In recent years Kinsale has seen an influx of wonderful modern gourmet restaurants clamouring to outshine the old favourites. Man Friday's is one of those golden oldies and, in my opinion, it is superbly holding its own.
One could be forgiven for missing the entrance, tucked away as it is on a street corner of what appear to be secluded private residences. A discrete roadside sign is the only clue to what lies down those wooden entrance steps under a covered walkway. As I stop to take a picture of the awards covering the front entrance wall, the door opens and we are greeted by a smiling waitress who immediately shows us to our table. I am struck by the quaint homeliness of the place with its narrow adjoining rooms and wonderful display of artwork. The decor is casual chique with an emphasis on the original Irish parlour feeling. I quickly notice that they seat different groups according to suitability e.g. all families with children are seated together.
Drink orders were taken immediately and the drinks appeared promptly as we studied the lovely menu. There are three menu types - an excellent early bird at €25, a more extensive set menu at €37.50 and then an a la carte. My companions opted for the early bird, but I was mad for some yummy fish so I chose from the a la carte.
Favorite Dish: I began with a hot crab gratin which consisted of crab baked in a creamy sauce. It was wonderful.
This I followed with the hot fish platter - salmon, three types of white fish, four fat and juicy Irish prawns, four thick meaty crab claws, and a selection of mussels. These were accompanied by a dish of creamy garlic potatoes and another of vegetables - carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, mange tous, sugar snap peas, and cabbage. I cannot recall when I was served such a vast selection of perfectly cooked fresh veg in a restaurant. At first glance the seafood platter looks a bit small to me, until I start into it and realise that others are either over feeding me or are a display of large shells encasing a small amount of meat - here, other than the mussels, the shellfish has been released from its casing. I find that I am too full to finish the food on my plate.
I cannot resist dessert - I am on vacation! I indulge in the chocolate and pecan brownie with vanilla ice cream together with cafatiere coffee. I don't find any evidence of pecan, but there is a lovely chocolatey flavour in the spongy brownie.
The bill for three people, including soft drinks and one gin & tonic,was €111. I thought it excellent value for money.
On a good day you can sit outside and drink in the endless beauty of the views to the bay and beyond.
You won't find a better restaurant in Kinsale! The food here is absoultely fabulous and the service is warm and friendly. They have a dining room that overlooks the Kinsale Harbor, where you can watch the sunset by candelite. They also have a dining room in the back that is romantic as well, with candlelite. In the center of the restaurant they have a small pub area that is comfy. This is our very favorite restaurant anywhere!
Favorite Dish: Our very favorite meal to get is:
Appetizer: Fried Brie with Plum sauce
Done to perfection with wonderful flavor.
Main Course: Filet with Bernaise Sauce, which comes with chips, scalloped potatoes, and steamed vegetables.
The filet is done to your reccomendation and is very tender and tasteful. The Bernaise sauce is out of this world.
Dessert: The Raspberry Tulip
Wonderful dessert of vanilla icecream in a pastry tulip with raspberries and raspberry sauce poured over the top.
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