Amicus restaurant is right in the heart of the city, just off Patrick Street in Corks historic Huguenot Quarter. You may be surprised at the size of it if you are a first time customer, as this is one of Cork’s busiest and most popular restaurants, serving food from breakfast, right through the day, and into the evening.
The building itself is a fine old brick structure, and there are some tables outside which are nice in the good weather. The brick probably isn’t the dominant feature here though, that would be the two storey windows that allow the room to be showered with light. Inside the restaurant has been extensively renovated, and in fairness, owners Robert and Ursula Hales are always adding some new feature, or updating the décor. The striking new furniture in bright colours is the latest addition.
The first floor is a mezzanine affair that overlooks the downstairs and the bar, and it features an open kitchen, adding some theatre to proceedings. There are rooms on the third floor as well, for meetings or events, and indeed the restaurant is very popular for parties and corporate events. One features a baby grand piano and there’s a private cocktail bar, as Amicus has a full license.
The theme here is very much about good quality casual dining, and the menu is long and offers a range of dishes to pretty much keep everyone happy. There are numerous options. Start the day off at breakfast with a smoothie or a frittata, or my favourite, a stack of pancakes and maple syrup. Come lunchtime the Ballycotton chowder is hard to beat and there are a range of gourmet sandwiches, wraps, homemade pizzas and other larger dishes, like their hard to pass fish cakes, a bowl of mussels and fries, the Amicus curry of or one of the pastas, like the organic penne with prawns.
In the evening the atmosphere is busy and buzzy, and the lighting goes down a notch as the decibel level goes up. For dinner check out their grilled lemon sole or the Ballycotton seafood platter, a selection of fresh fish cooked in wine and cream. If you are a more committed carnivore, you might fancy the grilled lamb burger, braised lamb shank or the-can’t-go-wrong rack of ribs.
Amicus has become an institution in Cork, in a shorter time than that normally takes. The fun vibe, good food and reasonable prices have made this restaurant a big hit. They welcome both walk-ins and bookings, and even if you haven’t booked there’s a good chance they will fit you in reasonably quickly. Check it out.