My wife and I recently dined at La Fougere - a place we'd heard much about. We travelled to Westport solely to eat at this restaurant at the tail end of a recent vacation. [We did not stay at this hotel.]
Many of the other authors have spoken eloquently on their experiences - and ulysses4 pretty much sums up our observations to a tee in his May review. I suspect management at Knockranny is not reading the many Tripadvisor reviews otherwise some intervention would have been made by now, months later.
The staff are young and pleasant - though seemed to be under pressure despite a calm (if cavernous) dining room. The view from the large bay window is spectacular.
The food at La Fougere is delicious and beautifully presented but the staff are simply not trained to this level. All the timing and service errors previously spoken of were replicated for us: menu with no wine list; bread arriving pretty much with the starter; amuse bouche of rabbit-meat (when my dining partner was having a fully vegetarian meal - important detail); wine service which left us to self-pour; no query during the meal if everything was satisfactory; petit fours simultaneous with dessert and the bill being delivered without request.
This is a strange trichotomy: a fine 4-star family hotel, a five-star chef but service which has been outpaced in independent restaurants we have enjoyed in Westport down through the years.
My concern is that gourmands willing to pay well for a terrific dining experience will find fault - repairable, consistent fault as others have cited - with the Knockranny Hotel. The establishment cannot rely solely on the professionalism of Chef Commons to keep the reputation alive.
We would love to dine here again, but plead with the hotel to train their staff to higher standards.
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