The Grill & Bar @ The Lyrath Estate Hotel




On Paulstown Road R712.



Kilkenny is a hot destination when it comes to restaurants and foods and The Grill & Bar at the Lyrath Estate Hotel is up there with the very best.  I have stayed in the Lyrath on many occasions and dined in their restaurants, but when they did a major transformation of their mezzanine level, overlooking its enormously high Atriumed hall, putting in a fabulous Grill & Bar, that merited another visit - not a hardship I can assure you. The decor is stunning with a buzzy clubby feel and amazing views out over the parklands.

The menu is right on the nose of today’s dining, featuring oysters, soft shell crab, fresh lobster from their tank, hoi sin duck and fashionable sharing plates for two like Chateaubriand; or, for four people, a Surf 'n Turf combo 1200g of Tomahawk steak and a fresh lobster from the tank. However, there are lots of individual mains feature too, including numerous veggie options which left us feeling spoiled for choice.

We rolled up for lunch when starters  included wings and an attractive sounding fritto misto. Spoiled for choice, we shared a great fish board, which had Goatsbridge BBQ trout, ample folds of smoked salmon, mackerel pate, grilled toast and rocket. Mains included venison pie, seabass, a 210g Hereford beef burger, grilled-chicken club on brioche with 'nduja mayo. Grilled leeks, hazelnut mayo, soft duck egg, roasted hazelnut and Parmesan winked at us, as did truffle linguine with grilled white asparagus. Rena went with a plentiful and well-spiced roasted sweet potato and cauliflower tikka masala curry, while I had crisp lemon sole in a light tempura batter with rocket, spiced mayo, and Parmesan fries. Both were delicious.

The dinner menu is extensive. There are oysters from their Oyster Bar which you can have classic  mignonette style; with smoked salmon and caviar; or in a gin and tonic jelly. Hot oysters can be Rockefeller style, grilled, or Kilpatrick with smoked bacon and Worcestershire sauce.

Starters include a great seafood chowder; chicken wings; garlic prawns; the aforementioned fritto misto or hot smoked salmon. Mains include four varieties of superb Hereford beef burgers; amazing steaks from a 400g Mohawk, down to a 220 g fillet; surf & turf options; fresh lobster from their tank; grilled Atlantic salmon; grilled half chicken with creamy mushroom sauce; Portuguese Espetada skewers of chicken or sirloin beef with peri peri sauce and fresh lime; plus vegetarian dishes of aubergine parmigiana; truffle linguine, and pea risotto. Sides are on the money too, featuring skinny fries and truffle chips, tobacco onions and grilled asparagus.

You can also dine in their more formal Yew Tree restaurant where starters might include confit duck leg and foie gras terrine with figs, apricot chutney, pistachio and ciabatta. Pan roasted Kilmore Quay scallops are served with cauliflower, apple, prosciutto, and samphire beurre blanc. Oysters are available here too, of course, as is St. Tola goats cheese with hazelnut, beetroot and cherries and other enticing starters.

Mains include a Hereford striploin steak with lobster mash, shallot, mustard sauce, parsley and port jus while organic Gressingham duck is with Dauphinoise potato, Swiss chard, pear and peppercorn jus. Dishes vary by season and might include venison saddle and other game.

We passed on puds on our visit but they were very tempting including Bailey's & white chocolate cheesecake with salted caramel icecream; lemon posset with meringue and berries; chocolate fondant with berry compote; and a cheese plate featuring Irish cheeses, fruit paste and crackers.

The Lyrath is undoubtedly a great place to eat.