I love being the food writer for the Mayo Advertiser as the perks are fantastic. Last week my wife Julie and I were invited to sample the new tasting menu at Season’s Restaurant on Main Street, Castlebar. We were greeted by owner John Mulroy and brought to a lovely window table which overlooks the Main Street. I have eaten here before and the restaurant is very clean and modern, but so comfortable that you immediately feel like you are at home. New head chef Tobias Streinetberger has brought many years’ experience of working on luxury cruise ships to Season’s Restaurant and likes to let the food and the flavours talk for themselves.
We were presented with a 10-course tasting menu and our culinary adventure began with an amuse bouche of warm smoked chicken on a parisienne scoop of garlic mash with a chorizo sauce. This was delicious and presented on a little square ramekin which really looked fabulous.
A classic Caesar salad was next, with a twist. Cos leaves were served with crumbed chicken slices, creamy dressing and parmesan shavings. The warm breadcrumbed chicken slices went down really well and substituted for the croutons, which made the dish unique. Next came a shot glass of yellow pepper soup with tomato concasse topped with a basil foam and two mini crisps, lovely presentation and a delicious complex soup that you just knocked back like a shot of alcohol. The tomato gave body to the soup, and brought the dish to a higher level. The restaurant was slowly beginning to fill up at this point but we hardly noticed as we were enjoying the food so much.
John’s friendly nature and his knowledge of all the ingredients and where they are sourced makes him a fantastic host and it is great to see Season’s embrace such a high level of cuisine. No wonder that it is ranked the top restaurant in Castlebar on TripAdvisor.
Cured pink Silverhill duck breast with sweet potato puree, pineapple salsa and a soya dressing was our next course. The duck breast was perfectly cooked and the slightly spiced salsa complemented the sweet potato and made for a lovely dish. An Italian classic followed, with Mozzarella cheese on a soft slow cooked tomato sauce, topped with dressed rocket leaves; the red, white and green of the Italian flag served on a plate, and the flavours certainly did the talking here, another delicious dish.
Up next was an apple sorbet set on a sea of cider and topped with popping candy, served in a very funky frozen glass. The cider was a handcrafted Stonewell cider from Kinsale in West Cork, which tasted very like champagne. The popping candy exploded on the tongue and brought a simple sorbet to the next level, refreshing and cleansing, and got us ready for the next course.
Seared skin on Achill Salmon was presented with a duo of broccoli, chargrilled florets and smooth broccoli puree. The crispy skin was dotted with red pepper coulis and the creamy fish sauce was seasoned beautifully; the Mayo colours on a plate and a lovely piece of local fish. Local lamb featured on the next plate, succulent juicy rack of lamb with a herb crust on a celeriac puree was complemented with a peppercorn jus, mini ratatouille and crisp fried new potatoes. I love lamb, and this was yet again perfectly cooked and delicious.
Although totally stuffed at this stage, it was time for the pre-dessert. Warm rhubarb and strawberries topped with a baked oatmeal crumble was served with a small ball of cinnamon ice cream, again superbly presented.
Just as I was running out of words to describe how wonderful the meal and the overall dining experience is in Season’s Restaurant, out came the main dessert. This is called Season’s Dream Selection and I couldn’t have named it better, strawberry mango soft sponge gateau with chocolate shavings was served with a fantastic crème brulee and a mouthwatering white chocolate and hazelnut brownie. Again the flavours did the talking, homemade cookies and chocolates were served with coffee to finish a brilliant dining experience.
You can experience this high standard of food for yourself from Wednesday to Sunday right in the heart of Castlebar. Food is also served seven days a week in Mulroy’s Bar downstairs and you can make a booking on (094 ) 9028954. Look out for Seasons at Mulroy’s on Facebook or check out the website www.seasonsmulroys.ie If you like good food cooked expertly, I would urge you to try out the new menu at Season’s Restaurant, and you won’t be disappointed.