Tucked away up Old Market Lane off Main Street, La Rambla is a welcome relief from the many tourist cafes and bars around the town, and has already built up a loyal following. Chef Martin McCormack and his Catalan born partner Monserrat were previously involved in several restaurants, including the very popular Salvados in Kenmare, where the fabulous food and fun Iberian atmosphere won them loads of fans among the locals.
And so back to the food - tasty tapas and fabulous fish, gorgeous game and generally very creative dishes which include Spanish classics and many inspired originals using local and season produce with a Iberian twist. I often choose several Tapas dishes, Gambas a la Plancha; Calamari; Gampas Pil Pil; and other traditional tapas including Chorizo in red wine and Albondigas (spicy meatballs). Deep fried Manchego cheese and Mussles - 'Mejillones a la Catalana' are enough to make Mr Dali himself swoon!
The crispy strips of fried haddock (Abadejo) with a hot spicy sauce are delicious, as is the Venison which was chargrilled with a berry sauce, it was both spicy and fruity and totally delicious. The Monkfish Stew was superb and included mussels and prawns in a tomato and white wine sauce.
The wine list is short but succinct and wine by the glass is very good value. The Rioja, both white and red, are excellent. The wines are well chosen to suit the food and style of the bistro, and there is nothing pretentious or out of place here at all.
And finally, after the delicious food, pleasant atmosphere and cool ambiance (great music and artwork on the walls), you will be very pleasantly surprised when you get your bill on the way out. It is certainly excellent value as the food is outstanding. You can pick on a few tapas or indulge in a wonderful three course gastronomic treat, finishing with the classic Crema Catalana. If I close my eyes I am almost back by the pier in that beautiful white-washed village - if only the sun would make an appearance here!
LA RAMBLA BISTRO, KILLARNEY. 064-6639813