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Lough Rynn Castle, Sandstone Restaurant.

Lough rynn exterior

Lough Rynn Castle, Estate & Gardens Mohill, Co Leitrim.

+353 (0) 71 9632700

Price: € 60-120 (for two with wine)

Review

Lough Rynn Castle achieved some fame this year as the venue for the wedding of Brian O’Driscoll and Amy Huberman, and in fairness it is a very beautiful property, retaining it’s original form and fixtures. More of a large, stylish manor house than a castle, Lough Rynn is worth visiting just to look around.

Lough Rynn retains all the splendour that underlines its ancient history - historical documents, artefacts, furnishings, open fires, wood panelling, decorative stone, glass and plasterwork. The entire facility comprises over 300 acres of an Ireland that is idyllic, rich in history and charmed with natural beauty.

Their Sandstone Restaurant is run under the hand of Head Chef Jean Michel Chevet. He has researched and tasted the best of local fresh produce and has created a series of Table d'hote and A la Carte menus which use suppliers from Leitrim and the surrounding counties. The wines have been carefully selected from vineyards across France, Italy, Spain and the New World.

We enjoyed an overnight stay on one of the few weekends when there was no wedding taking place, and even so, the restaurant was full of locals enjoying a night out at the end of the week. The Sandstone restaurant is a very fine dining room, using the sandstone from the name on the walls. Tables are well spaced, the chairs are comfortable and the linen, cutlery and glassware are of a high quality.

The menu offers around eight starters, including a white onion soup with truffle oil, terrine of Ardsallagh goats’ cheese, pan fried foie gras and dry cured pork belly. We were drawn to the seafood choices though, and so I ordered the Irish lobster and Deirdre had the smoked scallops. The main courses offered Thornhills duck breast, rack of lamb, black sole with langoustine and pan fried fillet of John Dory. In addition there was the special of the day, pan seared trout, which Deirdre decided upon, while I went for the Cote de Beouf. This speciality is 500grms of the finest local beef, hung for six weeks and cooked on the bone.

Deirdre ordered a half bottle of the Chablis, Lucienne Michel 2008. I was on the sparkling water on this occasion, but the wine list is a treat, starting at €25 for the Philippe de Rothschild Chardonnay and going all the way to some excellent Premier Cru including a Chateau Margaux 1993 at €340.

We shared some excellent home made breads and soon the starters arrived. Deirdre’s scallops are smoked locally, and while quite a strong smoking changed the traditional texture expected from scallops, she enjoyed them immensely. The lobster was divine. There were three Nori seaweed rolls, maki sushi-like, filled with large chunks of lobster and avocado. This part of the dish had a sushi taste to it, while the lobster claws were separate, with an avocado mousse. This was the star of the starters, there was no scrimping on lobster flesh and the flavours were perfect.

After such a good start, we were looking forward to the main courses, and they didn’t disappoint. The trout was served on a bed of risotto, and perfectly cooked. The cote de beouf was carved at the table and came with a feast of side dishes – potato Lyonnaise, roasted vegetables, cauliflower gratin and an excellent red wine jus. The beef was really robust, packed with flavour and perfectly cooked pink as requested.

Needless to say, after all this dessert was out of the question, so we finished with two coffees and made our way to our very fine room.

Lough Rynn is a really beautiful place, and the Sandstone restaurant is serving a fine dining experience at quite reasonable prices. The service throughout was friendly and knowledgeable, and we had a wonderful meal in very pleasant surroundings.
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