Living in Navan a town close by, I only found out about Tankardstown House by flicking through ‘Ireland’s Blue Book‘. Excited to see what Brabazon Restaurant had to offer I booked a table for dinner. Tankardstown House is located in the quiet countryside just outside the town of Slane, Co. Meath. The grounds of the house are well maintained and there is a lovely water fountain as you enter the courtyard from the car park. The restaurant’s décor is beautiful with a country rustic feel. It is spacious and brightly lit. Lovely large mirrors hanging from the light coloured stone walls and the windows are drawn over by creamy white curtains. We ordered a bottle of Babington Brook (Australian) Shiraz 2009. A fantastic wine full of flavour and slightly sweet with light tannins, reasonably priced at €20. I highly recommend this wine. The menu offers an excellent variety of starters and main about 6 different choices each. There were 3 different breads types on the evening. One that really caught my taste buds had mixed herbs and red onions on top, very delicious.
To start the evening the chef surprised us with an amuse bouche of Ham and Potato with milk foam. It was a very nice touch and the portion size was very good and most important it tasted great. *** For starters I ordered the Cock-a-Leekie Terrine with roast garlic aioli, crisp sage and little onions pickled, white soda bread. It was delicious and beautifully presented on a wooden board. Uncle Ding and I ordered an extra starter to share and we tried the Fillet of Gerry Carraghers’ Beef with Fine Herbs and Black Onion Seeds – soused cauliflower, Castlebellingham blue cheese, roasted marrow bone with black pudding. Again the presentation was very nice but the starter wasn’t as good as the terrine. *** For mains I had the Roast Rump of Loch Erne Lamb – boxti potato, peas and carrots, forvm vinegar jus and confit lamb breast. The lamb was cooked to exactly to my liking (a juicy pinkish medium). Very tasty and again excellent portion size. Uncle Ding had the Roast Loin of Suckling Pig – illette of the leg, potato terrine and poached black pudding, crispy black bacon, apple and pear purée cider. His girlfriend ordered the Fillet of Turbot from Clogherhead poached in Red Wine, Ratté potatoes and clams, braised oxtail, peas and chervil, chicken and tomato consommé *** For dessert we shared a chocolate fondant and a créme…forgot the name (cream mixed with passion fruit in a champagne glass served with home made biscuits). Not really a fan of chocolate but the fondant was nice. *** To finish my uncle and I both had a glass of dessert wine. Which the Thomasina the restaurant manager gave on the house to congratulate me on my recent degree results and future career!
I had a chance to meet and praise Head Chef Richard Luckey for all the fantastic food we ate this evening. Recently I had dined in 2 different Michelin restaurants in Dublin, L’Ecrivain and Chapter One. In my honest opinion the standard of food that Brabazon offers is just as good, if not better than both restaurants. Prices here are very reasonable about €6 – €10 for starters & €18 – €25 for mains. I am already really looking forward to my next visit, when I return home to Ireland!