The Olde Post Inn
Take the N54 north from Butlers Bridge to Cloverhill.
There is a sweet little Auberge de Terroir in Normandy with a half dozen bedrooms, which we discovered a few years ago, where Monsieur is a superb chef and Madame is front of house. Arriving in to the dining room one evening, we noticed a couple already well ensconced at a table with their French Poodle. Madame told us they had been there since lunchtime. Apparently, they were regulars from Paris and they spent each day of their stay sitting at the dining table, with dog patiently at their feet, from lunchtime onwards, waiting for the next of Monsieur’s delicious dinners.
I could just see this sort of thing happening at The Olde Post Inn, where Gearoid's food is so delicious and the ambiance so delightful that you would sit around all day, if you could waiting, for the next delicious meal to be served up. On first opening, a dozen or so years ago, Gearoid and Tara Lynch immediately attracted a very loyal and regular clientele of foodies who travel regularly to their delightful Olde Post Inn in eager anticipation of cracking food and hospitality. Another great attraction is that you can also stay the night there for they have six delightful bedrooms at the Olde Post Inn with wonderful views over the gardens.
Gearoid is a Eurotoque chef with a top notch pedigree and his cooking bears strong classical French influences with eclectic contemporary twists. Beautifully presented, you will never be disappointed here. I very much like his food pairings such as a starter of scallops with cauliflower puree and coral cream. Delicious Corleggy goat’s cheese has feather light Kataiffi pastry, beetroot, guacamole and toasted seeds, whilst Clare Island Salmon is given a Swedish twist, being Gravalax style with dill mayonnaise, Carlingford crab cake and organic leaves. Tamworth bacon comes as a bacon and cabbage terrine with a leek cream, whilst superb Dublin Bay prawns are wrapped in Kataiffi pastry and served with red onion marmalade and mango mayonnaise. Lynch also does a delicious starter of chargrilled aubergine with goat’s cheese, one of my favourite combinations, with a tomato concasse and a Balsamic reduction.
Don’t over indulge before you get there because the dinner menu includes a middle course; a choice of soup of the evening, mango and passion fruit sorbet or organic salad with bacon, pine kernels, Parmesan and croutons. The menu changes seasonally but typical main courses would have monkfish with bacon and cabbage cream or herb crusted wild Irish venison loin with herb gnocchi and rich Valrhona chocolate sauce. We all love duck, well I do anyway, and at the Olde Post Inn, Skeaghnore free range duck breast is given an oriental twist with orange and Star Anise and served with red cabbage and celeriac. For the true carnivore - a tender, succulent sirloin steak is always on the menu with Béarnaise sauce or peppercorn and thyme jus as well as crispy onions. They also do a fab fillet of beef served with Colcannon and roasted shallot jus, whilst one of their stalwart dishes is free range breast of chicken with potato apple, herbs, bacon and Irish whiskey sauce, which reflects Gearoid's time at the legendary Dublin restaurant Le Coq Hardi.
Leave room for puds because they are superb. They do a great bread and butter pudding with crème Anglaise and also a great Tiramisu. Fig and almond tart is the one for me with banana and poppy seed ice-cream, whilst chocoholics will love the Black Forest Chocolate Fondant with cherry ice-cream.
Give yourself a treat and head for the Olde Post Inn.