A night at Oscar’s

I called to Oscar’s Bistro very early on a Saturday evening, at 6.15pm, and was surprised to find several diners there already. They open at 6pm. By 6.30pm the restaurant was filling up nicely and there was a good atmosphere. One of the most striking differences since my last visit was the new pictures on the walls. There are very large stunning images, and upon further enquiry I discovered that they were all taken by the owner/chef, Michael O’Meara. In fact on the reverse of Oscar’s business card are the details of Michael’s other passion, www.foodandwinephotography.com I recommend that you have a look as some of the images are stunning.

The menu is quite wide ranging and the emphasis is to use the very best of local ingredients, Stephen Gould’s gorgeous salads, local fish, and meats. The accompanying picture shows our seafood chowder, 10 out of 10 for unusual presentation and 10 out of 10 for taste, not like your normal creamy chowder but quite delicious with lots of chunky fish.

There are several main courses that caught my eye for imagination and price, including homemade pork sausages with caramelised onion, served on a bed of fresh colcannon for €10.50. Also a gourmet Hereford beef burger for €8.50 which one of my guests had, it had a great barbecued flavour and a taste of really top quality ground beef. My main course was fish and chips for €14.95. The choice of fish was either haddock or squid, I asked for a combination of both. The batter is an unusual Indian pakora batter and delicious, this was served with maris piper chips and very satisfying. My other guest had the sirloin steak, also served with maris piper chips and pepper sauce. The steak costs €19.50 and although not an enormous piece of meat was commented on by my guest as being just the right size, texture, and taste.

As I was the only person having wine, I sampled the house wine by the glass, firstly a pinot noir from France which was full bodied and a pleasant change from some pinot noirs that can be a bit of a let down. Also a pinot grigio which was exceptional for being full flavoured and a good food matching wine. The servings were also unusual in that they were more generous than one expects. Average price about €6.50 per glass.

Finally I had a parfait with praline and served with a delicious caramelised whole banana and butterscotch sauce, the serving was very generous and I mopped up every last morsel.

All in all a great evening, in a great atmosphere, with some well chosen background music. Prices are kept at levels that ensure all budgets are catered for and great care is given to ensure the best of ingredients are used in all dishes.

It is possible that some of the prices noted above may be out by 50 cents or so as I have to admit losing my notes on this occasion. Not enough to cause concern, but just in case any eagle eyed readers are tempted to blast off an e-mail to me at [email protected].

Oscars can be frequented during the week without booking, however a phone call is advisable to secure a table at the weekends. To book phone (091 ) 582180.

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