Fat Freddy’s, Quay Street, and some wines to seek out

Fat Freddy’s restaurant has been a long-time member of the Quay Street restaurants, and I thought it would be a good idea to see if it has kept its menu and service ‘fresh up to date’. The menu is mainly pizza with a few alternates like chimichanga (toasted tortilla ), enchiladas, quesadillas, and lasagne, various pastas, plus four or five different salads. My dining guest for the evening was my son, who has a big appetite, and he had already decided to have the sticky creole chicken wings for starter; alas that was not to be, none available, perhaps a good sign as the dish is apparently very good.

We decided to go for an antipasta plate for two people, €12.95. This was not just a starter for two but a feast for two. Many diners would be happy to come in and share this with a friend, plus a glass of wine. It had a very large portion of soft and succulent Parma ham, thinly sliced large chorizo, plus a tasty salami. There were bowls of olives, sundried tomatoes, pesto, roasted peppers, all served with garlic bread. I rate this antipasta plate as the best I have had in a long, long, time.

It was early on a midweek evening when we were there and most tables were full, always a good sign. It appears very child/family friendly and many of the diners seemed to be regulars. There is a special offer for the month of November, which is available Monday to Thursday, that allows you to order any main course and get another main course for half price. A glass of house wine is reduced to €3.50 for this time also. The wine list reflects today’s market, with wines priced from €17.50 to €23 per bottle, and has a good selection.

We ordered two pizzas, a 9” special combo gourmet pizza with chorizo, red onion, roasted red pepper, and feta cheese for €13.50, plus a 12” Ruairí’s special pizza with spinach, caramelised onions, brie, and pine nut. The bases on each pizza were thin and crusty. As I had hoped, the flavours of both were excellent and it was not long before they disappeared. We had a beer and a glass of house wine to accompany them. There are 29 pizzas including three calzone style. The dessert menu has several items priced at €5.95. I chose a hot chocolate ganache, which turned out to be more sponge type than ganache but was very good. All throughout the meal the service was really excellent and I would guess that if you needed to get in and out in a hurry, all you would have to do is ask as the waiting staff seem to be on the ball. While I am sure you can walk in and get a table, I would say that booking in advance is a good idea, especially at the weekends. For bookings call (091 ) 567279.

I also had a look at the lunch menu and it seems really good value. There is a smaller selection of pizzas and salads at about half the price of the evening menu. To check out the menu further visit www.fatfreddys.net

The Beaujolais of Italy, Vino Novello, has arrived at Woodberry’s wine shop. It is released for sale on November 6 each year. It is a lovely fruity wine that is made in just about 20 days, hence the early release of it on the market. It does not last well so try a bottle now, could be an interesting match with a ham/bacon meal.

While I was at the Galway market on Saturday I spotted some very interesting wines for sale. The stall across from Sheridan’s is one that many will know as Dirk and his wife have been selling amazing quality veg for many years. He also has a keen interest in wine and sources some direct, mainly from the vineyards of France and Italy. What got my attention was that he had about five wines on display that were both well priced and top quality. However the real reason I mention them is that they would be great for Christmas. There is yet another compelling reason to buy them, four of them are made by the biodynamique method. This is where the grower uses principles of cultivation that are all in tune with nature — if you are interested have a look at Wikipedia for a great explanation.

The wines produced in this way have always impressed me and if you suffer from any kind of a reaction to wine (other than getting tipsy ) I suggest you try these. In particular I recommend the Vacqueras from Clos Montirius, it is a 2002 — while not a great year it is now at its perfect stage. It would match the turkey and I really doubt if anyone will fault it, price €15, down from €17.50. The others worth considering are Totila 2006 from Puglia, €18, and Sensinverso 2006 down from €27 to €20. There is also a great Condrieu from Barou 2007 down from €29 to €24. Call Dirk on (065 ) 7078140 and he can email you more information; orders can be picked up in the market on Saturday December 17 or free deliveries of cases of 12 or more.

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