Cru Was Born Out Of A Simple Desire To Provide Locals And Tourists With A Cosy, Warm, Atmospheric Place Where They Can Enjoy Simple But High Quality Food, Pick Out A Lovely Wine By The Glass Or Bottle, And Have Fun.
‘The service, food and price were all excellent and was the highlight of our short stay in Kinsale. We had the lamb and the duck and both were fantastic. Well worth a visit.’
- Andy9999London via TripAdvisor
I came back to Kinsale in 2017 after 27 years working in the UK. I have family in the town and had been holidaying here for years with my kids, so, when an opportunity arose to sell my business in London I thought it would be the right time to come back to Ireland and try to settle here in the town. My kids were grown up and studying in University and I had had enough of big city life and wanted to live and work in a less populated environment.
I had originally intended to buy and run a B&B in the town but when that didn’t work out I saw this premises and felt that I could make it work. Kinsale has many great restaurants but I thought that there was room for a Bistro style place that offered high quality food in a casual, relaxed and informal style, with a good quality but accessible wine list and good music.
The food at CRU is simple, bistro style comfort cuisine. We have lots of appetiser or smaller plates on the menu and always run a few starter specials on our boards also. There are lots of fish and shellfish dishes and one or two dishes with Asian influences (my head chef Emma spent a lot of time working for a highly regarded Asian chef in the town). We offer plenty of dishes and boards that can be shared, and our Mains offerings include confit duck, steak, lamb shank and sausages & mash as well as teriyaki salmon and simply cooked prime fish such as John Dory and Turbot. We want our customers to leave us feeling well fed.
We offer a varied and well-balanced wine list with over 70 wines at last count, most of which we offer by the glass. I think it’s lovely to be able to do this (we have a Coravin) as it allows customers to try different wines and maybe learn something new. My own father was passionate about wine and I have many great memories of the excitement of opening something special at Christmas or Easter (before the family arguments would start!). I have loved wine for over 30 years now and you never stop learning, but the best way to learn is to try new grapes and new regions and to push yourself out of the comfort zone that so many of us slip into with wine. Offering so many wines by the glass makes this a little easier to do. We also offer a good selection of bubbles and some interesting prosecco-based cocktails.
Many of our customers mention the playlist here at CRU. Someone dear to me once asked how I would describe it and apparently, I answered that it was the soundtrack to my life. I suppose it is really. It’s possibly a little self-indulgent but artists like Bowie, Lou Reed, The Beatles, The Smiths, The Stones, Radiohead, Elbow (to name but a few) were important to me at various times in my life. I like to hear them in the background at CRU and I have shared my playlist with quite a few customers since we opened, hopefully that’s a good sign.
We are well into our second season now and feedback has been incredibly positive from both locals and tourists. Many thanks to my amazing staff, the many in the town who have helped and supported me, and of course to all our customers.