Friday, 5 December 2008

Bistro Iona, Holywood, County Down

It's the second day, in a row, that I have eaten out this week. Our venue, this evening, was the Bistro Iona restaurant in Holywood, County Down. We have never experienced a poor meal at this establishment yet. Tonight was no exception.

We'd arranged to meet up with Godmother at 6.40 pm. Typically, having driven a hundred yards up the road, I checked my jacket pocket and realized that I'd forgotten my wallet; so that added five minutes to my timing, having gone through the rigmarole of unlocking the door, intruder alarm etc. Godmother was awaiting us in the Iona's dining-room. We had a table at the window.

This restaurant is reliable and consistent. Godmother and I both ordered the same meal that we had a year ago! Prawn cocktail - with a slice of smoked salmon on top this time; followed by confit of duck. The dowager had a crostini and brie salad; followed by a vegetarian dish of some sort.

The prawn cocktail was very good. It was served with a slice of wheaten bread. The duck, like last year, melted in the mouth. It was served with red cabbage and mash. The meal had plenty of flavour and was well seasoned. We had a dish of simple vegetables with it, consisting of carrot, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

They brought us their customary basket of fresh French bread with butter, which was sumptuous as usual. Steam was rising from it. Godmother had provided a bottle of red wine. The Iona is unlicensed.

The Iona is an unpretentious place. In many ways it's quite traditional. It is a small restaurant and it's on the first floor, so you have to climb a long flight of stairs. I imagine there must be nine or ten tables. The staff are friendly and attentive.

The Early Bird menu costs £15 for two courses; and £17 for three. Our bill amounted to £49.85, including corkage at a pound.

I'm looking forward to our next visit there already!


Jason Bell said...

The duck, like last year, melted in the mouth. It was served with red cabbage and mash.

Reminds me of a dish that my wife and I used to eat in York. Instead of red cabbage it had red onion instead, the gravy was made up from red wine and the juices of the duck. It was lovely, in fact we make it from time to time.

Thanks for reminding me!


Timothy Belmont said...

Funny you should mention red onion: the Dowager had a veggie main course with heaps of caramelized onion. I tasted it and it was delicious!