During a recent trip to Monaghan, we stopped by Courthouse restaurant for dinner. Here’s what we thought.
Situated in the town of Carrickmacross, Courthouse cooks up high-end quality food at affordable prices.
The restaurant is owned and operated by Conor Mee and Charlotte Carr, both of whom have collective years of experience in several award-winning establishments.
Courthouse is well-known as one of the best restaurants in the area, so we were looking forward to visiting.
Courthouse is on two floors. The reception and bar are downstairs, whilst the dining area is upstairs, and this is where we spent our evening.
The diners were spread out due to social distancing measures, but it was perfect and didn’t feel too crowded.
The restaurant had a pleasant ambience. This is felt with the soft lighting, warm tones, and kind energy about the place as soon as you walk in.
We felt the vibe was very relaxing and we felt well looked after. The background music was also excellent. It was a mix of classic and modern soul.
Food & drinks
On our visit, we ate from both the a la carte menu and the Asian-inspired vegan menu.
For starters, first up was the vegan option which was gorgeous vegetable tempura. It had smoky, and peppery tomato-infused flavours with lovely puree. Mildly and subtly spiced throughout with flavours to savour in each bite.
The accompanying starter was a beautiful dish that had cauliflower in a chicken and chorizo sauce. The flavours of this dish were fantastic. If you love the flavours of chorizo, then I’d highly recommend this starter.
For mains, we ordered vegan lentil dahl and a monkfish dish. The lentil dahl was remarkable. The plate had warm spices and a depth of flavour that hits you immediately.
The lentil Dahl was made up of a gorgeous array of grains and legumes with a tomato base. The combination of spices was perfect – warm notes that were fragrant and slightly hot, but not overwhelming. They could perhaps have been a bit generous with the salt (our only critique).
The monkfish dish was terrific. The fish was cooked to perfection, and the flavours were fantastic. Lentils and spinach came with the fish and accompanied it well.
The incredible presentation of all of our dishes showcased the fantastic attention to detail of the chef.
To go along with the meals was some white wine. Our waitress recommended a beautiful French Chardonnay which went well with all the courses.
The Courthouse was named as the RAI Best Restaurant in County Monaghan, as well as a Michelin Bib Gourmand, which denotes good food for good value. Based on our visit, we’d say they aren’t long away from their next award!
We were particularly pleased with the standard of vegan dishes. Numerous vegan options are available, but it is recommended to contact the restaurant before booking a table so they can guarantee they have all the ingredients to make a beautiful dish.
For dessert, we tried the roasted pear, which was soft and sweet. It came with a decadent vegan chocolate mousse which was drizzled with a sweet sauce and sprinkled with almond flakes. It was stunning.
We felt the service was excellent. It was everything you’d expect from a high-end restaurant.
The staff worked well as a team to provide a lovely service. They were attentive and on the ball. All servers were friendly and knowledgeable of the menu.
The prices for this restaurant were reasonable considering the quality of delicious Irish food on offer. Starters are priced between €7.50 and €10. Mains are between €17 and €28. Desserts are between €4 and €7.
This was genuinely one of the most excellent restaurants we have eaten at in Ireland and the best we’ve eaten at in Monaghan. We’d highly recommend it if you are in Monaghan and want an exceptional evening with your spouse. Top marks for this place.