Food – Life, Passion, Art & Fun!
I’ve heard mixed reviews about the place and always had an interest to check it out since reading Tom Doorley’s article: A-Z of the top Irish restaurants by country in the Times way back in 2008. Both Dad and I decided to eat out one evening and this was my chance, as it’s only down the road. Located in Meath’s countryside Bellinter House is a beautiful 18th century house on its own estate. Entering the house for the first time, the receptionist could have shown a smile or at least try to show a genuine interest to help. Instead she was too busy figuring out why her computer says NO! We found out through a scowl, that the restaurant was located in the basement of the house. After wandering around confused through different rooms we came to a spiral staircase. I find this to be very dangerous as anyone could easily fall or trip after a few too many.
The restaurant has very simple décor, leaving the room feeling somewhat empty. The walls were a tired looking plain white, a dull carpet and inexpensive looking dining furniture filled the room. There were seven other tables including us for a Wednesday evening. The majority were couples and one large group, however only one waitress! Service wasn’t too slow as she was flying around, working the room well. This clearly showed her experience and excellent organisational skills. She even had time to pause and chat a while, genuinely interested in us. Our starters were delicious. Dad’s quail & fois gras was so good and importantly still moist and my pork belly wasn’t too bad, a little on the salty side. Mains were unfortunately not as impressive, very bog standard. Dad went for the safe bet a fillet steak, while I choose the Lamb shank, which I found to be disappointingly tough. I had considered ordering the duck, but took the advice of the waitress. Note to self: in the future follow your heart not your head! For dessert I decided to indulge in a cappuccino crème brûlée. Cutely presented in a cappuccino cup, tasted lovely and had a smooth creamy texture. Met the chef (Francoise) and had a good conversation with her, even got offered a job! The waitress didn’t charge for dessert, which was very kind of her. God I feel so bad that I can’t remember her name, shame on me!
I get a feel that Bellinter House is barely staying afloat, reflecting the current Irish economic environment. There are many things that need touching up on around the house just from what I saw, i.e. the drawing room looked shabby, a fresh coat of paint on the walls, the restaurants décor, a good deep cleaning, and most important of all a new friendly receptionist.
Bellinter House, Navan, Co.Meath, Ireland
Tel: +353 (0)46 9030900 | www.bellinterhouse.com