was, I felt, the let down. There were two gougere cheese puffs stuffes with some soft crumbly cheese with a seperate serving of chutney. The main reason it was a let down was because these little gougere treats are served with the pre dinner drinks at the bar.
Finally came the dessert - panacotta, pureed summer berries, and a pistachio coated dark chocolate tranche.
This meal choice is accompanied by an optional wine selection with a different wine for each course. I cannot recommend it highly enough as the wine pairings were great.
I also adored the pre dinner lemon martini.
Address: Glasson, Athlone, Co. Westmeath
Comparison: most expensive
Phone: 090 6439010
Price: US$41 and up
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