Food. Everyone knows how much I love food, well, how much both of us love food. But its so rare, especially for us travelling at the moment, that we take the time to go out for a nice meal. And yet here we are in Bushmills wandering down the main drag (one street, three blocks, appropriately titled Main St) with pub, chip shop, chip shop (chip shop=fast food joint), cafe (cafes close in the late afternoon), pub, gift shop, and the one nice restaurant. So Zoe and I splurge and head into 1608, named after the year in which the Bushmills Distillery first opened, the first ones in for dinner service.
The decor is sleek, chic and very classy nouveau, completely unexpected in this sleepy little town known for its excellent whiskey and its proximity to several major landmarks. The service, lets just say that I've been less than impressed by the service in the whole of Ireland, Northern or Republic. But the food, the food was absolute heaven. We started with the soup of the day, a brocoli (pardon me, food drunk and I can't spell) brocolli and Cashel Bleu cheese soup that tasted like pure heaven, served with lightly garlicked croutons. Zoe, for entree, had a Chicken Chilli wrap with rice noodles, vegetables and a caesar salad. It was tasty, with little chicken pieces that were lightly breaded. I was brave and ordered the special, a trio of lamb cutlets (aka chops) served with a mint pesto, vegetable stew provencal and roast potato spheres.
Good lamb is easy to come by in a country so populated by sheep, but this just purely melted in my mouth. As we were sitting and digesting, the chef smiled at me from the open kitchen and asked me how the meal was. So she and I had a brief yet pleasant chat about her fantastic food and I attempted, with no avail, to persuade her to share that soup recipe. Alas, I'll just have to figure it out on my own. Now I need to determine how to import good Irish cheese.