Our friend Roz from Cork sent us in this review of the Hardwood Restaurant:
Despite an unfortunate name, the Hardwood Restaurant in Cork is heavenly. Who ever runs this place has taken all the good bits you imagine from the service Mr Knightly might have received in Jane Austen’s Emma, unstarched the collars and mixed it with chic modern style.
The staff are ever attentive, invisible and completely charming without making you in the slightest bit uncomfortable. The atmosphere is relaxed and effortless. The restaurant holds about 50 and was pretty full but there was no pressure, no delays and no lack of attention. Best seats are by the window so you can look out at the tree lined river view.
I had the Eggs Florentine and my boyfriend, in male fashion, had the full breakfast. Mine was two perfectly poached eggs (runny in the middle) on top of sauteed baby spinach mixed with softened onions on a muffin. I asked for the hollandaise on the side (which was of course not a problem); theirs was light and delicious.
The full Irish was equally impressive. Bacon, sausages, black and white pudding, grilled tomatoes, yummy Hardwood home fried potatoes, mushrooms and of course two poached eggs (eggs will be cooked to specification). The meat parts were quality (nothing worse then a cheap sausage) the eggs were as great as mine, and it came with really good toast (not your average white slice pan). The only slip was the mushrooms were a bit over cooked.
We both had freshly squeezed orange juice, self explanatory and yum. Coffee was great although I didn’t like the cups. I guess they’re just those standard bowl-type ones, but I don’t like them: not enough coffee and it goes cold too quickly. The bill was €37, this included two orange juices and four coffees. The breakfasts were about €10 each.
I did go here for dinner a while ago, there were five of us and every course of every meal was enjoyed. I had scallops to start, which were big and fresh, rather than those ity-bitty ones you sometimes get, which made me think they were hand picked from the bottom of the ocean by free divers. I also recommend the Rib eye: one of the best steaks I’ve eaten in a restaurant.
I really want to know who runs this place. They could show the light to all those pig fodder houses that call themselves restaurants. Needless to say I highly recommend the Hardwood, go, anytime, it rocks!