Friday, 24 July 2015

Beer, Food & Travel: The Green Room at Sage, Midleton, Cork - Just Desserts

Travelling as a family we can be a little indecisive when it comes to trying to decide on what to see or where to eat. This often means we end up, out of frustration, somewhere that outwardly half appeals to everyone but in actual fact pleases no one.

So I decided our trip to Midleton was going to be different. Like when I travel abroad, I would do some research and commit a couple of eating places to memory that I felt should please everyone. From Tweeting and Googling it was clear that there were only a few places that would keep my need for a nice drink and my other half's, and our two quarter's (I was always poor at maths...), need for sustenance satisfied.

That is how I ended up one mid-afternoon, with my family in tow, staring down an alley on Midleton's unimaginatively named Main Street wondering if I had made the right choice. We weren't hungry as such but craved something sweetish with a cool drink, and from my list The Green Room had seemed the obvious choice. The discrete-ish signs on the alley wall means that you might miss this place if you didn't know it existed, but the smell of cooking food wafting towards us on the breeze tugged our noses down to the entrance.

The Green Room is the little sister - or perhaps estranged cousin - of Sage Restaurant and is a cosy but classy restaurant bar bistro cafĂ© ... I'm not sure what label suits it to be honest so let's just call it an eat'n'drinkery for now. There's bench seating and a slightly rustic feel to the outside area, while inside is more formal with comfortable seating and a more intimate feel.

We were a little worried about appearing here with the smaller ones in tow, as there was no mention of anything for kids on any menu. But we weren't shooed out and after taking our seats the waiter ran through our options for something sweet, once we let him know we weren't here for supper, which strangely starts at 4.30 pm!

I went for the 'famous' baked cheesecake and herself ordered the lemon tart, with two bowls of ice cream that had to be procured from Sage next door for the smaller creatures. They also got an apple juice and an orange juice, while herself went for a 'nice cup of tea'. I mulled over the beers on offer - all bottles, all Irish - and decided that Black's KPA, from nearby-ish Kinsalemight be a good choice with the cheesecake.

My cheesecake arrived, baked with white chocolate and raspberries on a thin biscuit base, served with a dollop of stiff cream. It was light and way too easy to eat, with the zing of raspberry cutting through the firm sweet-cheese filling. The citrusy pale ale worked brilliantly to flush the palate and contrasted with the moderate sweetness of the cheesecake. This was one of my most inspired combinations and just a lucky guess if I'm being honest.

Herself's lemon, elderflower and raspberry tart was tasty too, living up to its tart name in more ways than one. The layer of raspberries on top lifting it above ordinary, while making it look pretty and appealing too.

The bowls of ice cream were demolished quickly and quietly, with a minimum of messing and stickiness, as we were quite conscious of our surroundings. Then refreshed and satisfied we paid the moderate bill and headed back to the busy main street of the town, with sprung steps all around.

Great service and nice surroundings are easy enough to find but the two additions of good food and good beer means that The Green Room ticks four boxes for me. Perhaps the only change I would make is a nod to families by making a mention of kids food on the menu somewhere ... that's providing children are welcome of course, as I get the feeling it's not really that kind of place.

Although ours had no complaints!

Visited Tuesday 7th July 2015

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