Lunch isn't for wimps: La Scala, Stormont Hotel, Belfast
As part of Belfast Restaurant Week, La Scala at the Stormont Hotel, the Causerie at the Europa and the Mitre at the Culloden - all part of the Hastings stable - offered two courses for £15 for a lunch or dinner sitting from a special menu.
On offer were a range of locally sourced meats and vegetables and desserts showcasing the cream of Northern Ireland's culinary and agri-food industry talent.
For starter, I chose the Belfast rarebit - bacon from Hannan Meats of Moira and cheddar from Fivemiletown Creamery, draped over wheaten bread, while my colleague had the same bacon but as part of a lentil soup. We both plumped for the Glenarm shorthorn ribeye steak, also from Hannan, with Causeway chips - and yes, they do come Causeway-cut.
My rarebit was melt in the mouth and very filling, but I still had room for a fantastically cooked steak full of marbling and the chips were also top-notch. My colleague said her soup and bread were lovely but found the fat on the ribeye a bit much for her taste. Although she did agree that the chips, like their namesake, deserved World Heritage status.
Top notch value for locally farmed and grown produce.