I am off to a good food start out here in Cork! First there was the Cork and Kerry Food Forum and the next week I was invited to try out the Clarion Hotel Cork‘s new tapas menu. I absolutely love Spanish tapas, which is what Clarion is offering with their new menu: “Our Clarion Hotel Cork Tapas menu was created our by our new Spanish chef Maria who took time to work on the variety of Tapas appetizers and snacks famous from her native Spanish cuisine.” Along with the Tapas tasting, they also presented a selection of wines, chosen specifically to go along with these tasty tapas. I was never really a wine drinker until recently, when I started appreciating the flavors and discovered some great wines. At the tapas tasting I mostly enjoyed one of their white wines, especially the Olvena Chardonnay, presented to us by their wine connoisseur Barry.
Atrium Tapas Selection
Available at the Atrium every Tuesday to Friday night from 5.30pm until 8pm:
- Homemade breads with Hummus
- Patatas bravas with Spicy Tomato Salsa
- Bruschetta with Caper, Olive & Italian Parsley
- Chorizo & Roast Squash Salad, Sundried Tomato
- Tiger Prawns Pil Pil
- Crispy Smoked Bacon & Mozzarella Arancini’s
- Roasted Red Pepper & Confit Potato Frittata
- Cajun Chicken Wings Herb Yoghurt
- Salted Cod Fish Croquettes, Lemon Aioli
- Chorizo, Potato & Thyme Quesadilla
- Mehico Meatballs- Smoky Tomato Sauce
Special Offer – Choose any 4 Tapas dishes for only €16 per person
(this offer excludes the Tiger Prawns Pil Pil dish)
Torres Mas Rabell Blanco
Tasting Notes: Beautiful pale gold colour. Fine notes of fruit (apple) with delicate notes of wild herbs (fennel). The palate is silky with a dry elegance. – Find out more about this wine on their website
Marqués de Riscal Rueda
Tasting notes: A bright, straw-yellow coloured wine. As you expect from a verdejo wine, on the nose it has high aromatic intensity, with tropical fruit and hints of fennel and fresh grass. In the mouth it is both syrupy smooth and refreshing, with a slightly bitter finish which is typical of the variety making it long and pleasant to drink. Overall it is a fresh, well-balanced wine. – Find out more about this wine on their website
Tasting notes: Intense yellow colour with greenish, brillant and luminous gleams, the varietal bouquet of apple peach, aromatics and exotic fruits prevail on the taste become delicious, balanced and oily, with a pleasant pace and long persistence. – Find out more about this wine on their website
Torres Mas Rabell Tinto
Tasting Notes: Deep dark crimson colour. Clearly Mediterranean, it offers seductive aromas of fruits (blackberries) and spices. Its soft tannins offer a velvery palate, with notes of fine liquorice and forest fruits. – Find out more about this wine on their website
Torres Atrium Merlot
Tasting Notes: Attractive dark cherry colour. Generous and intense varietal aroma, with hints of mature fruits, including jams (plums and bilberries), overlaying truffle and bay leaf aromas. The palate is ample and generous, with excellent sweet tannins that open out to fruit-laden nuances reminiscent of the nose. As the wine reaches chambré temperatures it exudes rich hints of leather and vanillin that evolve towards a sensuous and persistent, long finish. – Find out more about this wine on their website
Marqués de Riscal Ardo Rioja
Tasting Notes: It is medium-bodied with a pleasant ripe plum and dark fruit flavours and a slightly toasted finish. High aromatic intensity, with complex aromas of spices, ripe plums and ripe dark fruit with fine toasted aromas coming through.
Our first dish of the evening was Chorizo & Roast Squash Salad, Sundried Tomato, quite a hit right off the bat! A light salad with only a few ingredients (the roast squash was particularly delicious): perfect start of the evening! I am quite fond of chorizo and I must say the pairing with roast squash and sundried tomato is something I will be exploring further in my kitchen, to see what else I can combine with these 3 ingredients.
We first were presented with a colorful plate of bruschetta with Caper, Olive & Italian Parsley. Bruschetta just so happens to be one of my favorite starters (along with artisan bread and a variety of dips) so I was quite excited about this one. Very flavorful, juicy and tasty!
We then moved on to Roasted Red Pepper & Confit Potato Frittata, with a very tasty dip and again a fresh light salad on the side. Next up was my personal favorite dish of the evening: Patatas bravas with Spicy Tomato Salsa. The combination between the potatoes and the salsa was magical, the flavors divine!
Followed was another one of my favorites: Mehico Meatballs- Smoky Tomato Sauce. My goodness! I can make some pretty lovely meatballs myself but the smoky tomato sauce was an eye opener, what a sauce! We ended the evening with Salted Cod Fish Croquettes, Lemon Aioli and Crispy Smoked Bacon & Mozzarella Arancini’s. I had never had cod as croquette before, as we usually eat them with cheese or prawns in Belgium. Same thing goes for the Arancini’s, which wasn’t anything I had ever eaten before, but was a delicious end to our evening at Clarion.
If you are looking for a new addition to your favorite bites to eat in Cork city, I highly recommend you stop by the Atrium in Clarion Hotel soon. Make sure not to miss out on the Patatas Bravas and Mehico Meatballs (they go really well with each other too) and have a sip of their delicious wine selection too. I for one can’t wait to go back there and try the other tapas on their menu that caught my eye, like the Cajun Chicken Wings Herb Yoghurt and Chorizo, Potato & Thyme Quesadilla.