On a wild windy night Lucy and I went along to the wonderful hidden gem that is Trá Bán (which means white strand in Irish). Trá Bán is located just above The Strand Bar in scenic Strandhill, Co. Sligo.
When we arrived the waves were crashing on the shore and from our table by the window in Trá Bán we could see the Blackrock lighthouse in the distance. Like its sister restaurant Eala Bhan, Trá Bán has won many awards and after eating in both restaurants it’s easy to see why.
Anthony Gray, the proprietor, gave us a warm welcome as he showed us to our table. Both the service and food were second to none and it’s wonderful to know that the suppliers are local: Sligo fish monger John Flynn supplies fresh fish and shellfish; Dathi O’Dowd of Mullaghmore Sea Farm – supplier of fresh lobsters; Gerry Byrnes butchers, Cliffoney (beef and lamb), BD Foods (poultry) and Total Produce of Sligo (vegetables).
The atmosphere was very relaxing and we were completely unrushed as we were allowed as much time as we wanted to enjoy our meal. This makes a pleasant change from some restaurants who try to get people in and out as quickly as possible.
Now on to the food….apologies in advance because you will be hungry by the time you’ve finished reading this blog. First we were given a complimentary amuse-bouche which was spicy butternut squash soup and was just delicious, we were also served lovely fresh bread that came with a sweet chilli pesto…to be honest I could have this every day!
I ordered the Chicken Linguini which was fresh strips of chicken with sautéed mushrooms in a rich white wine cream sauce with parmesan and mixed herbs with linguini pasta for my main course. It was delicious.
Lucy had the 10oz Sirloin Steak which was chargrilled and served with sautéed onions and mushrooms and a delicious pesto mash. She said it’s the nicest steak she’s ever had and I tried a bit and it just melted in the mouth.
Now we were both really full up but we saw the dessert menu and well there’s always room for dessert – especially when it’s got chocolate in it. This was a chocolate fondue which was made with melted Belgian milk chocolate and served with fresh fruit and marshmallows. I kid myself that it’s part of my 5 a day because of the fruit! Apologies for the lousy picture but I wanted to eat it. It was absolutely amazing! I heard the people at the table next to us raving about the chocolate chilli brownie…it sounded great.
This would have been our view if we’d have gone to dinner earlier in the evening – we’ll know for next time and there certainly will be a next time. We enjoyed a wonderful leisurely three hours of relaxing, chatting and eating wonderful food at Tra Ban. They have a varied menu with something to suit every taste. They have an early bird menu every day from 5-7pm. You can check out the Christmas menu and all the other menus here.
Lucy’s much better blog post is here.