The Menu: Paddy’s Day

Food for thought this St Patrick’s weekend

If there was ever a greater patriot than The Menu on the Emerald Isle, he’s probably still up there in the GPO, under a desk waiting for the French relief force to come in on the Rosslare/Cherbourg Ferry, for Lá Féile Pádraig brings (green) tears of joy to The Menu’s eyes and a patriotic hunger to his belly as he considers the following: The Barry’s Tea Food Market full of top Cork produce runs today and Monday on Cork’s Patrick St and on the Grand Parade and Boardwalk South Mall on Paddy’s Day itself. Down in Bantry, the lights may be out but absolutely everybody will be home for the fabulous Fadó Fadó festival where the whole town lights the candles and heads back to a period pre-electrification with Tim McCarthy doing a pig on a spit in the Square and O’Connor’s Seafood restaurant doing a special old time menu. In Waterford, there’s an indoor food market in Merchant’s Quay. Annie’s in Sunday’s Well also have a tidy little Paddy’s Day menu and while The Menu ponders his choices over a pint of something black and truly Irish, perhaps a fine local stout such as Medaza, his crisp of choice can only be Keogh’s Shamrock and Sour Cream Paddy’s Day Special!

Brunch to help Temple St Hospital

With no real connection other than the smile brought to The Menu’s fizzog by the news: Brunch for Brian, in memory of the late Brian Hunt, in aid of Temple St CUH (morning, Mar 24) in the Courtenay Lodge Hotel, Newcastle West, Co Limerick with Frank ‘Late, Late’ McNamara tinkling ivories and author Roisin Meaney reading to kiddies (booking, Sharon 087-0995741); and while The Menu was most mournful at the closure of Dillon’s in Timoleague, he is quite cock-a-hoop to hear Julie and John Finn are relocating down the road to Kinsale and opening Finn’s Table. That’s The Menu with his nose pressed against the windowpane.

A toast to Farmgate offering

Tis well known to one and all that when The Menu fancies a spot of nibbling while people-watching, he heads to the mezzanine in the English Market to his much-favoured Farmgate Café. But on Thursday (Mar 21 at 7pm), he’ll have all eyes firmly focussed on glass and plate for a dinner and tasting with winemaker Anna Seifried of Seifried Wines, New Zealand. Booking: 021-4278134

Chewy confection does the trick

While Dark Forces currently have The Menu’s legendary appetites somewhat in check (imprisoned, even!), he does well enough, by the by, except when in Douglas Market of a Saturday and near Andreas Haubold’s West Cork Baking Emporium Stall: fine fresh breads and rolls (wheat, spelt, rye), superb cheese crackers, exquisite German cakes and confectionery— no! The Menu’s resolve is a marvel to behold. But none ever notices the tear in the corner of his eye, the fingernails digging deep into palms as he espies the ‘Horseshoe’, a horseshoe-shaped marzipan cake, a sugared confection with a deep, chewy almond sweetness that stole The Menu’s heart long, long ago.


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