Third time lucky….
Yesterday I got an unexpected day off. Upon finding out late on Thursday night I quickly planned it out: sleep in, breakfast, clean kitchen, lunch, clean kitchen, dinner, recipe testing and wine, bed. A simple day. That all changed when Ali mentioned that she had to work in Carlow for a half hour around 12.30 if I wanted to come with her and go for lunch afterwards. Lennons! Although I previously enjoyed a quick work lunch at Lennons a few months back, we have tried twice before to go for lunch together here but it didn’t work out, the first time it was closed and the second time we arrived at three to find that the kitchen had just closed.
Lennon’s is a warm and welcoming café located on the ground floor of the Visual Centre for Contemporary Art and George Bernard Shaw Theatre building. We entered to be greeted by a friendly and helpful host who led us to our table in front of the specials board. Ali quickly decided on the pasta with sun-dried tomato and spinach while I laboured over the numerous options eventually settling on the cottage pie. We also ordered a side of chips with homemade garlic mayo.
The food arrived quite quickly and was presented well. My cottage pie was delicious. Comforting and perfectly seasoned it was the ideal foil for storm Desmond who was (and still is) rattling the trees outside. Although the green beans on the side were a little overcooked for me, the pie itself was faultless. Ali’s pasta was also beautifully cooked with moist chicken and a creamy sauce. As good as all of this was, it was the garlic mayo that stole the show. Creamy with copious amounts of garlic, perfect.
For dessert we decided to share an ice-cream with butterscotch sauce. The ice-cream was wonderful but the sauce was a bit of a let down, a little bland and light but maybe I’m being harsh, it is impossible to beat your grandmother’s butterscotch after all. I finished with a strong double espresso (that was joined by a small piece of brownie, nice touch). I was delighted to taste a little bitterness in the coffee as most places now favour the smoother blends to the detriment of flavour. Greenbean Roasters in Dundalk supply the coffee beans, I’ll have to keep an eye out.
We really enjoyed our lunch at Lennons and it was well worth returning a third time for. The staff are friendly while the atmosphere is pleasant with a good mix of suits and jeans. The food is well cooked and comforting and everything we had was seasoned perfectly, so often a let down in cafés. Lunch wasn’t particularly cheap but was good value for the quality on offer. We paid €41.50 for 2 mains (specials), chips with garlic mayo, 1 dessert, a double espresso, a tea and a glass of club orange.