I love Vie de Chateaux in Naas so I am not one bit surprised that it recently scooped the “Best Restaurant in Kildare”award at the regional finals of the Restaurant Association of Ireland awards 2011. Vie de Chateaux (www.viedechateaux.ie) describes itself as a Wine Bar and Grill, a rather understated description for a very accomplished French restaurant. The restaurant is located at The Harbour, Naas and is on ground level so it is easily accessible.
My last visit was a few weeks ago and it was another triumph. There are two menus for dinner; a Menu Bistro and a Menu Gourmet. The Menu Bistro costs e29 and the Menu Gourmet costs e36 and for that you get a starter, main course and dessert. You can however mix and match or just have one or two courses if you prefer. It is a French Restaurant and be warned they use lots of garlic and the smell of garlic permeates the restaurant.
We chose a very well priced bottle of Sancerre from the wine list (e33) and it was wonderful. Foodwise, we both chose the same; a starter from the Menu Bistro – Baked Mussel gratinated in tomato fondue and garlic butter (e8) and followed this up with a main course from the Menu Gourmet – Haynestown Rib-Eye Steak with french fries and lambs lettuce (e21). Other available starters included Goats cheese terrine, A spring salad of pea with spinach and feta cheese, A Bagnat of baked sardines, and a Terrine of tomato jelly with poached egg and spring vegetables. Other available main courses included Fillet of red snapper with cannellini beans, Lion of Rabbit fricassee with girolles. Pork fillet with hazelnut and herb butter and Pan Fried Chicken supreme with puy lentils. There were also a number of specials on offer.
The mussels arrived de-shelled and baked in a garlic and tomato butter and are a real delight and we cleared our plates and wished there were more. The steak arrived (medium for both) on a slate with a simple accompaniment of lambs lettuce and a round of garlic butter atop the steak. The french fries were served on the side. The steak was beautifully cooked and one of the juiciest I have tasted and the simplicity of the dish was wonderful. Again clean plates ensued but we were beaten when it came to ordering desserts!
I reviewed the dessert menu and had I been able to find room would have ordered the Lemon and Meringue Tart (e8). Instead, we ordered two of what turned out to be the most perfectly made Baileys Coffees to round off the meal. A gentleman at the next table had the Lemon and Meringue Tart for dessert and it looked wonderful. Next time, I will eat less of the lovely breads served at the start of the meal and ensure I try their desserts.
All in all it was another lovely meal at Vie de Chateaux and I can’t wait to go back.