We all heard the mutterings and murmurings that this would be the harshest winter since the dawn of time. Now, I don’t know about you but I always roll my eyes when people say that. I have a good outdoor jacket and some boots, I live in the North, what are you nesh southerners on about? Oh, was I wrong. The Beast From the East thoroughly battered us and I always find whenever the snow is falling and I’m putting on my fourth pair of socks that I crave warm comforting food, the type of food that means I may need one less layer.
Luckily for me, the Devonshire Cat is launching a new menu which is full of tasty treats. With a shift in focus which means that carnivores, vegetarians and those intolerant to gluten can all find plenty of options, it’s definitely one to get on your radar.
We started with courgette and apple fritters. Deliciously crispy and fresh, you could forget you were eating something deep fried. The other starters we sampled involved curried popcorn for something a bit different, and heart mussels in a chorizo broth. All were generous portions bursting with flavour and the curried popcorn was definitely something I’d never tried before.
The mains came swiftly after the starter knives and forks were put down. We were treated to a spinach and egg pie – the Dev Cat’s take on Greek Spanakopita – with fresh minty peas and greens. Light and fresh, it definitely made me dream of the promise of summer which will apparently be coming our way at some point soon. Then there was a pork chop with a mustardy creamy sauce and braised cabbage. This is definitely one for the carnivores in your group. Never one to skimp on portion size the Dev Cat excelled themselves with this one, with not only a huge pork chop but also black pudding mixed into a potato hash underneath. Delicious and indulgent it was certainly one to write home about. On offer on the lighter side was a crispy-skinned salmon with a citrus pea risotto which was creamy but not overwhelming and a mushroom-stuffed chicken with spring greens and a complimentary mushroom gravy which tied everything together perfectly.
Whilst managing to stick to high-class comfort pub-style meals the Dev Cat has definitely upped its game this season by introducing the lighter, veggie and gluten-free options. It’s perfect for both wintery days and those with the promise of spring in the air.
Words & Images: Erin Lawlor