La Marine is the casual bistro and bar at the world renowned Kelly’s resort in Rosslare. It is somewhere to go with the whole family, or even for a more grown up dinner with your partner or friends, as there is a children’s dinner available with the Kids Club in The Ivy Rooms ever day from 6-9pm.
La Marine is located to the front of the hotel and is accessible both from the car park as well as from the hotel. With wooden floors and a mixture of red velvet booths and tables within the conservatory area of the restaurant, there is very much a nautical theme in keeping with the setting. The room is surrounded with mirrors, giving a real sense of openness, while to the rear there is an open style kitchen and in the centre a model of a boat. The zinc bar is a focal point, and it’s a nice perch for an aperitif.
Head Chef is Ronan Dunne, who has years of experience in some of the country’s best restaurants including Derry Clarke’s L’Ecrivain and The Tannery in Dungarvan.
The a la carte menu has a wide variety of choices with starters including soup of the day, a seafood chowder, mussels, a Moroccan style chicken kebab or a creamy mushroom risotto. Prices range from €4.35 to €8.50, which is a good price point for such a fine hotel. Mains offered an array of seafood, meats, chicken or duck and all again offering good value between €12.95 and €23.00. There was a great selection of fresh fish, which is no surprise given the location of the hotel.
The wine list was concise, and displayed on the rear of the menu. There’s a good selection of red & white’s running between €22.50 for a bottle of Cotes-du-Rhone 2010 to €44.00 for a bottle of Meursault 2007 or €68.00 for a bottle of the award winning Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009, which comes out of the vineyards of Paul Avril, who is related to the Kelly’s.
I was dining with my sister Aine, who swans around the world, eating in all the top places. We got into a great conversation with Iwona (pronounced Yvonne), the sommelier with the bistro. She’s passionate about her wines and really knew what she was talking about. She recommended a bottle of Saint Romaine 2009 from the vineyard of Alain Gras priced at €32.00. I am now claiming it as my favourite wine, and think it will be hard to beat, even for Aine.
I started with the smoked salmon and crab parcel with capers & lemon dressed leaves while sis enjoyed the warm onion tart tatin with rocket salad & walnut dressing. Both were delicious, but I believe my choice was the winner on this occasion; the crab was plentiful and wrapped within the salmon, while the lemon dressed leaves were addictive.
To follow I went with medallions of monkfish with cous-cous & sundried tomatoes and some sneaky lemon dressed leaves on the side, while this time my sister went for the special of roast rack of Richie Doyle’s lamb with dauphinose & red wine jus. The lamb was perfectly pink as she had requested and the dauphinose as creamy as she was hoping for; it had to be good as she cleared the plate, not something my younger, skinnier sister is known for.
Desserts were mouth watering, with baked vanilla rice pudding, lemon & Philadelphia caramel cream, pecan pie or a warm chocolate brownie priced at €6.75 or €8.50 for a cheese board. We enjoyed the cheeseboard with the rest of out wine and chatted while the sun went down.
There is something special about Kelly’s; it has always been a family favourite, and I seen no reason that’s going to change anytime soon. Always recommended.