Booked the restaurant in March for a table in July, which involved spending much of the day holding in the phone queue That's kinda how they do it there at MacNeans. All the frustration of booking a table however was well compensated when the dining date eventually arrived.
We drove to Blacklion (5.5 hours) including a short side-of-the-road break overlooking gorgeous Lough Ree and checked into the guesthouse attached to MacNeans restaurant (separate review about this written)
Followed by pre dinner cocktails in the comfortable bar overlooking "downtown" Blacklion, dinner for us was at 6pm in the beautifully appointed dining room.
What followed was three hours and 9 courses of superb food and service. You don't have to opt for the 9 course tasting menu, but as it was a special occasion, we did. There is also an 'a la carte' option. We also went for the wine pairing. This was a wonderful idea as it allowed us to enjoy 5 different wines with our meal which were served at the appropriate time and had been chosen by the sommelier at MacNeans who knew her stuff and had chosen well. There is no point going into detail on the menu as it is freely available on the website, suffice to say that every morsel is delectable, and though 9 courses may seem like an awful lot of food, I did not feel 'stuffed' at the end of the meal, just well fed.
Staff in the restaurant are really good. Professional, down to earth, and friendly without ever seeming 'in your face'. At no point during the meal did we feel rushed (even though there is a second sitting on weekend nights there). Coffee and petit fours are served in the bar. Staff ensure there is a table for you in the bar before you move from the dining room.
If Head Chef and proprietor of MacNeans Neven Maguire is 'in the house' he will come out to the bar and mingle with the diners. In our case he was there and cooking on the night and we chatted to him. Such a gentleman, with time for everybody - a perfectionist, and it shows.
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