Dinner, drinks, and bistro bites at The Gaslight Bar & Brasserie

The Parlour at the Meyrick has long been popular as a meeting place for coffee, lunch, or afternoon tea. In the space adjacent to the ground floor reception, previously the Oyster Grill, you will find The Meyrick’s new bar and brasserie, the Gaslight. Although open less than a year, The Gaslight has quickly become one of the hottest spots in Galway for those looking for a vibrant city centre venue for dinner or drinks. Located right in the heart of the city, it is well placed for after-work cocktails, evening meals, brunches and lunches with friends or colleagues. The atmosphere is relaxed and informal, suitable for any occasion, from a romantic meal for two to a corporate or family occasion.

Its decor is cool and contemporary with gleaming tiles and bare bulbs, while keeping all the advantages of the period features, lofty ceilings, and elegant windows overlooking Eyre Square.

Besides the hotel’s extensive wine list of more than 60 bottles, the central bar offers a range of Irish craft beers and ciders with local favourite Galway Hooker on tap. It has something of a reputation for cocktails and the short cocktail menu offers a tempting selection from caiprinhas and frozen strawberry daiquiris to whiskey sours.

The menu is modern bistro style with generous plates of food, quality produce locally sourced, served with flair and all at a reasonable price. We popped in for supper one chilly evening to peruse the new spring menu. The staff are quick to greet and seat and the table is quickly furnished with a basket of good breads. A monogrammed earthenware pot of butter is provided too, no fiddly foil patties here, no detail is missed. Fans of the old menu need not panic, this is a menu of tweaks rather than a complete rewrite. The sharing plates get an upgrade with more choices than before. Starters are largely unchanged, the chowder and half dozen oysters remain, as does the power salad. There is the addition of a smoked chicken salad, which we pass over in favour of the lovely smooth chicken liver pate served with toasted brioche and a strident redcurrant and gin compote, lacking slightly in sweetness. My own starter of a Bluebell Falls goats cheese and red onion confit crostini was a successful replacement for the wild mushroom bruschetta from the former menu. At €9.25 and €10.75 these starters would be more correctly described as 'light bites' as they were substantial and would be a perfect size for an after work supper perhaps with a glass of wine.

The mains have seen the most change; gone are the gleaming pots of moules marniere and platters of roast chicken. From the list of steaks, burgers, and fish and chips we order a hearty chicken ballontine and 'The Three Little Pigs', both priced at €16.95.

The porky trio with sticky ribs, pudding fritters, and mini pork burgers with spiced chutney and barbecue sauce would be suitable as a sharing platter for two. The food is simple, flavoursome, and nicely presented, on turned wood platters and cream crockery.

Desserts remain almost as before at €5.25 apiece, a flourless orange and almond cake is the gluten free option, the baked Alaska and chocolate pudding are thankfully unchanged.

There is the addition of a light apple cake, simply served with warm custard.

The Meyrick is historic yet comfortable, rich in character and original charm. It is a building that is alive with great staff from the moment you set foot until the moment you leave.

The chic and understated Gaslight Bar & Brasserie is fast becoming Galway’s ultimate urban retreat.

The Gaslight is open seven days a week from 10am ‘till late, serving food from 11am to 10pm.

Hotel Meyrick, Eyre Square, Galway, phone 091 564041, www.hotelmeyrick.ie .

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