The Best of the City

Scoozi’s-  Winthrop Avenue

Scoozi’s is an incredibly lively restaurant, with an incredible menu, The menu is just as eclectic as the decor, with a little bit of everything, from burgers to lasagna and many other beautifully prepared dishes, The prices are pretty competitive too, As well as this, they boast a weekly kids colouring competition, so if you think you can pass off one of your drawings as that of a child, you can win a free lunch!

Amicus- Paul Street Plaza

Despite how busy this restaurant is, reservations are not always necessary in Amicus, they will always find you a seat! The menu is made up of a wide variety of dishes from all over the world. The fajitas are fantastic! Definitely worth a visit, and a great place for big groups of people.

CafeBarDeli- Academy Street

You may be confused by the name of this restaurant, but you will understand when you get there. Part Cafe, part Bar, part Deli! With great pastas and pizzas, a full bar and a wide selection of hot drinks, CafeBarDeli will have you spoiled for choice as you dine in this beautiful restaurant.

The Long Valley- Winthrop Street

Really the only thing that can be said about the Long Valley is that they serve the best sandwiches in the world. Also, Derek Mahon has been seen in there from time to time. Right in the middle of the city centre, it’s next to an O Brien’s. Pick The Long Valley- you won’t be disappointed.

The Farmgate- English Market

If you can stick the smell of the English Market, a visit to the Farmgate is a definite. The staff are so friendly it’s a pleasure to wait in a queue. The tea is awesome and the view over the market stalls is pretty neat. It’s small, but most definitely one of my favourites. Constantly rated as one of the best, and damn straight too.

The Pavilion- Carey’s Lane

Relatively new, but going strong, The Pav is becoming a vital part of Cork nightlife. Open seven nights until 2am, there’s always good music or good djs, and the lunch served in the Pavilion Monday to Saturday is damn fine.

An Realt Dearg- 125 Barrack Street

Official Cork’s oldest bar, once called The Gateway, An Realt Dearg is a mainstay, pleasant bar with a nice atmosphere. It’s also about five minutes’ walk from UCC< which is always a benefit. It opens Tuesday to Sunday, there’s a warm beer garden and the nicest sofas in the city!

The Bierhaus- Pope’s Quay

Anyone who knows about it will rave about it. The Bierhaus is the Cork gem of pubs, recently voted one of the best beer bars in the world. They have over 50 beers and a special each month. It’s in the middle of the city, and it’s a definite yes if you like beer.

Sin é- Coburg Street

If you’re looking for an old fashioned pub, this is it. With live music Tuesday Friday and Sunday, Sin é is alive and kicking every day. If you fancy a nice sit down and some good music, give it a try, and pull some friends along.

Lennox’s- Bandon Road

Lennox’s is a small family run chip shop which has a proud history as one of Cork’s cultural alndmarks. The U2 gold disc on the wall presented to Jackie Lennox by Bono really sums up the importance and brilliance of this fast food joint. With a wide selection of burgers, fish and other deep fried treats, as well as the overly generous helpings of chips, Lennox’s has gained a major reputation amongst students as the best chip shop in the city.

The Franciscan Well-North Mall

The Well has a lot of choice ranging from the usual Irish standards, to a wide range of Imported beers, and of course, the jewel in their crown, their home brews. Inside the bar you can view the tanks and cylinders as the brew The Well serves an exclusive range of beers. You don’t go here to get drunk, you go here to appreciate drink! During the year they hold a number of events including Oktoberfest and a number of summer BBQs, often in aid of charity. The wide selection of beverages and the nicest staff and clientele you could ask together will provide you, not with a night out, but with an experience.

Cafe Paradiso- Washington Street

Cafe Paradiso is a haven for vegetarians and carnivores alike. All the food here is 100% animal free. Vegetarians will love it for giving a different choice than the usual token dish in other restaurants, and meat eaters wont even notice the lack of meat in any of the restaurant’s incredible dishes. Make sure to book in advance, as it can be quite difficult to get a table, but it is certainly worth a visit.

The Brog- Oliver Plunkett Street

The Brog is a pub frequented by many students. Cheap beer during the day, loud music at night, what more could you ask for! It’s usually packed with music lovers due to its mix of everything from metal to punk to indie to dance. As well as this, it is part of a complex which also contains the Gorby’s and G2 nightclubs, which are student favourites on a night out. It is definitely a great spot for a night out, the staff are friendly, as are the clientele, although, it can often be a little bit packed. Highlights of the week include the Monday night Table quiz, and live music on a Wednesday.

Reidy’s Vault- Washington Street

Reidy’s is a small but delightful pub. The quaint and quite atmosphere allow you to get away into your own world or be amongst your friends without the hassle of being disturbed. The staff are very polite and the decor is beautiful, very old fashioned, but in a very nice way. If you are looking for a quiet to spend the night, Reidy’s is the place for you.

Note: This piece was co-authored by Daithi Linnane.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

If Brad Pitt doesn’t win the Oscar for this, I’ll be mighty surprised. He is actually majestic as Benjamin Button. Right from the off. His voiceover is somber and mellow and as time goes by, you find yourself inexorably tied to him. watching his every move and hoping that he will prevail.

From his first line- “I was born under unusual circumstances”, he is instantly affable and likeable. The story is set from Button’s birth in 1918 as a wrinkled old baby, right through to his middle years, and sees him steadily growing younger into the early 2000s. I truly don’t want to spoil anything, but in two hours and forty five minutes of film (and it never gets verbose).

Button sees life as any of the rest of us would, albeit in a more askew way. He works on a tugboat while his hair is grey and yet his body grows stronger and stronger. Each physical movement is carefully constructed by Pitt to show a man unexplainably going backwards in time. The fragility of his youth is hidden by rheumatism and a failing body and he takes his first drink as a little old man, docile and mannerly, although he is not yet 18 years old.

In a very sweet and sweeping moment of childhood happiness. he falls in love with Cate Blanchett’s ever appealing prima ballerina, Daisy. It is, of course, a convoluted and seemingly doomed relationship. She is moving forward while he is moving back. Cate Blanchett does an amazing job with her role, though it’s not been widely documented as such. Stunningly beautiful and softly spoken, Daisy is a complex and contradictory woman- and just as we follow Benjamin growing down, we follow her growing up.

There are some hilarious moments- quiet inferences about the ineptitude of youth, Benjamin chuckling along through life, all too aware of his own inconsistencies. There are constant eerie whispers of a world that should have been his oyster, but instead tried to lock him in. Benjamin fights the urge to give up that we suspect haunts his every step and manages to grab our hearts and our affection in everything he does. His optimism is untarnished by the cards he has been dealt, and he is determined to get on with it and live life as best he can while he has the chance.

There is nothing to com plain about here. Fashion, business, money and theatre, war, death, work and religion are all balled into a life that is truly fascinating to watch. The vision of New Orleans in the 1920s and 30s is authentic and sincere- as are the expressions. Dialogue and movements made by each of the two leads. It’s simply beautiful to watch, every last second of it- I can’t recommend this film highly enough. A fantastic background story and ending are as beautiful as they arc emotional, start to finish, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is amazing.

Frost/ Nixon

Richard Nixon resigned as President because of a series of crimes perverting civil liberties- notably bugging the opposition in what has come to be known as the Watergate Scandal. In 1977, David Frost interviewed Nixon, in an attempt to get him to apologise for breaking the law and damaging the United States government.

Being a history nerd and not being adverse to a streak of the old politics, I expected that this would tell the story accurately, carefully and neatly. What I didn’t expect was that Frank Langella would be so incredibly endearing as Nixon. It was as though Richard Nixon was staring me in the face and honestly telling me his side of the story.

It’s not just Langella who makes the film immaculately brilliant though- Michael Sheen, smiley and arrogant, makes a wonderful David Frost. Known for his tongue in cheek style of reporting and being a ladies’ man, Frost is portrayed with relish, integrity and aplomb.

The satire of the era shines through in the witty in-jokes and quips throughout the film, and it wasn’t short on laughs. Sam Rockwell and Matthew MacFadyen make great supporting roles and bring the background story to the fore which made the whole thing a lot more interesting.

The film is authentically grainy in parts, the main story actually acting as a sort of flashback system with the supporting cast giving “interviews” as to how they got involved in the project in the first place. The, opening gives a quick factual backdrop, so that anyone unfamiliar with the story will come to understand it very quickly.

It’s also a very intelligent film, Much of the centralised action; the shooting of the interviews themselves, takes place in a tiny set with just two chairs in a drab living room. But the discomfort Nixon and Frost each feel is really evident, in the way they sit and move and talk.

The difficulties felt by Frost are more enunciated throughout the film- he had taken on a huge undertaking in making the interviews, lost a lot financially to make them, and lost a lot of respect for being so pedantic about the project. His frustration is evident in so many places, and at times the watcher is unsure whether to like, loathe, or pity him.

The pivotal moment is an outstanding success. Towards the end of the film, the central point of the entire situation is hit upon and as crucial moments of silence go, the one in Frost/Nixon takes the cake for most awkward, sorrowful and defeated of them all. In the silence. with just two characters sitting in their seats, alone, surrounded by bright lights, it becomes clear that only one of them can win the fight.

Anyone who has seen the interviews in real life will know who did, but the war between Frost and Nixon, each of them utterly cordial throughout- is a raging battle of! huge proportions. It’s a tense, audacious and honestly excellent account of a genuinely huge event.