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The Oar: Food As Good As The Views

Tara Maher

The Oar reopened its kitchen last Wednesday. Dining in its upstairs restaurant, with the sun shining over the boats and a drink in my hand, the only words to describe it is 'bliss.' If you had told me I was actually in a restaurant in the South of France and not Crosshaven, I would have believed you. 

Their new extensive menu caters to all, and upon first glance, the chicken burger caught my eye. 

A fried spiced chicken fillet, house slaw, jalapenos, ruccola, red onion, and pickles served in a toasted brioche bun accompanied by hand-cut chips and garlic mayo didn't disappoint. 

It tasted fresh, and the crunch from the jalapeno and ruccola complimented the succulent spiced chicken fillet. The sizable burger left you full, satisfied, and not sickly afterward. 

Mussels, which were tossed in a combination of double cream, shallots, butter, garlic, thyme, parsley, bay leaves, and a splash of white wine sauce

My dinner date ordered the mussels, which were tossed in a combination of double cream, shallots, butter, garlic, thyme, parsley, bay leaves, and a splash of white wine sauce. The sauce was so tasty that I caught her stealing a few of my chips to soak the remainder of it up. 

We were hosted by General Manager Lynda Javier and her team, who effortlessly ran the busy floor on their first Saturday. 

Price-wise, it was very reasonable for the high-quality food on your plate and the views of the harbour. 

'The first pub as you enter the village' was taken over by Dr Nick Flynn last summer. Dr Flynn took the oars from JP English, who managed the bar for the past decade. 

Locals have been waiting to see when Dr. Flynn will eventually open the kitchen, and last Wednesday, the day finally came. 

Dr. Flynn's vision was to ​​build on all the good stuff that's already there" and work towards developing a venue that offered "what customers like, i.e., good quality, locally produced, fresh food, not overly complicated, and nicely priced, in a relaxed atmosphere."

Head Chef Siggy, along with Mark and Michal, is at the helm of The Oars kitchen. The new menu, which the head chef created, aims to showcase the finest foods the locality has to offer. 

Good Fish, Quigley Meats, and Matt O'Connell Seafoods, along with local fishermen, are only a sample of the high-quality suppliers from which the Oar team has sourced their produce. 

"Keeping it as local as we can is a priority," Dr. Flynn said, pointing out that all staff and contractors hired during the premises revamp are from the greater Crosshaven area. 

Flynn's priority was opening the kitchen, but he wanted to do it right and not fast: "We would have liked to have opened it sooner, but these things take time." 

With a dinner menu up and running, The Oar has focused on expanding into the breakfast and lunch trade. 

Summer 2024 is set to be a busy one in Crosshaven. Popular tourist attraction Camden Fort Meagher is set to reopen in a few days, and the biannual Cork Week Regatta will take place in July. People from near and far will be flocking to the seaside village, and Dr. Flynn hopes The Oar will be their first port of call for food, drink, and entertainment. 

Creating a relationship with the locals is important to Flynn, but he also wants The Oar to attract daytrippers from the city and beyond: "I want The Oar to be a place worth traveling to. "” 

Over the last few months, Flynn has rejuvenated the popular bar and restaurant and introduced many events, which include comedy nights, songwriters circle Club Camden, and their own Airbnb above the premises. 

When I visited, The Oar's new restaurant had only been open four days, and nearly every table was full. The Oar appeals to the majority, and its menu offers a mix of family dinners, date nights, and girls' dinners. I expect it will only get busier as the news about its opening spreads. 

The Oar is open for food Wednesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

To keep up to date with The Oar, you can find them on Facebook at 'The Oar Crosshaven' and on Instagram at 'the_oar_crosshaven.' 

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