Harte's Bar & Grill
Having made Harte’s Bar & Grill in Kildare town into one of the most respected and admired places to eat on the east coast, the dynamic trio of Paul Lenehan and Ronan Kinsella and their head chef, the brilliant Barry Liscombe, are already at work on Firecastle Lane, a new from-the-ground-up mix of café, retail, cookery school and a 6-room B&B. This promises to be a superb complement to Harte’s, and another reason to make the detour off the M7 and into the town. Kildare is beginning to thread together a meshwork of interesting food and drink businesses which could transform the town into a must-visit destination.
But whilst we wait for the new development, the good news is that Harte’s powers on, with a creative team working under Mr Liscombe who are every bit as fired up as the boss. Mr Liscombe’s secret is ameticulous attention to every detail, which means his sourcing is first rate, which allows his cooking to have a true, modern, Irish artistic flourish. He will take West Cork Skeaghanore duck, confit it, then make it into a duck Wellington. Goatsbridge trout is finessed with crab into an unctuous parfait. Throw-away cuts such as pork neck are ennobled by expert slow cooking, then teamed with a vividly delicious ham hock and cabbage cassoulet. People, this guy can take a potato skin – a potato skin! – and turn it into a piece of culinary art.
Great service – polite, efficient, relaxed – means the kitchen team’s work gets all the explanation and attention front of house that it deserves. Harte’s is a Kildare dynamo, and we’re guessing this crew are only beginning.
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