21 November, 2011

Espresso Style Recommends: Irish Pub, Constanta, Romania

I recently visited the Irish Pub in Constanta, Romania, my home town. It has long had a reputation for being one of the best places to eat in town. The relative notoriety and high standards are possible to uphold because of two reasons, in my opinion: one is that they are a franchise and therefor have to maintain a good joint and second because the notoriety of the brand is such that they attract a large number of people from out of town (note, the capital city, Bucharest) and, more important, expats and western business people.
That being said, let's get to the food and drink. We were a party of four, located in the non smoking area (not entirely separate, but good enough) for a semi festive lunch.

I arrived first and ordered an espresso.

First gold star they get for the attention of the waitress who asked me if i wanted my espresso normal or stretto (I already asked for a short one). So far, so good. The water was given as asked, not too cold, and served in nice tall glasses.
Then, when everybody was at the table we were served some fresh baked buns with Lupark (premium brand) butter. They were sooo good! We just ate them right away so I didn't have time for photos.
When it was time to eat, we ordered and the food was brought to us in reasonable time. We started with some salmon crostini, served with a generous helping of green salad, onions and tomato, dressed with a yogurt sauce.  It was good, regarding both taste and presentation.

The others had some eggplant dip and a lovely looking pumpkin cream soup with croutons that I never tasted.

For the main course I ordered a leg of duck (comfit) with orange and blood orange sauce. It was good, the meat fell wright off the bone and the little slices of orange were cut professionally and served without the little skins. The sauce a little too sweet, but ... who am I to complain. On the side were gratinated potatoes, cut in thin slices.

The misses had some carbonara, made with penne as a special request (in the menu were spaghetti) which she said was a little salty from all the parmesan cheese, but very tasty otherwise.

 The other couple had a roll of chicken meat with salmon in the middle (oddly tasting, strong fish taste, nice enough) with mashed potatoes and a serving of pasta with sea food and red sauce.

For desert we went for a chocolate and sour cherry roulade. That was good as long as you only had two teaspoons of it, otherwise it got too sweet.

Anyway, the place gets 4 (out of 5) stars for the food quality, and 4 as well for the service and atmosphere. The chairs were comfortable for eating and lounging (that tends to be a problem in some other places), the hall was populated enough not to feel lonely but not jam packed. The bar was well maned and worked fast and good. The waitress and helpers were also fast and polite and knew the menu. Smiles are important and we received them in proper moderation.
Not the least, the music was good (lounge style instrumental) and not too loud. I was told that it shifts towards a higher  bpm and volume in the evening. They have their own DJ. 
I recommend Irish Pub in Constanta with all confidence.

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