There is, in this increasingly competitive culinary environment that is the upscale restaurant scene in Merida, a new player in town and it is a stunner! Hennessy’s Irish Pub has moved into a stunning location designed by Henry Ponce the architect, on Meridas most important avenida under the gaze of the nearby Montejo clan statue, about a block from the equally sumptuous Rosas and Xocolate boutique hotel and restaurant, whose most recent claim to fame was Caroline Kennedy popping in for a discrete visit.
When you think Irish pub you think smoke, whisky and a good brawl. No brawls were in evidence at Hennessy’s however, when the Casual Restaurant Critic and his lovely Better Half, along with a new Casual Restaurant Crew, went there to celebrate New Years Eve. The crowd was decidedly upscale, and at least half or more were of the expatriate variety, coming out in all stripes to sip a Guinness and perhaps chat with the ‘impossibly handsome’ owner, one of two actually, who put this place together.
Also when Irish pubs come to mind, the last thing – on the Critics mind at least – is food. What is Irish pub food anyway? A sausage? Something featuring the Irish staple, the potato? No, this was something far, far better.
Appetizers included a spinach salad, fish cakes, an onion soup and the most amazing seafood chowder, red in color and thick with chunks of tender fish and other items plucked from an ocean near you. The main courses had by the table at which the Critic had the honor to sit, were two: the Panchetta and the lamb (or was it beef?) curry. While the curry was tasty and at apparently just the right volume in the spice department, the Panchetta was the hands-down winner. Crispy, fatty pork (how can you go wrong!) on a bed of something that resembled a mashed potato and apple concoction that provided a perfect, sweet without being cloying complement to the perfectly roast pork. And the portions were enormous!
For dessert, there was an amazingly thick cheesecake and a delicious apple strudel, served with vanilla ice cream.
Service was, as is the case at these type of events, adequate at best but always friendly and the ambience as well as the place itself, outstanding. Take your best friends and head over there tonight!!
Please enjoy the photos, provided by a member of the Casual Restaurant Critic Crew; aka Juan. Gracias Juan!