Each dish is a master class in French cuisine. The flavours are well balanced and each dish, whether it is a main or side dish, is carefully made with extreme attention to detail.
I cannot possibly say enough good things about the French table, but I will try to cram them all into this review. Although, you might not call this a review, but an article of praise about the single best place to eat in Limerick. Yes! The French Table is that good! It has been recommended by the Georgina Campbell guide and is one of Lucinda O’Sullivan’s “places to eat” 2010.
Located on Steamboat Quay you would be forgiven for missing this stellar restaurant, until now. The restaurant is small, but endeavours to be both cosy ( with its plush lilac velvet & olive upholstery) and neat, with crisp white tablecloths & napkins. The proprietors of the French Table do not need to dazzle their customers with whacky artwork or fancy silverware, their food is impressive enough.
Each dish is a master class in French cuisine. The flavours are well balanced and each dish, whether it is a main or side dish, is carefully made with extreme attention to detail. The vegetables and sautéed potatoes which arrive as side dishes are a delight in themselves. Carrots, green beans and celery are cooked to utter perfection to maintain their delicate flavour and crispness while the potatoes are like tiny roasties, crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside and a touch salty. I would be happy to eat these by themselves! Even the bread is amazing; it tastes exactly like the bread served in bistros around Paris.
For the lunchtime menu you can try fishcakes, a chicken and smoked bacon salad, tiger prawn salad, warm steak sandwich, croque monsieur (a toasted ham and cheese sandwich with béchamel sauce and sautéed potato) and croque madam (similar to the croque monsieur except with a fried egg). Mains include a grilled breast of chicken, confit of duck leg where the meat slides off the bone and melts in the mouth with a rich red wine jus, and a grilled sirloin steak. These dishes might sound pedestrian but I promise you this food is impressive.
The dinner menu offers more recognisable French delicacies such as escargot with garlic and herb butter, foie gras terrine with red onion marmalade on a toasted brioche, traditional French onion soup and some crispy suckling pig with bramley apple purée. Vegetarians will not be disappointed as you can choose from a goat’s cheese tartlet with salad, Mediterranean couscous, mushroom tart or gnochhi.
Of course, the desserts have never failed to impress me in The French Table. Whatever the tarte du jour is I urge you to get it. Their almond and blueberry tart is amazing, eyes rolling back into your head amazing. Sweet, nutty and moreish, the almond filling is complemented by the mellow flavour of the blueberries. Most desserts come with a scoop of Adare Farm ice cream which is like the Ben and Jerry’s of Limerick, a luxurious creamy wonder. Other dessert delights include vanilla flavour crème brulée, chocolate mousse with chantilly cream, nougat glacé and crepes with lemon and sugar, chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream, or berries and chantilly cream. They also offer a dessert platter for two people, and the next time I go to the French Table I am tempted to order just this and make an utter savage of myself, all within the refined surroundings of the French Table.
The staff are friendly, polite and efficient and always eager to make your meal as relaxed as possible. The prices are phenomenal for the quality of the food and the service you receive. This is what keeps me coming back to The French Table, it is the best food, best service and best value for money for fine dining in Limerick. But don’t let the term “fine dining” put you off, the French table is about relaxation and comfort, wear your jeans, forget your tie and your belt buckle, you won’t be needing it!
Visit The French Tables website