Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

[Review] The Copper Hen, Fenor, Co Waterford

Last year, it was announced that the Copper Hen in Fenor, Co Waterford had received a Michelin Bib Gourmand award. I turned to Himself, a Waterford native and asked where was Fenor exactly. It turned that it wasn't very far away from his hometown and I made a resolution to visit when next in Waterford. Fast forward a few months, and we finally got around to buying a new car to replace our much-loved 16 year old car. It was time for a road trip with our new wheels, and Sunday lunch duly was booked at the Copper Hen. 

Fenor is a typical small Irish village, dominated by the parish church with a very unusual and creative carved tree in the cemetery. The Copper Hen is located upstairs over the local pub, Mother McHugh's, and on this cold Sunday, all car spaces outside were already taken. A large fireplace, with a warm fire dominates the smaller dining room, with a larger room to the rear. It's an oddly bare space, which filled up steadily over lunchtime. Our table received plenty of their homemade brown bread (which could benefit from a little salt in the mix), which is available for purchase to take home. 

I chose the Spanish style croquettas with Kilmore crab meat, which arrived at the table precariously perched on a slate. One croquette made a determined escape off the slate into my lap, but I wasn't letting it get away. They turned out to be the epitome of croquettes (€6.95). Golden and perfectly crispy on the outside, they tore open to reveal a silky smooth potato interior. For himself and Mrs H, a beautiful plump prawn sat atop a salad of chopped fresh prawn and smoked salmon, lightly tossed in a lemon creme fraiche (€7.00). Ever the soup fan, Mr H's choice of spiced carrot and cumin soup disappeared quickly (€4.95).
Croquettas with Kilmore crab served with herb and garlic aioli 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

[Travel] A weekend in Amsterdam

There are some places in this world where life's journey keeps directing you. In my case, it's Amsterdam. At this stage, I've worked in Amsterdam for 3 different clients, and my current engagement will keep me there for the foreseeable future. It's a good thing that I like the city! I first lived in Amsterdam in 2010 and managed to get all of the usual tourist experiences done in that first year. Now that I'm back (yet again), my current focus is trying to find the latest and coolest spots. My self-imposed challenge on a recent weekend visit was to visit as many new spots as I could. 

Ironically, on a weekend of new discovery, I started with an old spot, the superb cocktail bar Tales & Spirits, located a few minutes away from Dam Square, down a little street, along with some red light booths. Inside, it's a very classy affair with dapper bartenders and a smart cocktail menu. Grab a seat at the bar and have some fun with the crew as they shake their way through the orders. 
The General Lee at Tales & Spirits

Sunday, February 14, 2016

[Review] Suesey Street, Dublin 2

I was a long-time fan of Brasserie Le Pont, located on Fitzwilliam place. I visited it many times for lunch and Sunday lunch. I loved the dining room space and always enjoyed my meals there, despite the strong pinstripe suit crowd. I must admit that I was surprised when I heard that it was closing, to make way for a new venue. It didn't seem like a venue that needed a makeover.

Anyway, Brasserie Le Pont has given way to Suesey Street, which was the original name for Leeson Street many moons ago. Apparently, the original Suesey Street also had a reputation as a location for finding ladies of the night, which is inspiration for the collection of cheeky artwork that adorns the walls of the dining area.

The bar has been completely overhauled and is now a flush with bronzey warmth, with plenty bar stools and comfortable chairs. There's a good cocktail menu with bar snacks also available for casual dining. I start with a Guinness and raspberry flip which is excellently made and deliciously creamy. Around the corner from the bar, the dining area opens up. Here, the changes are not as dramatic as the bar, but the space feels warmer and less stark than before. Outside, there's a covered terrace area, which will surely be a busy spot come warmer weather. 
Guinness and raspberry flip

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