Sol Rio Restaurant Westport Co. Mayo
Bridge Street, Westport, Co. Mayo
Sol Rio restaurant is located half-way up Bridge Street in Westport, opposite the famous Matt Molloy’s pub. The restaurant is on the first and second floors while at street level they have a deli and coffee shop, where amongst other things you can purchase Jose’s seriously delicious little Portuguese custard tarts for a measly €1.
Sol Rio is run by Portuguese chef Jose Barroso and his Irish wife Sinead Lambert, who is a local lady from Westport. The couple have been running their business for over twelve years and have built up quite a reputation and following for their eclectic menu, great atmosphere and friendly service. Jose is very careful about the provenance of ingredients and they list their, mostly local, suppliers on the menus.
The café is a more recent edition and they serve deli favourites as well as a selection of daily hot specials, along with some sinful homemade cakes and desserts. There is a short wine list which is available by the glass or carafe, and the prices are very reasonable indeed. Up stairs the restaurant is open for lunch from Wednesday to Monday, (they close Tuesdays) The lunch menu features a range of soups, salads and wraps, as well as a selection of more substantial dishes like the fish pie, a mixed grill or the fillet of trout. Nearly all of the dishes are under a tenner, and the quality is excellent.
In the evening the restaurant takes on a different atmosphere, and the upstairs room is popular for private parties. The food continues in the contemporary European veins and you can choose from starters such as Clew Bay mussels Mariniere, Clew Bay oysters served frsh or cooked, classic Caesar salad, spicy Atlantic prawns or stuffed mushrooms. There is a selection of pasta dishes, including a Fruitta de Mare with local seafood and a choice of risottos. Main courses feature a selection of meat and poultry, including a rack of Westport lamb or chicken Cacciatore, while the seafood options include monkfish Provencal, Cajun style cod or a duo of scallops and crab claws in bacon, leek and cream sauce.
Each evening a selection of the dishes find their way onto the set menu which offers three courses for €25.95 and two courses for €21.95. The wine list is well chosen and fairly priced, and Sinead has completed the first part of her Sommelier training, and the wine list is a constantly evolving work.
Sol Rio is popular because of their wide range of dishes, expertly executed and served with panache. The service is unfailingly professional and friendly, and the price point is spot on. One of Westport’s finest.