My delicious dinner at Pilgrims Restaurant, Roscarbery, West Cork
I recently planned a visit to the beautiful town of Roscarbery and decided to have a meal in the famous Pilgrims Restaurant.
This place is so popular you need to book several weeks in advance. I am usually never this organised however I managed to remember to make a reservation at Pilgrims Restaurant well in advance before my trip (about two months!!!)
What is unique about this restaurant is that the menu changes every day to fit in with fresh local produce that is in season. When I arrived to the restaurant I did not know what to expect on the menu and came with an open mind about whatever dishes would land on my table.
The menu is crafted slightly different as well. They do not have the regular format of starters, main Course or dessert. Instead they have nibbles, smalls, large, cheeses, ices and puddings. You could easily have a number of small dishes and create a Tapas style dinner.
The menu on the night seemed to have a Japanese theme running through it citing different ingredients I had never heard before. The waiting staff were really helpful in giving information about the menu and spent time with us explaining everything. There was an extremely relaxed environment throughout the restaurant. Even though the place was fully booked everyone was enjoying themselves and service was done with ease. I observed that not only did the staff send time with us but they also did the same with every other table in the restaurant. The staff had a unique way of making dinning guests feel attended to but not being overly intrusive. This is something that is hard to pull off but they succeeded to do this very well adding to the charm of the restaurant.
I decided to order a few starters to share with my dining companion. From the nibbles section we ordered Tatsuta chicken with a ponzu dip and Beetroot and chickpea dip with Flax crackers. We also ordered a Wagyu beef short rib from the small section of the menu. All these items were delicious. The chicken came is a sort of batter and were very tender and went beautifully with the dip provided. My favourite of these three dishes though was the Beetroot dip and crackers. It was beautifully presented and tasted even better.
For mains I had Sole which was cooked to perfection and the accompanying sides were really nice. My dining companion ordered a poached chicken which had a wild garlic and hazelnut crust with Ham Hock. As an extra side (as if I didn’t have enough food) I ordered an oak smoked potato with wild garlic mayo. These potatoes were divine they were so flavoursome I devoured them at an unrespectable rate.
Dessert (lots of them)
In order to clear the palate for dessert (which everyone knows is the most important part of a meal!!) I ordered the Nettle and tonic Sorbet with Berthas Revenge gin. The gin came in a shot glass next to the sorbet. You had the option of either downing the gin or mixing it into the sorbet. I chose the latter option. While the sorbet tasted lovely with the gin it did make it into more of a slushy consistency so maybe I might have been better off to sip the gin on the side.
For the second desert or the main dessert as I like to call it, I had the Salt Carmel Cream, black pepper chocolate ganache, whipped buttermilk with cacao nut crumble. My dining companion had the Macroom buffalo ricotta ice-cream with salted honeycomb. Both desserts were marvellous with a mixture of flavours that would melt in your mouth. The buffalo ice-cream was delicious. It had a real homemade creamy consistency and was beautiful with the honeycomb. The pudding and the ganache was perfect and even though all the ingredients where quite heavy in flavour they worked really well together.
What I thought of Pilgrims Restaurant
This was one of the best dinners I have had in a restaurant in quite some time. The service was excellent and the food was delicious. I left the restaurant wishing I could go back the following day. I highly recommend this place if you are travelling to West Cork. They are also opened for Sunday lunch If you wanted to take a road trip to Rosscarbery. However if you are planning on going there for dinner make sure to make a reservation well in advance as they book out quite quickly.