28 September 2012

Moonlight sonata at Dublin Bay

Moonlight glistening on Dublin Bay last night (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2012)

Patrick Comerford

Three of us were feeling homesick for a little Greek food last night, and as we were already on the north side of Dublin we booked a late table at Cape Greko in Malahide.

Cape Greko, which opened eight years ago, is Malahide’s first Greek and Cypriot restaurant. It is on the corner of New Street, and some of the tables have views of the marina and the coast.

Cape Greko takes its name from the Cape Greko peninsula in Cyprus, and the head chef, Demetris Pierei, has been influenced by different regions in Greece and Cyprus.

Demetris Pierei has a passion for traditional Greek Cypriot cooking (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2012)

Demetris has a passion for traditional Greek Cypriot cooking that began at an early age when he began working in local tavernas and hotels in Cyprus. He then studied to become a chef and patisserie in Larnaca Institute of Technology and worked in some of Cyprus’s renowned five-star hotels in the Paralimni and Protaras resort area.

He moved to Ireland in 2001 with his Irish wife. When he opened his restaurant in Malahide, he remained true to his roots, offering Greek Cypriot-inspired cuisine in Cape Greko.

Cape Greko appeared in Trevor White’s The Dubliner’s “100 best restaurants in Dublin” in 2006, and has also appeared in the Georgina Campbell guides.

Cape Greko’s logo, an amphora, on the stairs leading up to the restaurant last night (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2012)

Cape Greko’s logo is an amphora, the narrow-necked jar and two handles used in classical Greece for storing and carrying win and olive oil. But we had more than wine and olive oil last night; we had three dishes:

Mousaka came in the traditional form of layers of sliced courgettes, aubergines, potatoes, tomatoes and minced beef cooked in red wine, topped with béchamel sauce and oven baked in a clay dish.

The Seafood Souvlaki or kebabs included skewered marinated monkfish, organic salmon, mussels and tiger prawns cooked on the grill and served with homemade dressing.

As for the vegetarian, I had Mediterranean chickpea and cous cous, which was Greek-style cous cous, cooked with chick peas, raisins, peppers, mushrooms, red chillies and almonds.

These came with a side salad, home-made chunky chips and garlic sautéed potatoes. And we also had olives, tzatziki, hummus, haloumi and feta – all Greek-style, and all served at the same time.

I never got to walk along the beach in Malahide last night – it was too late when we left Cape Greko. But we drove back along the coast through Malahide, Portmarnock and Baldoyle. The moon was almost full, and when we reached Sutton there was a complete vista before us of the lights encircling Dublin Bay, with water in the bay glistening in the moonlight.

Dublin Bay ... a long way from Cape Greko and the Mediterranean (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2012)

It was a long way from Cape Greko and the Mediterranean. But after the rains and storms of the previous night, we could not resist stopping in the midnight calm before we reached Bull Island and enjoying the autumn peace.

There is a full moon late tomorrow night [Saturday/Sunday].

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