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I’ve said it before…. we like to cook here.  All very well really, except it sometimes spoils the eating out experience!

We’ve got so bad, that even when we are doing a delivery run, we bring lunch with us.  OK, this is partially due to my wheat intolerance.  BUT it is also to do with the incredibly horrible stuff that is dished up in so many places.  When we are doing deliveries, time is of the essence, so we generally don’t have time to go and have a nice sit down lunch.

Both of us have had such bad experiences of the grab a quick sandwich or salad thing, we’ve now taken to bringing our lunch!

AND it even goes further than that.

The choice of good places to eat around us is very poor! Over the years we’ve tried many places…. and lord, the standard is atrocious!

Portumna (our closest town) has one place we would consider ‘decent’ and that’s an Indian restaurant.

Roscrea has nowhere.

Nenagh has one, or two, but it is a bit of a drive.

Our favourite restaurant, is Brocka on the Water, but that is in the price range of ‘special occasion’ and not somewhere you would go to regularly, or at the drop of a hat.

My Dad was staying with us last week (he would be a regular eating out person at home in Malahide), so he asked if we could go out to dinner over the weekend.

Well, where to go?  Dad really wouldn’t go for Indian, so Portumna was out.

We opted instead to head to Birr, or more precisely, Riverstown on the outskirts of Birr.

The Riverbank Restaurant is set in a beautiful location – as the name suggests right on the river bank of the Little Brosna.  It is a small restaurant run by Declan Leonard.

The atmosphere there is always lovely, with a warm welcome on arrival, no matter how long it has been since your last visit.

The menu changes regularly. You won’t encounter any foams or frills here, no stars or stripes either, just good food cooked simply.

Declan tries out new wines for his list and is happy to recommend new ones that he has discovered.

The food is consistently good.  We’ve never had a bad meal there and last Friday was no exception.  Despite the obvious cut back on staff numbers and who can blame any restaurant in this climate trying to keep overheads to a minimum, our experience was a very pleasant one.

Duck terrine with salad

My duck terrine was lovely.

kangaroo starter

The Kangaroo Starter was also a big hit.

Medallion of Bison and Venison steak

The Medallion of Bison & Venison Steak was delicious.

Strawberry & Cream dessert

And Dad’s highlight was the home-made Strawberry & Cream dessert made on the premises and of which I tried a spoonful or two, and can verify it was very nice indeed!

So if you’re in the Birr area… make sure to stop by the Riverbank Restaurant.

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