Clarion Hotel Cork
Phone: (353) 21 4224900
Fax: (353) 21 4224901
O'Flaherty's is a large mainstream bar, conveniently located close to the city centre. Regulars of all shapes and sizes enter this watering hole. Live gigs are held every Tuesday and Sunday, and DJs play chart hits on the weekend. Cocktails are popular here; those who have had enough of them might consider participating in a spot of karaoke, normally held on Wednesday evenings.
Although in business for over 20 years now, the Barry sisters, Eithne and Jacqueline, have never lost sight of the ever-changing world of modern cooking. Their food has always been contemporary; it has tended, over the years, to display greater and greater Mediterranean influences. The menu highlights include Mediterranean chicken with polenta and roast vegetables with a basil pesto, crab cakes with a salsa verde, brace of quail with a field mushroom risotto and steak Diane. As with many of Cork's better restaurants, the atmosphere here is quite informal and relaxed.
Scotts may be a relatively new bar, but has already become a favorite haunt for many. It spans two floors and is stylishly decorated throughout. On the ground floor you can enjoy lunch until 2p, with an evening à la carte menu available between 3p and 7p. There's jazz every Friday evening to welcome in the weekend, while upstairs pulsates on Saturdays with a DJ playing an assortment of friendly, happy tunes.
The bright bustle of Spain comes to Cork at Valparaiso, where authentic Spanish dishes are served in a busy Mediterranean atmosphere. Naturally Spain's national dish of paella takes pride of place at the center of an imaginative menu. Meat and seafood predominate though there are a few choices open to vegetarians. This place gets quite busy during the day, so it's just as well that the staff are efficiency personified. There's Flamenco dancing every Tuesday night and diners are often invited to join in the merriment.
Take a turn off busy MacCurtain Street into another world. Located at the end of a cobblestone arch, Greene's is a veritable oasis of good food and drink. At the end of the archway, diners are greeted by the austere red rock face of one of Cork's hills. As if that wasn't dramatic enough, there's also a waterfall. The food here is equally unique and of a very high standard. Seafood is a specialty but carnivores and vegetarians are catered for too. Dishes include Barberry duck with apple sauce served with sesame coated eggplant, and baked brill on the bone with a shellfish ravioli and bisque sauce. The dining room is bright and spacious with modern stylish furniture. They also offer special pre-theatre dinners with the tickets as they are located close to the EveryMan theatre scene.
This busy restaurant, located in a converted Victorian warehouse, is friendly and informal. The decor is modern with everything situated in one large attractive room. The menu is international and eclectic, prepared using high quality local produce. As well as traditional fare, such as colcannon and salmon with potato cakes, the menu includes many contemporary dishes like warm salad of grilled Clonakilty black pudding with glazed apples.
Ideal for family dining, Scoozi's ethos is to serve good inexpensive food and to employ happy, friendly staff who aim to please. The menu is extensive, it includes homemade pizzas, chargrilled burgers, pasta, and chicken dishes. There is also a children's menu. Breakfast is served from 10a and made to order - the Full Irish is finger-licking good! Cakes and pastries are made on the premises too, and are available all day.
Whether on your own, with a family of five or even a football team, you'll be welcomed and well catered for at the Up Town. Steak, sausages, eggs, chips, burgers, chicken and fish in just about any combination are all available. The full Irish breakfasts are outstanding, while the grills are cooked and served with a friendly efficiency. Meals are accompanied with buttered bread or toast, and minerals, milk and cups of tea are all for sale. There's also a special lunch menu on Fridays. If you're just plain hungry, The Up Town is a great no-nonsense place to eat.
One of Cork's best loved eateries, the Farmgate uses fresh, locally produced foods to create meals that emphasize simplicity, eschewing current fashions and trends in favour of a more traditional approach. Specialities include traditional Cork tripe and drisheen, lamb's liver and bacon, and Clonakilty black pudding savoury tart. There are two vegetarian options daily, one of which is always vegan. Located in the English Market, one can choose to sit in the atrium, allowing a view of this busy market in progress, or in the more formal restaurant. There's a substantial amount of modern art on display: including some fine pieces of sculpture by Michael Quane, who has been described as "Ireland's young Rodin".
If you enjoy Mexican food, you might like to try this popular restaurant located in the charming Huguenot Quarter of the city centre. Traditional Mexican food and a selection of European dishes are served in a warm friendly environment, the menu caters for both ordinary folk and trainee fire-eaters too. The decor is colorful and comfortable, while the obliging staff are only too happy to provide you with delicious lime margaritas to put any fires out. Lunch is served each Sunday and a children's menu is also available. Opens at noon.
Thai restaurants are rare in Cork, and this one does its best to fill this culinary lacunae. As a whole, it's what you would expect of a Thai restaurant a long way from home - Thai music plays in the background and oriental prints hang on the walls lending the dining room a somewhat authentic feel. The menu is extensive - satays, Thai fish cakes and some good curries are among the many highlights and all meals are served with generous helpings of Jasmin rice. Parties and groups are also catered for, while banquet style dinners are available for groups of four and over. The wine menu is international and well suited to the spicy food.
A former chef at the much-loved 101 Talbot restaurant in Dublin, Liam Keating has ventured south to Pico's Bistro, an intimate room adjacent to the river Lee. The menu is comprised of tasty fashionable dishes such as Thai fish cakes, crostini with goat's cheese, and darne of salmon with a lime pesto. The atmosphere inside is quite intimate with discrete lighting and modern wooden furniture. The service is never less than friendly and efficient.