At the Dublin end of Main Street, just across from the gates into Carton House and its beautiful tree-lined avenue, Robert and Bronagh Kennedy’s two-storey restaurant has earned a loyal following.
With a strong team, including head chef John Cole who has been here since opening in 2007, and a reputation for great food and service at reasonable prices, it is deservedly one of the most popular eating places in Maynooth.
Although located in an old house, it has been stylishly updated and happily the building has retained its character. The addition of a covered outdoor eating area now makes a welcoming entrance; once inside, it’s busy and buzzy, so diners of all ages will enjoy the great atmosphere that makes it equally attractive to families or groups of friends having a night out.
The upstairs space is perhaps slightly more formal, with dark brown tables and chairs and leather banquettes along one wall, and window tables overlook the street and the baskets of flowers hanging outside.
The cooking style is modern smart-casual, with a healthy respect for Irish producers (suppliers are credited), and special diets can be accommodated on request. A speciality of the house is the Avenue Burger Station. The burgers are produced in-house and can be plain char-grilled or ordered with a choice of nine additions, perhaps red onion marmalade and blue cheese or mozzarella, pesto and vine tomato.
Many other options are of course available on the various menus offered at different times. The lunch menu offers plenty of lighter dishes including soups, sandwiches, panini, wraps, omelettes, chorizo and sun-dried tomato risotto, fresh and smoked salmon fish cake and a variety of salads.
The main evening menu is more robust with starters like Jane Russell black pudding (topped with an organic duck egg) or steamed Bantry Bay mussels, while typical mains include steaks (fillet of beef, Hereford sirloin, surf’n’turf) a hearty fish stew and glazed Slane Valley lamb shank.
Children are made very welcome, with a very nice menu and fun packs offerd, and there’s a special Ladies Night menu, which inclueds a complimentary glass of wine...
Do leave space for one of the luscious desserts – an upside-down raspberry cheesecake, perhaps, or warm chocolate pudding served with chocolate sauce and rum and raisin ice cream.
A shortish wine list is well-balanced and will easily complement your meal, with a range of house wines available by the glass, carafe or bottle, a wine of the month among the choices. There’s also a range of beers including a gluten free lager and Erdinger non alcoholic.
Customers clearly come first here, and they think of everything.