L’Atmosphere, Waterford City
Our move to Waterford has been a whirlwind, to say the least. When we arrived in Ireland on April 2nd, Patrick had job prospects but no job. We weren’t sure how long we would be living with my father-in-law while he was being interviewed, but planned it to be semi-long term. We were so settled in Tipperary, we were actually renovating the bathroom when he got the call, two weeks after moving, from the company in Waterford.
“We need you to start Monday,” they told him.
“Um… that might be difficult,” I could hear Pat saying on the phone. “We don’t have any family or friends in Waterford we could stay with and we haven’t even bought a car yet.”
The company told him not to worry, that they would put us up in the Tower Hotel until we found a place to live, but they really needed him to start as soon as possible. Pat’s father, gad love him, gave us the use of his Peugeot until we could find some wheels of our own (I continue to repay him with freshly baked biscuits and cakes).
Within the following three days, we found a lovely house with plenty of room for us, the cat, our growing family and the stream of visitors we’re expecting from Canada throughout the latter half of 2013.
With that issue sorted, we spent our week in the hotel exploring Waterford – the pedestrian shopping area, the quays, the blaa and, of course, the restaurants.
After Patrick’s first day of work we were feeling celebratory. We had both heard good things about L’Atmosphere from different people, so we decided to head there for some French fare and wine (or, in my case, an entire jug of water). We ordered from the early bird prix fixe menu. This includes three courses and a glass of wine for 20 euro.
I had duck confit for my main course. If you order the confit à la carte, it is served with a traditional cassoulet. In my case, as part of the prix fixe, the duck leg was served with a spiced jus and mixed vegetables.
Dessert was my favourite. I was initially confused when a chocolate fondant came out (on the menu it’s called Chocolate Soufflé and a soufflé it certainly wasn’t), but my confusion dissipated quickly. I mean, who refuses a perfectly made chocolate fondant cake? With vanilla bean ice cream and a meringue finger? Not me. It was delicious.
The pastry chef at L’Atmosphere has serious skill. Patrick had a fantastic crème brûlée for his dessert – perfectly caramelized on top and deliciously creamy underneath – and the complimentary bread is made fresh every morning (a crusty baguette, perfect for sopping up excess sauce – the server brought me several refills).
I’m looking forward to visiting L’Atmosphere again. Next time, I’ll be ordering from the à la carte menu.