DINING in remains the new dining out, and for many restaurants, 2021 could well be the first St Valentine’s Day their dining rooms are empty of tables for two.
Closed for dining in they may be, but throngs of eager diners are still looking for something a little bit extra for their Valentine’s Night In this year.
Thanks to some seriously good offerings for At Home Meal Kits from some of Cork’s top romantic spots, a table for two in the comfort of your own home doesn’t seem a bad idea at all!
Worry no more, my star-crossed lovers — here are my top recommendations for doing just that. Cork has got you well and truly sorted!
The Montenotte Hotel, Montenotte, Cork City
The team at the hotel, led by Executive Head Chef Tabrez Shaikh, have enhanced their very popular Call & Collect Afternoon Tea and created a specifically themed Pure Cork Valentines Afternoon Tea for you to enjoy with your loved one.
The Pure Cork Afternoon Tea comes housed inside a Valentine’s three-tiered carry-out box and includes delights such as Valentine’s Battenburg, Panna Cotta with Kinsale Red Berry Mead; Miso Slow Cooked Duck with Onion and Cranberry Jam and Crab Skagen with Butter Lettuce and Marie Rose on Porter House Bread. Add a bottle of fizz to create a sparkling experience!
Costs €55 or €95 with sparkling wine. Available February 12 to 14 inclusive, collect noon to 3pm daily. To book call 021 4530050 or visit www.TheMontenotteHotel.com
The Metropole Hotel, MacCurtain Street, Cork City
Home of the warmest of Cork welcomes, the Metropole may not be able to host you in its historic surrounds, but it can treat you to its Valentine’s Afternoon Tea at Home.
A selection of love-themed sandwiches, including rolled Pastrami and Rocket, 1953 Coronation Chicken and a classic open Smoked Salmon on Soda Bread; beautifully finished miniature cakes such as Pink Hear-Shaped Meringues, a Selection of Macarons and freshly baked scones with whipped cream and heart shaped strawberries — plus more besides.
All for €30 per person and add a bottle of Prosecco for €15.
Order online at www.themetropolehotel.ie
Diva Boutique Bakery, Ballinspittle, County Cork
Shannen Butler Keane makes some of the most wonderfully sinful patisserie in Cork! This year, she and her team are offering not one, but three, different Valentine Cake Selection Boxes — each one centred around a heart shaped chocolate cakes filled with their signature buttercream flavoured with rasp-berry!
One heart-shaped chocolate cake on its own, perfect for sharing or generous for one. €10.
Diva’s Valentine’s Day Cake Selection Box, €35. Includes: a Heart Shaped Chocolate Cake, signature chocolate brownies in a heart shape with a rose chocolate glaze, a slice of lemon meringue cake, raspberry, white chocolate and pecan blondie, decorated sugar cookies and handmade chocolate truffles.
The Diva Deluxe Valentine’s Day Box (€115) includes everything from the cake selection box, plus one of their beautiful Irish linen aprons, bespoke made by Enrich & Endure.
The Cake Selection and Deluxe Selection are boxed and tied with a beautiful seasonal floral mini bouquet.
Order online www.divaboutiquebakery.com
Greene’s Restaurant, MacCurtain Street, Cork City
Bryan McCarthy knows a thing or two about crafting show-stopping dishes that look and taste great. Food designed to impress, the team at Greene’s have created three beautiful Valentine’s Menus especially for you. Starting from €45 for two courses including complimentary chocolate truffles and a small gift for you, there are options for sides and desserts to tailor your special meal exactly to your tastes.
Order online at www.greenesrestaurant.com/menus , available all weekend.
Market Lane, Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork City
Market Lane is delighted to offer its Heat-at-Home Valentine’s Box offering a choice of main courses to personalise your meal to your taste, side dishes and desserts.
The Box also includes a tote bag with their motivating Keep Going Cork local, and options to add a bottle of Prosecco, wine from their comprehensive wine list and pre-mix cocktails to really get the evening off to a fine start!
Available to order online until Thursday February 11 via www.marketlane.ie for collection on either February 12/13/14.
The Glass Curtain, McCurtain Street, Cork City
A firm favourite for Corkonians for Click and Collect, the Glass Curtain At Home comes to the rescue yet again with their Valentine’s Tasting Menu (€85 for 2 sharing).
Customers will be given tutorials via Instagram or Facebook on how to finish the meal kit at home, keeping it simple for minimal fuss — just how we like it!
Treat yourself to a cheeky sounding cocktail! Choose from a Naked & Famous, Aviation or a a Rhubarb and Apple Brandy Royale — each one pink and purple for the day that’s in it! Naturally, champagne is also available.
Dishes on the tasting menu include: Skeaghanore Chicken and Duck Terrine, Passionfruit and Coffee Jelly; Seared Scallops, Coconut Nam Jim, Charred Broccoli; Dry-aged Rib of Beef, Caramelized Salsify, Grilled Hispi Cabbage, Beef Jus, Smoked Bone Marrow Butter and Roasted Pineapple, Rum Caramel, White Chocolate and Coconut Cream to finish as well as sides and petit fours too!
A Vegetarian version of the tasting menu is available too (€65 for 2 sharing).
Order online or over the phone, collect Saturday, February 13, 4pm to 6.45pm, and Sunday February 14, 2pm to 4.45pm.
Good Day Deli, Nano Nagle Place, Cork City
For Valentines, Good Day Deli will deliver Kete Kai Boxes on Friday, February 12 for a romantic date night at home with a decadent GDD Sharing Platter, a bottle of Natural Wine and their delicious Speciality Cake Slices.
Good Day Deli’s new Garden Grab + Go Menu will be available all Valentine’s weekend long, Friday to Sunday, 11am to 3pm. Stop by the café situated in the oasis that is the gardens of Nano Nagle Place for Hibiscus Poached Pear Pancakes, or one of their new Reuben or Smoked Salmon Bagels, Big Tihi Burger and the ever-popular Kai Moana or Seared Halloumi Tacos.
To order your Kete Kai box, or to view the latest Grab + Go menu, visit www.gooddaydeli.ie
Farmgate Café, The English Market, Cork City
Using only the freshest of locally sourced ingredients from the English Market, the Farmgate have created their Valentine’s Dinner Box and, very cleverly, have an option to include Brunch for the morning after too to make their Valentine’s Hamper!
Choose from a bottle of prosecco or white or red wine and indulge in a three-course menu of fresh Crab Fish Cakes, indulgent slow braised Featherblade of O’Mahony’s Beef and a Flourless Chocolate Cake.
Brunch includes orange juice, Sweet Geranium Fruit Compote, Yogurt and Housemade Granola; Coughlan’s Corned Beef Potato Hash, and a bag of artisan roasted coffee from Stonevalley Coffee Roasters in Bandon.
Valentine’s Dinner Box 3-course menu with wine, €65. Valentine’s Hamper (Dinner & Brunch), €100.
Order online or via phone with collection on Friday or Saturday.
Pilgrim’s — Pick Up & Provisions, Rosscarbery, West Cork
Pilgrim’s pivoted to offering a Pick-Up & Provisions offering last year and it has been an unbridled success.
For this Valentine’s Day, the team are ready to serve up restaurant standard food for an at- home indulgence with unabashed sounding, The Love Box.
The Love Box is designed for two and includes a selection of three starters to share, a choice of two main courses for two to heat at home, and a chocolate dessert for two. Choose from a bottle of bubbles or red wine to accompany the meal, and some house-made chocolates for afterwards.
Expect one or two other little surprises in there too: just to set the mood!
€80 per box, order online via www.pilgrims.ie
Sage 2Go, Midleton, Co Cork
Kevin Ahern has created three Valentine’s Date Night Menu’s that embrace the casual nature of Sage2Go with pure abandon. & Buy You Chips is all about the Hot Wings, House Cheeseburgers with Home Fries and the Chocolate Chip Cookie Cream Pie. Have I Told You Lately is an ode to the fancy steak dinner, and Sharing is Caring is a feast of nibbles: flatbreads and dips, mini brisket sliders, dim sum, honeyed wings and sweet treats to finish.
Add one of their Love is in the Air Cocktails to complete the impressive array for the object of your desire!
Prices between €50-€60, order online for Click and Collect www.sagerestaurant.ie/sage-2go
Restaurant Chestnut, Ballydehob, West Cork
Freshly back from their winter break and a spring in their step after retaining their Michelin Star, Restaurant Chestnut kick off a new season differently with their Valentine’s Take Out Menu.
A three-course Michelin standard menu at home for two sounds just the ticket!
Some of the items will require a little heat and assembly at home but comes with full notes on just want to do.
The menu will be released on February 11, and phone lines will open to place order from midday on Thursday February 12.
Orders to be collected at a pre-arranged time early afternoon on Sunday 14th February.
Glenmar At Home, Union Hall, West Cork
Glenmar Shellfish, one of Ireland’s biggest exporters of premium Irish landed fish and shellfish, recently launched their Glenmar At Home online ordering service delivering export-grade fresh fish direct to your door.
For something a little bit extra special for this Valentine’s Day, treat yourself to their Luxury Seafood Box inspired by a typical Parisian Seafood platter, carefully curated for four people, but to be honest I wouldn’t be in a rush to share with anyone but my one true love!
The Luxury Box includes a Whole West Cork Lobster, Deep Sea Prawns, Cooked Spider Claws, Cooked Crab Toes, a pack of West Cork Smoked Salmon (pre sliced) and Wild Atlantic Shrimp.
Priced at €100 with free shipping included, this box will keep for a couple of days once refrigerated.
Just this and a really good quality bottle of Champagne would be about perfect!
Order online at www.glenmarathome.com - allow a few days for delivery.