Restaurants exude atmospheres as people do. A grumpy person, a happy person – their presence can shift the mood of the room. As we walked down the picturesque streets of Cork, I spied the large windows of a restaurant that was sharing its atmosphere with the city. It looked fresh, upbeat and inviting.
I had a sense that this place was going to offer a delicious experience, and as foodies, the menu would have to entice us beyond the atmosphere that flowed onto the streets of Cork. Tracey and I walked up to the front doors of Sliced, the newest trendy dining spot and pizza specialists in Cork, and read over the menu and it did not disappoint. As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Tracey is quite particular about what she eats, and I am learning that there is more to food than just burgers and beer. So the next day we made it a point to come back.
The warm fires of the wood-burning pizza ovens filled the air with the aroma of authentic home cooked freshness. The renovations to this new restaurant were completed just two weeks prior, and during the redesign, interior drywall and timber came down to reveal ancient stonework hidden underneath, like a buried treasure ( these bricks pre-dated our home country of Canada). The interior of the restaurant is tastefully decorated without going over the top with clutter, which often happens when a restaurant is confused about its identity. The space has plum paint accents, subtle white paper globes, a carefully stocked wine bar that hosts the Eleckra expresso machine, an authentic Italian coffee bar for that perfect finish to a good meal.
Sliced restaurant features massive glass windows, taking in the view of the streets of Cork and as you enter the menagerie of excellent food, you're greeted by friendly staff who quickly attend to you with a smile. The comfortable seating and expansive dining room appeared to be able to hold a hundred plus making this an ideal venue for parties. I watched as conversation floated above the tables as locals in the community gathered here for socializing over wholesome food.
Cork is a foodies delight. For miles around the farms produce all sorts of delightful products for the thriving and famous English Market in the heart of the city. This cornucopia of meats, cheese, vegetables and bakery items, are practically on the doorstep of Sliced and it’s the source for much of the restaurant's fresh ingredients. Hungarian born chef, Zsort Lovasz, is a stickler for detail and takes the time to assemble a fare full of tantalizing tastes and elegant flavours. Working with a top-notch team to deliver these flavours to your table is his joy. You can tell when you bite into a hot slice of gourmet pizza or dive into a Ciabatta sandwich. Or enjoy the taste of the fresh Tagliatelle Carbonara or warm Lasagna that melts in your mouth.
We had walked into a café here in Cork the other day to purchase an Americano and witnessed the owner angrily tossing around dishes and snapping at staff. If the man who is about to make my coffee is bitter, then perhaps my coffee will be bitter too. Do you believe in transference like that? Well, if I had a choice I’d rather dine or sip from a place that produces joy – without it being on the menu.
This is where Sliced excels. The owners Joe O’Donovan and Evelin Szepesi are not new to the restaurant scene. They come from years of service industry experience and understand how to create a great restaurant atmosphere both here in Cork and also in their Ballincollig location. They love their careers, and it shows. As you settle into your table, you share a smile with your waiter or waitress, and a sense of family comes over you. Relaxing. That’s what the staff is to Joe and Evelin, family.
As we savoured our soup and sipped our coffee under the paper lanterns casting soft light about the room I looked up to see two smart dressed men discussing business or law, enjoying a quick lunch before heading back to the office. A young couple holding hands across the table between plates of fresh sandwiches. A romantic moment – a quick business lunch – a family with children snacking on classic thin crust pizza – Sliced is catering to a spectrum of clientele and making them all feel comfortable and welcome.
We finished our delicious lunch of veggie soup and sandwiches our second meal at Sliced, the first being the America pizza and smoked salmon salad with a crisp glass of pinot grigio – beautiful. To top it off I had the chocolate biscuit with vanilla ice cream which was presented on a black slate plate. It was a picture of loveliness. A shame to destroy it. But destroy it I did...yum!
So, if you want to take your taste buds out on the town, might I recommend a local restaurant, owned by locals, staffed by locals and serving local food. When you see a placed filled with the local community you know the food is going to be fantastic. Bon appetit!