Bill and I finally made it to the Pig’s Ear last night, a place we’ve heard about from many people, including my parents. When I ‘checked in’ on Facebook, a few people asked for a report, so here it is:
Pig’s Ear defo gets a recommendation. We both loved our starters. Bill’s salad of roasted beets, sliced raw beets, beet puree, pine nuts, pine nut oil, sliced radishes, baby beet greens, rye crumbs, and St. Tola ash goat cheese was a celebration of the beet and a great mix of textures. I had a Castletownbere crab salad with sliced roasted celeriac and hazelnuts. I’ve never seen celeriac prepared that way. The crab salad was deliciously sweet and a great pairing with the hazelnuts. Both our starters were generous portions.
The bread is really good too. A rustic sourdough and a brown bread with seeds. I made the mistake of filling up on bread.
The mains are all in the 20 EUR range, but they are also generous portions. Bill’s pork kassler (a cured, smoked pork chop from Crowe’s farm), Jane Russell black pudding, salt baked turnip and barley risotto was a meat-forward main, with the meats simply prepared and allowed to speak for themselves.
I’ve found myself ordering salmon recently, although I tend to avoid it for something more unusual. Last night the salmon with smoked haddock mash called to me. The dish came also with some grilled salsify and broccoli. The salmon was perfect and with the mash hit the comfort food notes of a fish pie. My dish was sprinkled with some brown butter potted shrimp which were a bit lost on the plate, and the broccoli wasn’t anything special, but overall a lovely dish. I couldn’t finish my main because of the aforementioned bread.
I didn’t think I’d have room for dessert, but soldiered on with brown bread ice cream with a preserved clementine. The spices in the preserve were quite tasty and gave a gingerbready flavor to the brown bread ice cream. Bill had buttermilk custard with rhubarb, elderflower, ginger and honeycomb. A refreshing, not overly sweet dessert. The custard was a bit too firm for Bill’s liking, but the slight bitterness of the honeycomb was a great accompaniment to the tartness of the rhubarb.
We’ve recently been following some advice from a wine merchant that was “When faced with a selection of French wines, you can’t go wrong with Côtes du Rhône.” So far we’ve found that to be true. I don’t remember which particular Côtes du Rhône we ordered, but it was a medium bodied red, somewhat jammy with a little tobacco. Vive la Côtes du Rhône!
Pig’s Ear felt like a slightly fancier Winding Stair with a focus on Irish ingredients. Our starters both were creative but still accessible. Would happily go back.