Located right in the heart of the city, The Gaslight Bar & Brasserie has fast become a favourite for those looking for a vibrant city centre venue for drinks or dinner. The Parlour at the Meyrick has long been popular for meeting up for lunch or afternoon tea. The elegant, modern, space on the ground floor, previously the Oyster Grill, is cool and contemporary with gleaming tiles and bare bulbs. It keeps all the advantages of the grand old building's period features, the lofty ceilings and elegant windows of this elegant Victorian hotel overlooking Eyre Square.
Open daily from 11am till late, The Gaslight is ideally placed for after work drinks, evening meals, brunches, and lunches with friends and colleagues, and is competitively priced for these markets. It is now a necessity to have cocktails and this menu shows innovation. The wine list is short and to the point, offering three serving sizes, small, medium, and large, or by the bottle. The stylish bar, set in the middle of the room, also stocks many Irish craft beers and ciders, with the local Galway Hooker on tap.
Hearing they had recently launched a new menu, it seemed like a good time to revisit an establishment that occupies a special place in the hearts of many Galwegian. Starters offer a choice of oysters, superfood salad, and soups. Sharing platters are also available, luscious looking platters of locally smoked salmon, crab claws, and peppered mackerel fillet, or selections of artisan cheese pass by our table. We chose a Caesar salad, much improved by the addition of hot, crisp, chicken strips with no shortage of dressing, and an unusual fusion dish of goats cheese won-ton, at €8.75 and €10.75 respectively. Among the list of six rib-sticking mains we found a change to the more usual fish and chips, they offer ale battered scampi served with a dill and baby caper dip, mixed leaves, and shoestring fries, €16.95. More fusion cooking with The Chefs Last Supper, crispy popcorn Irish beef sirloin strips, tossed noodles, and a chilli soy reduction, €14.95. The food was simple, flavoursome, and nicely presented on earthenware in tones of cream and beige and the staff are friendly and knowledgeable.
Desserts at €5.25 each are recommended with good choice of gluten-free options such as a warm chocolate pudding with pistachio ice-cream. Happily, the baked Alaska is still on the menu — as good as I remembered from my last visit. A lovely light lemon and raspberry posset came served with shortbread biscuits, finishing the meal nicely.
The Gaslight is somewhere to relax over a long lunch that could easily segue into dinner without anyone paying too much attention. It exudes a sense of welcome, the hospitality that is key to the success of all restaurants. A triumph of style and substance and still one of my favourites.
Hotel Meyrick, Eyre Square, Galway. Tel: 091 564041. www.hotelmeyrick.ie