Deal of the week - Cruzzo Malahide
Cruzzo in Malahide sits on the edge of the marina overlooking the masts of the bobbing yachts below. Entering the restaurant across a bridge reminds you a little of the better aspects of the Celtic Tiger - plush interiors, a kindly escort from the Maitre-d and a grand piano that sits proudly reflecting the bright lights of the bar.
In fact, it's the experience, as much as anything else that makes this set evening menu my deal of the week. It's easy to eat well and relatively inexpensively these days, but when it comes to finding levels of service and attention to detail that go a little beyond what is on the plate, Cruzzo's holds its own as being something to get dressed up for.
Despite the watery location, Cruzzo is known more as a grill than for it's seafood dishes and as I was warming quickly to a more than decent Merlot, I took my time in deciding on a starter of fried brie and a chargrilled sirloin with peppercorn as a main.
The starter was excellent - the brie was creamy and not too soft from frying, with the warm beetroot salad folded and dressed to compliment.
After a suitable interval the steak arrived with that perfectly seared taste masking a soft red centre, with a helping of turned salad and fries it was better than I had anticipated. As the main course came to a close I began to feel at home. Across the table I sensed the surroundings, the service, the sea view and a moist helping of corn-fed chicken with tarragon and creamed mashed potato were having a similar effect on my dining companion.
By the time desserts of warm apple and berry crumble with creme Anglais had been enjoyed my watch told me I had been looking out over the marina for two and a half hours and could report all was well.
Whilst the Cruzzo set menu might be missing a little culinary adventure, what was brought to the table was cooked perfectly, served impeccably and excellent value.
The Cruzzo set evening menu serves three courses with a bottle of wine and costs €65 for two. Available all evening from Wednesday to Friday and until 7.45 at weekends.