The restaurant at Waterford Castle is very exclusive indeed, in that it is a place you simply cannot just walk into. It is the main restaurant of this Island Castle hotel and the island itself is accessibly only by private ferry. As you board the ferry a man with a clipboard checks your name against his register to ensure that you're either a resident, a member of the golf club, or a dinner guest.
Be prepared for the grandeur of the entrance foyer with its open log fire. Have a pre-dinner drink in the very comfortable lounge with its specially commissioned carpet depicting the coat of arms.
Then walk across the hall, past the grand staircase, to the elegant oak pannelled dining room and enjoy very delicious French-style food in opulent surroundings. The tables are set with crisp white linen, crystal, and silver cutlery with candles and roses making a perfect romantic atmosphere. The service is prompt silver service and although the place is very grand, the staff are mostly local and very friendly wihtout being intrusive.
Most evenings there is live piano music which adds to the already romantic atmosphere. The same pianist has been entertaining guests since the Hotel opened. His name is Bernie Flanagan and he taught me piano when I was a child.
There is a good and varied selection on the menu and they use local produce as much as possible. You are very unlikely to leave this restaurant feeling hungry or disappointed.
Perhaps the mian downside to this place is that it is very big and very grand, and on days when the restaurant is quiet it can appear very cold both in terms of temperature and atmosphere.
Favorite Dish: I adore the aged beef - there's something about the flavour of the beef here that I have never experienced elsewhere. I don't know if they marinate it first, though it doesn't taste of marinade. I wonder would they tell me if I asked........ :-)
Another nice and unusual dish is the starter of marinated crispy belly pork - very rich and tasty.
OPEN - for dinner and occasionally for lunch. More casual fare is served in the bar area, or in the Golf Clubhouse which is under seperate ownership.