Orchids Restaurant at Hayfield Manor in Cork, Ireland features Head Chef Graeme Campbell's' Contemporary Irish Cuisine in an attractive setting.
The ambience at Orchids Restaurant is one of contemporary elegance where special lighting gently bathes the room and the stately wood pillars in orchid light. A table in the center of the room features a large urn arranged with whimsical glass curlicues and pink roses adding visual interest, as does four iron hanging screens which divide the room and create two separate dining spaces.
Slate colored velvet chairs add a sensual feel to the restaurant, and pristine white linens and napkins adorn the tables smartly accessorized with red anthurium in small white vases, and white tapers in silver candlesticks. Piano music drifts in from the lobby, adding to the elegance of the evening.
Edward F. Nesta and I stayed at the luxurious Hayfield Manor, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World in September 2007, and had a wonderful dinner at Orchids Restaurant sampling Chef Graeme Campbell's creative menu.
We began the evening by having a pre-dinner cocktail in the lounge called The Manor Bar, where the special cocktail of the month was "The Rebel that got the Cream" a play on words based on the big football game between Cork (the Rebels, colors red and white) and their rival Kerry (the Cats), and since we were in County Cork, we wisely decided to root for Cork and sample The Rebel that got the Cream, a delicious mix of vodka, crème de cacao, cranberry juice, and cream garnished with fresh red currents.
Seated in the dining room, dinner began with tempting Amuse Bouches of a ham hock terrine with lentils and red onions drizzled with a balsamic reduction for Edward, and for me, a goat cheese with red onion marmalade and balsamic reduction.
For his first course, Edward selected the Foie Gras and Chicken Ballotine, Armagnac Sultanas, Lychee and Crab Apple Chutney, presented as two heavenly slices of Foie Gras and Chicken Ballotine, and two tasty mounds of flavor in the Armagnac soaked sultanas, and the delicious lychee and crab apple chutney.
I had the Crab & Prawn Linguine, Orange & Tarragon Cream, with an abundance of Aged Parmesan Shavings, which was a lovely introduction to Chef Graeme's culinary style, especially when Sommelier Pierre Toussant paired this course with a 2004 Meursault Les Corbins Bitouzet-Prieur, 13%, with its heady aroma and rich fullness that lingered on the palate.
We continued with a refreshing Passion Mango Sorbet with diced Exotic Fruits for a second course that was a lovely palate cleanser.
Edward selected the gorgeously presented Milk Fed Loin of Veal, Classic Garnish of Braised Onions, Button Mushrooms, Smoked Bacon, Parisienne Potatoes, and Madeira Jus as his third course, which when paired with a 2003 Kaapzicht, a Merlot and Cabernet blend, 14.5%, had enough taste to tempt the angels with tender veal, rich sauce, and vegetables.
I continued with a third course of Three Pieces of Sea bass Fillet, Caramelised Salsify, Rocket Leaves, Sautéed Sweet Potatoes, and Light Cinnamon Emulsion, which was a lively interplay of interesting flavors between the lightly salted sea bass and sweet potatoes contrasting with the slightly bitter greens, colorful diced red tomatoes, salsify, and hint of cinnamon emulsion.
We ended the evening in perfect harmony savoring a well-constructed and appealing Alaska Semifreddo served on a Soft Biscotto with a hint of a raspberry sauce for dessert, that was the finishing touch to a fabulous evening.
Please read other articles on Hayfield Manor Hotel in Hotels and Resorts, about their other restaurant, Perrots Garden Bistro in the Restaurants section, and Chefs' Recipes where Head Chef Graeme Campbell shares a few of his tasty recipes.
Hayfield Manor Hotel
County Cork, Ireland
Please read other articles on Ireland in the Destination - County Clare and County Kerry, Ireland, Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Spas, Liquor Cabinet: Celtic Crossing Liqueur, Boru Vodka, Knappogue Castle Irish Whiskey, Fashion, Adventures and Luxury Products 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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