Top Deck Bistro
Top Deck Bistro, the newest restaurant in Athlone opened recently. Taking advantage of the nautical vibe in the town (especially being a stone’s throw from the Shannon River), Top Deck has opted not just for a boat-inspired logo, but for a general sea(or river)-faring decor as well. Located in the very centre of town, above the former Ginkel’s nightclub and directly across the street from Athlone’s IRA statue, Top Deck occupies an excellent location and seems to have created a bit of buzz around the town.
When we arrived, for example, it seemed doubtful we would be sat without a reservation. The hostess found a slot for us all right and we were seated near the kitchen.
The menu is pretty straightforward with a clever twist describing all of its sections as the materials might come to those on a boat. Their mains were varied, ranging from standard steak or chicken to fajitas to burgers. They have an extensive wine list as well.
The seafood section was fairly interesting with items such as swordfish and there was even a small pasta section. In general, I’m (perhaps irrationally) cautious about seafood away from the seaside, so I opted to try the duckling in orange sauce (€20.95) from the mains menu. Wifey had the Tortellini(€13.95) and Grandpa had Pasta Carbonara(€12.95). We ordered a bottle of Australian house red (€15.95) and mussels (at a very reasonable €6.50 for a plate of 20 mussells.)
My duck was a surprisingly large portion and was completely de-boned and not fatty at all. My first choice actually was BBQ ribs, which has sold out, sending me to the duck option. Unfortunately the onion rings I ordered arrived instead as vegetables and the worst mashed potatoes I have ever had in my life. Seriously, they tasted like cotton.
Wifey loved her pasta as did Grandpa and the mussels were gi-normous in size and not too bad tasting either.
I was also gratified to see a childseat over in the corner (although munchkin was not with us on the night).
In all, Top Deck is a classy dinner in a tasteful environment and not too expensive for the type of place it is.