Convenient to the bustling town of Naas, owners Jean Grace and Eugene Brennan have been running this pleasing bar and restaurant since 2008. A smart modern building with ample parking, it is built on Eugene’s family farm and, while the restaurant has become a dining destination, the traditional-style pub is the hub of the village, with locals popping in for a pint and some good food.
The bar menu offers tempting light bites - ham and cheese croquettes with violet mustard, perhaps, or a charcuterie plate with sourdough and pickles - and, for something more substantial, there’s the Brown Bear club burger or wild mushroom risotto with spinach.
Reached through the bar, the classically designed restaurant is a handsome balconied room, beautifully set up with polished dark wood tables, linen napkins, quality glassware, china and cutlery - and a visit here always begins well when a lovely basket of breads is offered promptly, along with iced water.
The Early Bird menu offers a choice of two starters – beetroot and goat’s cheese tart or fishcakes with Provencal sauce, perhaps – and two mains, such as pork belly with mash or duck leg with carrot and orange.
On the main menu, from a choice of about six starters, you might choose scallop, langoustine, mussel, leek, and lobster bisque or perhaps quail, black pudding and potato cake with kale and apple. Fillet of beef with celeriac and hazelnut or cod with chorizo crust, choucroute, and a saffron mousseline are typical of the six main courses, which change seasonally.
To accompany, there’s an excellent wine list, mainly European but with some bottles also from the southern hemisphere; it offers wines by the glass, carafe or bottle, all reasonably priced.
Desserts (€7) are a delight - lemon tart with rhubarb sorbet, perhaps, or a dramatic melting chocolate sphere with peanut ganache.
The cooking by Head Chef Philip Mahon and his team is of a very high standard throughout - and, complemented by good service from friendly and knowledgeable staff, the experience offers genuine value for money.
Dining here is a real pleasure.