Here is what Paolo had to say on a recent visit.
We’d come for lunch in The Oarsman, a pub near the bridge that has made quite reputation for itself for it’s food. Inside there is a lot of dark wood, all highly polished. "Really clean" muttered John as he ran his hand over a ledge looking for dust. We took a table near the back, where a small garden of specimen trees in tubs has been set up for smokers. There is a proper menu in the Oarsman, but we ate from the bar menu.
”You know what’s not on this menu” asked John as we read through them.
”There’s nothing you would find on usual bar food menus. No chicken wings, no breaded mushrooms, no deep fried brie.”
He was right – this was an interesting menu and it was clearly an idiosyncratic one. It may have been a bar menu, but it had been written by a real chef with good ideas and all the suppliers were listed. John started with a potato and leek soup and followed with a Parmigiana, layers of Mediterranean vegetables with a Parmesan sauce. I ordered the fish cakes to start and then the Gubbeen sausages.
Both of our starters were excellent, a well made soup for John and unusually good fish cakes for me, which contained lots of different fish and shrimps as well. John’s main course was very good, leaving him enthusing, and my sausages, made by Fingal Ferguson, were well spiced and came with a spring onion mash, onion rings and an onion gravy.
We finished with a shared banana plate, which included a banana and chocolate roulade, caramelised bananas, banana and cinnamon ice cream and a toffee sauce. Really good and a snip at €6. Excellent service accompanied this lunch and our bill came to €50.50, which included a beer, mineral water and coffees.
Lunch is served 5 days a week with organic pasta dishes, smart sandwiches and wraps, seafood and great puddings on offer.
Dinner is served upstairs at The Oarsman from Thursday to Saturday night with a modern Irish style of cooking.