La Cascade at Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare, County Kerry, Ireland is an award-winning restaurant where Executive Chef Philip Brazil's cuisine shines.
Nestled along Kenmare Bay, La Cascade takes its name from Sheen Falls that the restaurant overlooks. The ambience is gracious, and the night that Edward F. Nesta and I had dinner in September 2007, pianist John Leahy sat at the white baby grand piano deftly dancing his fingers along the ivories, adding a dash of romance to the elegant dining room. Yellow walls with white trim were illuminated from the track lighting in the tray ceiling, sconces, and the ornate candelabrum on pillars set at either end of the room, tapestries and paintings hung on the walls complemented the setting, and mushroom and cream floor to ceiling draperies framed the wall of windows over looking the water. Our table was dressed with cream linens, cream napkins and accessorized with a green anthurium set in a thin silver vase and a white taper in a silver candlestick.
Our waiter, Wojtek, began our evening with a lovely Amuse Bouche of Smoked Salmon, Grapefruit Segments, and Shizo Leaves with a Lemon Cream Sauce served in a coupe glass, which Head Sommelier Damien Trinckquel paired with a Jean-Marc Brocard 2005 Bourgogne, Chardonnay en Sol, Kimmeridgien, 12.5% alcohol, with mineral notes on the nose and the palate.
Mr. Trinckquel has an enjoyable task each evening selecting wines from the impressive wine cellar with 10,000 bottles of wine, and over 1,000 different labels from 15 countries and 50 regions around the world, which is the largest public wine cellar in Ireland.
For Edward's first course, he selected the Sheen Falls Assiette Gourmande of Smoked Salmon and Sevruga Caviar, which was salmon perfection with salmon pate and smoked salmon rolled and filled with the caviar.
I selected the delightful Risotto of Castletownbere Crab with Roast Prawns presented in a deep bowl with a mound of al dente creamy risotto in the center, topped with fluffy dill, and surrounded by six tender prawns in a rich sauce.
For his second course, Edward selected the Fillet of Irish Beef on Garlic Creamed Potato, Caramelized Baby Onions, Baked Mushroom and Oxtail Pithivier, Sauce Béarnaise with Merlot Essence, accompanied with rosti potato balls, baby carrots, and spinach.
I had the Roast Dill Gnocchi and Seasonal Greens, Shizo Leaves with Noilly Pratt Fish Sauce, which was grilled courgette, grilled eggplant, haricot vert, peas, and crispy, cigar-shaped gnocchi.
Both of our courses paired well with the Warwick Three Cape Ladies 2001 Cape Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (41%), Pinotage (30%), and Merlot (29%), with 14.5% alcohol, from South Africa, with fruit up front on the nose, and rich flavors and spice on the palate.
Before our dessert course arrived, the chef sent us a delicious pre-dessert surprise of a duo of miniature warm chocolate cake with chocolate sauce and two slices of nectarine slices drizzled with a raspberry coulis presented on an art glass plate.
The dessert selections were too tempting to resist, and once again, being the chocolate lover that he is, Edward selected the Chocolate Teardrop with Valhrona White and Dark Chocolate Mousse with Milk Chocolate Sauce garnished with a sprig of mint, a spun sugar corkscrew, blackberries, red currents, and milk chocolate drops.
I ended the evening on a sweet note with the Ginger and Lemongrass Parfait with Rhubarb Compote and Rhubarb Coulis, presented as ginger and lemongrass ice cream over cake formed in a square pyramid-like shape, topped with spun sugar and a chocolate garnish, with pickled rhubarb and rhubarb compote. Artistically presented, this dessert not only satisfied my sweet tooth, it was a light and refreshing mixture of flavors.
Read about Sheen Falls Lodge in the Hotels and Resorts and Chefs' Recipes sections where Chef Philip Brazil shares his recipes for Roast Loin of Iberico Pork with Comfit of Irish Pork Belly, Caramelized Apple and Sweet Potato, Apple and Mooli Salad, Peanut Froth and Five Spice Essence.
Sheen Falls Lodge
County Kerry, Ireland
Please read other articles on Ireland in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Spas, Liquor Cabinet: Celtic Crossing Liqueur, Boru Vodka, Knappoque Irish Whiskey, Fashion, and Adventures sections.
For information on Ireland, please visit the website: Discover Ireland, www.DiscoverIreland.com or call them at +1-800-223-6470. For driving directions in Ireland, visit www.aaireland.com.
For information on Aer Lingus, please visit the website: Aer Lingus, www.AerLingus.com.
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