The Menu: Lobster on the Green


A fine specimen of a man and a self-taught nuclear physicist to boot, The Menu was always an obvious choice to go into orbit with the Rocket Man (Jun 2) as part of the Rebel County Space Programme. Well, not quite into space but certainly to the top of Carrantuohill as Jack Crotty aka The Rocket Man, a most popular purveyor of seriously splendid salads that constitute a full meal in themselves, takes his farmer’s market stall, the whole kit and caboodle to the very top of Ireland’s highest mountain with the noble intention of feeding all who brave the summit on the day. Setting out at 8.30am, he and his 50 Leeside ‘sherpas’ hope to be set up by midday with music to be provided by Saxy Lady Boys and proceedings to be visually documented cinema verité-style by local outfit, Dog Day Media. A donation of the diner’s own deciding which will go towards the Kerry Mountain Rescue.


The Menu has a deep and abiding grá for the work of the Irish branch of Eurotoques International, the fraternity of chefs dedicated to sourcing and promoting fine local, seasonal produce and supporting producers. Their annual food awards, sponsored by EirGrid, are always fine barometer of the very best of Irish and this year is no different. Hats off to Pat Lalor, Kilbeggan Organic Oats; David Llewellyn of Llewellyn Orchard; Mick & Trisha Murphy, Snap-net Salmon; Mary Regan and her organic ducks; and William O’Callaghan whose Longueville House Cider was the exquisite elixir that washed down The Menu’s fine pork lunch over the course of the Ballymaloe Litfest.


The Menu will surely pop into The Cliff Townhouse during the month of June for their Lobster on the Green, including a special lobster menu celebrating the splendiferous crustacean. Should the urge to replicate chef Sean Smith’s dishes become too overwhelming then, thankfully, there are masterclasses (Jun 15) covering the cooking and the etiquette to be employed while consuming these luscious lads. Also including a three-course meal for €25 and then towards the end of the month, a six course lobster tasting menu (Jun 27). ( And no lobsters but The Menu’s good friend Pasquale di Vivo, supplier of all things edible and Italian, has just opened a fine new shop/deli, Delitaly on Cork’s Marlboro St, well worth a visit.


The Menu’s unshakeable faith in cheeses is underpinned by a deep devotion to the West Cork-based Holy Trinity of Veronica Steele (Milleens), Giana Ferguson (Gubeen) and Jeffa Gill (Durrus). So he hovered somewhere between ecstasy and rapture upon first sampling Jeffa Gill’s new semi-hard unpasteurised Dunmanus. A nutty mouthful with sweet, slightly fruity notes, this sublimely sophisticated creation is just one more step on the road to universal recognition of the truly exalted status of Irish farmhouse cheese.

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