Redbank House & Restaurant, Skerries

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My sister Sarah is a truly exceptional human being in every way. So when she scored crazy high points in her Leaving Certificate exams this year, I was over the moon for her, and was never surprised! She gives everything she ever does her all. To celebrate her outstanding results we decided to go out for dinner. The weather was gorgeous, so when a drive to Skerries for dinner. When The Redbank Restaurant was suggested, we all agreed. Reason one; The Redbank is a good spot for special occasions. Reason 2; Sarah had never been before.

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We arrived quite early so had plenty of time to admire the Skerries Mills, drive along the always buzzingly busy Harbour road and park at Martello tower to look out on the coast and take in the fresh air. Skerries is undeniably picture perfect. I took some of these shots from the car window, can’t you tell? I’m sure you can from their wonkiness.

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We left Martello and made our way back toward the restaurant; parking on Church street which is a lot more peaceful than Harbour road. Here, on Convent lane you’ll find the entrance, veiled in greenery.

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Ring the doorbell, and the owner of the Redbank House, Terry, will lead you to a sitting room where you may begin your evening with an apéritif.

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The place is a little rustic, possibly old fashioned..but in a charming way. The aforementioned Terry (McCoy) distinguishable by his beard and long ponytail, has won countless awards for the Redbank and is an avid supporter of fresh local produce. The Redbank Restaurant is predominantly seafood; and you can’t get much better than the freshest catch from Skerries harbour.

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We sat by the fireplace,which of course wasn’t lit (it was August!) but was very comfortable all the same. We settled in nicely and ordered a bottle of cava to toast my super smart sis. Terry left us to our devices to peruse the menu but not before bringing taster plates of fried potato skins; all golden and crispy. A nice pre-dinner touch to accompany a chilled glass of bubbles.

We chose a red and white wine pretty handy but it was a tough choice choosing a dish with such a great and varied selection for both starters and mains. Soups, carpaccio, pigeon.. a huge selection of fish and shellfish (as expected!) steak, lamb, duck and pork. As a huge lover of shellfish the ‘Dublin bay prawns, cockles, mussels, rock oyster and lobster pieces in a champagne sauce’ sounded kinda perfect, don’t you think? My choice was made; the Shellfish Millennium. No regrets.

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 20.30.25Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 20.30.55Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 20.31.42 We were led to our table which was lit by candlelight. The dining room is classic, dimly lit and comfortable. There was a couple in the corner of the restaurant but otherwise it was quiet. It was only a Wednesday, and since the weather was so beautiful, perhaps a lot of people gravitated toward the harbour for the evening. According to my parents, it can be quite busy on the weekends. As you may have guessed, The Redbank House & Restaurant was originally a bank in Skerries. The picture above shows the old vault, which now serves as a wine cellar. Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 20.31.32Screen Shot 20<a href= My Mother had the mussels, my Father the seafood chowder (he is a chowder freak) while my sister and I pinched all the Guinness bread, which was delicious, if you’re asking. We were saving ourselves for the main course…well, I was anyway. I had one too many potato skins. Main course time… Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 20.31.52

Roast breast of Barberry duck with baked grated potato.

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Organic smoked salmon

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Ardgillan Park fillet steak with a red wine, shitaki mushroom and beef marrow sauce, with tarragon and cream. Each dish comes with a small selection of vegetables and potatoes. Portions are generous so a side isn’t really necessary…especially when you order the seafood millennium.

Everyones course had arrived at the table except mine. I knew it was coming, I was totally chill…and full of potatoes and Guinness bread. Then the diners across the room caught my eye. Their mouths were open in disbelief, then they looked over and gave me a smile. Terry was coming from the kitchen with a red apron under his arm, his two hands busy holding what can only be described as the type of plate you use to serve a fat Christmas turkey.

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 20.32.36Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 20.32.59 Behold! The seafood millennium! It was a feast for the eyes, let alone the belly. So much seafood, piled high, all for me. I must warn you though; it’s a laborious dish. It took an hour to eat, and I had my Dad de-shelling prawns the whole time as I ate mussels and squid. If he hadn’t taken on the job as chief prawn disassembler, I’d be there all night. He kindly offered after I cut my finger on my third prawn. A rookie mistake. Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 20.33.12 I would order the seafood millennium again, and the sauce was incredible. Next time I would share with someone as it can go cold, and I would ask for more sauce on the side. Another very nice touch at The Redbank is the dessert trolley. Who can resist tiers of treats? There was pecan pie, flourless chocolate cake, tiramisu, baklava and a few more that I fail to remember. Whatever your choice, its served with a dollop of fresh cream if you fancy. Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 20.33.25Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 20.33.34Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 20.33.45

I had the tiramisu. I must order tiramisu or cheesecake when I see them on a menu – my two loves! The tiramisu was nice. It was rich in coffee flavours but in turn that made it a little soggy. My favourite is still from a restaurant in Spain, Los Abanicos, which can’t be beat – so I’m a bit of a harsh critic. Next time I would try the flourless chocolate orange cake. My parents aren’t crazy on desserts and stuck with coffee, and the only things my sister might have considered had nuts and she’s highly allergic, so I’ll have to leave you with just one dessert review!

This was my second time at the Redbank House & Restaurant. The food  and service are both very good, and little elements of the place make it memorable. I would return again in the future for a special occasion and perhaps on the weekend to experience a different atmosphere.

For more information, click here for the Redbank House & Restaurant website.

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