Off The Bone Gastro Bar only recently opened in the South Court Hotel has transformed what was an old fashioned and not very popular bar into a trendy sophisticated and modern gastro bar, which is now so sought after you need to book in advance so as not to be disappointed. It’s essentially a steakhouse, with prime Irish beef and a great selection of artisan craft beers to match.
It is a large open space divided into several areas so whether you’re looking to watch a big match with friends, have dinner with family or a few drinks around the fire after work there is somewhere for everyone. There is also a private dining area which can seat up to a hundred people.
When we got to the table we were presented with menus and a wine list. Glasses of Prosecco were brought over for the adults and two non alcoholic cocktails for Keisha and Hazel, our daughter and her friend, which was a nice. The staff couldn’t have be more obliging; apparently passionate about what they do.
The menu was displayed over three pages; a choice of nine starters was priced between €5 for their soup of the day which was butternut squash and carrot, to €10.50 for prawn cocktail. Other choices include chowder, Glenbeigh mussels or house smoked pork ribs. There is also a choice of salads, from a super food to Caesar, which can be served as a starter or a main, and for an additional €2.50 you can add chicken or goat’s cheese or €3.50 for tiger prawns.
Main courses were divided between seafood, mains and off the bone beef ranging in price from €12 to €28. Seafood offered a choice of five dishes including salmon fillet, a special of monkfish and traditional fish & chips whilst mains offer lamb, stir fry or supreme of free range chicken.
Off the Bone beef is their selection of steaks, with a big choice including sharing options of 21 day aged ribs of beef on the bone from 600g for 2 people to 1kg for four people. If you’re going it alone you can choose 250g or 350g rib-eye or a 227g fillet, while you can add tiger prawns to create a surf and turf, and they were all served with chunky fries, onion rings, Portobello mushroom and a choice of sauces. There were several sides to choose from, but to be honest the portions are very generous so you really don’t need sides.
The drinks list is well thought out offering a selection of house wines and draughts, a great choice of premium whiskey, vodka and gins, and not forgetting the cocktails. Wines are sold by the glass, carafe or bottle and are all well priced starting from €20.50 a bottle for their house wine, while nothing exceeded €42 for the Domaine Seguinot Bordet from Burgundy. We chose a bottle of the Stables Sauv. Blanc, which was my choice really, and was a good ‘un, and Fred also ardered a bottle of red ale to go with his main course.
I started with the Wild Atlantic Way fish cakes; 2 generous panko crumbed cakes full of fresh fish and served with gribiche sauce on the side, the contrast between the saltiness of the capers in the sauce and the freshness of the fish made it very delish. The girls were both tempted with the spicy chicken wings and Fred had the pork ribs which came with a red cabbage slaw and barbecue sauce which he thoroughly enjoyed, finger licking good.
To follow I chose the whole sea bass minus the head and tail served with minted potatoes and seasonal vegetables and a large wedge of lemon, beautifully prepared, it allowed the fish to speak for itself just the way I like it. Fred went with the 350g rib-eye with pepper sauce, and we didn’t hear from him for the duration which had to be a good sign, his comment at the end was perfection, which coming from this committed carnivore was a true compliment. Keisha went with the supreme of chicken with mash and asked for a pepper sauce on the side which she loved and Hazel had the chicken goujons with fries.
When it came to desserts we had to take a break and finished our wine. I decided to have the crème brulee which came with shortbread biscuits while Fred had the apple & red berry crumble, a huge portion of fruit with a crumble crust and served with vanilla ice cream while the girls had gooey chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce and ice cream.
Off The Bone does its thing very well. Service is friendly and prompt, the food is very good and the room pleasing, while the value for money is bang on for food of this quality. We have been before, to their Cream Room Curry House, and they do things right down South Court way. Well worth checking out.
**There is an early bird option which offers exceptional value with two courses for €20 and three for €25 and allows you to choose many of the dishes from the a la carte and is available all night Sunday to Friday and between 5-7pm on a Saturday evening. With live music on Friday and Saturday evenings that really adds to the atmosphere and you are guaranteed to make a night of it.