Pier Restaurant is at the Bayview Guest House, a fifth generation family run guest house, restaurant and bar located in the centre of Kilkee with spectacular views overlooking the bay, and is currently run by Mary Hickie and her son John.
Back in March 2014 they completed the missing piece of the jigsaw and opened The Pier Restaurant under the watchful eye of Chef De Cuisine Ron Pfuhlmann whose area of expertise is seafood. All produce is locally sourced and suppliers are listed on their menus including CS Fish, Burren Smoke House and Hickies Victuallers
The restaurant is situated to the front of the building and split over two rooms; a conservatory style room overlooks the bay with large picture windows taking full advantage of the view and seats up to 10 guests. The main area is the original dining room of the Hickie’s home, with original parquet wooden floors and large mahogany dressers the setting is intimate and friendly. The lanterns in the windows made the scene from outside on a stormy wet evening very inviting.
A selection of freshly baked garlic bread and a brown soda were brought to the table with soft butter and an olive tapenade plus a carafe of water. We ordered pre dinner drinks of a vodka and slim line for me, a pint of Guinness for Fred and a diet coke for Keisha.
The menu and wine list are both short and concise but with a great choice of dishes. The specials of the day are displayed on a black board which was brought to the table. The wine list was priced from €17.50 for the Pinot Grigio or Merlot, and these were also both available by the glass at €7. The most expensive option was €23 for the Paul Mass Sauvignon Blanc or cabernet sauvignon with a choice of four reds and the same of white plus a rose option and a Prosecco for sparkling. We ordered the Sauv Blanc which was a crisp wine and perfectly chilled.
Starters range in price from €5.50 for the soup of the day to €11.50 for the Kilkee Bay scallops and the West Clare crab claws. There were also some other great dishes to choose from such as bacon & Clonakilty black pudding salad or organic goats cheese tartlet. To begin I chose the Kilkee Bay scallops, 3 perfectly cooked scallops each set upon a small piped mash and the plate garnished with cherry tomato and a basil pesto drizzle. Fred had the golden fried pier fishcake, full of local, freshly poached fish and served with a sweet soya and chilli dip and our daughter went with the prawn pil pil, a generous helping of tiger prawns served in a shallow ceramic dish and a large garden salad to the side. Our waitress did mention that they were very hot, which we appreciated, but we all had a taste and found them to be delicious.
Main courses offered a selection of nine priced from €13.50 for the vegetarian wild mushroom carbonara to €22.50 for a 10oz striploin with all the trimmings and a choice of sauces. There was also an oven baked supreme of chicken or cutlets of local lamb. I was delighted to see so many seafood offerings from medallions of monkfish, baked hake or a fillet of sea bass. The specials were black sole on the bone which Keisha had (Ron very kindly took it off the bone for her) and it was served with a seafood risotto, my favourite when cooked right and this really was spot on. I had the fillet of turbot, a chunky meaty fish full of flavour and served on a bed of mash and drizzled with a beure blanc.
Fred had the cutlets of lamb cooked medium and served with a red currant and rosemary jus, which were pink and full of flavour. A selection of vegetables were also served; carrot, broccoli and cauliflower all al dente, just as they ought to be.
When it came to dessert we ordered a crème brulee and the chocolate fudge cake to share, both very great. You could also have had Bailey’s cheese cake or a selection of ice cream
Credit where credit is due, if there is one thing Ron knows and cooks with passion and flair it is seafood, and it’s worth a trip down to Kilkee for the fish alone, while the Hickie family have hospitality nailed. Visiting Bay View you are a personal guest in their home, and you feel that for every moment you are there.
A wonderful evening was had; we finished with a Bailey’s coffee in the bar before settling down for the night. If you enjoy Irish hospitality at its best and great food I would highly recommend Bay View Guesthouse and The Pier Restaurant.