Last night we drove across to Zio Portrush, a bar/restaurant situated on the North Coast between Portrush and Portstewart, about 10m in from the churning sea. (A couple of years ago you'd have known it as "The Plaice", just up the road from the Juniper Hill Caravan Park.)
Arriving about 5.30pm, we went upstairs and were seated in the conservatory area - overlooking the sea. Like nearly all the other parties that arrived at Zio last night, we quickly moved out of the draught to an "inland" table!
Zio's menu has a good range of starters and main courses - chicken dishes, pizzas, salmon, burgers, pasta dishes, as well as the all-day carvery (which remained unused and hidden under tin foil while we were there). Something for most tastes. We didn't stay for deserts so I can't comment on those.
The starters arrived promptly - the olives confirmed as being yummy. The main courses were brought to the table steaming hot, but we did have to chase the side orders of chips. The salmon and penne pasta went down a treat.
Now maybe I should put my hands up and admit to eating quite a lot of pizza when I'm out - and the same couple of sorts of pizza. But Zio Portrush's Quattro Stagioni pizza was disappointing. The whole point about a "four seasons" pizza is that the four toppings (pepperoni, ham, peppers, mushrooms in this case) are each placed in a different quarter of the pizza - thus creating four different tastes as you eat your way around. Zio's chef just mixed the ingredients together. It's less effort for the chef to keep them separate, and a whole lot more pleasant to eat too.
(Side note, but according to the all-knowing Wikipedia - practically more trusted that the Internet Oracle (formerly the Usenet Oracle) - a Pizza Quattro Stagioni is made from mushrooms, artichokes, cooked ham and olives, on top of the mozzarella and tomato on the base. And a Pizza Capricciosa uses the same ingredients, but mixes them up. I missed the taste of the artichokes and olives in the Zio pizza.)
Not wanting to be boring, but now for the what's-it-like-if-you-bring-young-children comment. The default seating area is upstairs - so don't bring a buggy, wheelchair or zimmer. The waitress brought across a wooden high chair without being asked when we arrived, even giving it a quick clean with a spray. No tray on top, but functional.
The baby changing is in the disabled toiliet downstairs where the baby shelf could do with a good wash (I dread to think what was growing at one end), the tiny peddle bin was already overflowing with a couple of nappies, and the hand towel dispenser was empty. Better than nothing, but not ideal.
So to conclude, Zio Portrush was a pleasant early evening venue, and the food was good, but not brilliant. Expect it to fill up with holiday makers and caravaners as the peak season arrives (hopefully along with better weather).
And if you've been to Zio Portrush, please post a comment with your opinions and experiences, good or bad.