A 2 minute walk from Bray Dart Station. Located above the Sealife building in the middle of the beach with stunning sea views.
The Victorian Promenade in Bray, Co. Wicklow, is one of the finest in Europe. It attracts people from all over the country, and at weekends, and especially Sundays, it is always buzzing with life. And, on the Promenade, located above the well-known Sealife Centre, with stunning ocean views, is Butler & Barry, one of the best gastro pubs around. Bursting with atmosphere, the décor here is cool and modern with classic bar room twists, but the ocean view is the real selling point, with very few places offering such stunning panoramas alongside such great food and drink.
Whether it’s a little (or big) sip, a small nibble, or a great big bite, there’s a little bit of something for everyone here. On my visit, starters included homemade chicken liver pate with dressed leaves, berry compote and crostini bread; steamed mussels in a garlic, leek and cider cream sauce; as well as nachos with beef, BBQ pulled pork or sans meats. They do vegan ‘chicken-style’ wings as well as goats cheese bonbons, but, that evening, my eyes were on a dish of pan-fried tiger prawns tossed in a garlic, tomato and parsley butter and served with dressed rocket leaves and a piece of tasty crostini bread. Perfectly cooked and bursting with flavour, I was off to a great start. Meanwhile, Brendan happily helped himself to a portion of hot & spicy crispy chicken wings, which came with a blue cheese dip.
For the mains, there was plenty on offer to tease the tastebuds, such as a pan-fried fillet of hake on a bed of sautéed garlic and rosemary potatoes with French beans & a lemon, chive and white wine cream sauce; or perhaps a braised Slaney Valley lamb shank with a red wine jus, braised veg and savoury mash. Their super food salad sounded great, being available both as a salad or in a wrap, and their linguine pesto chicken sounded delicious as well, but, in the end, I decided to try a spiced chicken and giant couscous salad, which was really good with its seasonal leaves, onions, beetroot, cherry tomatoes and a tasty lime yoghurt dressing, along with a delicious side of crispy sweet potato fries. Brendan fancied something a bit meatier, and he was spoiled for choice with dishes like BBQ pulled pork with beetroot slaw, rocket and garlic aioli in a toasted brioche bun with fries, as well as a 10oz ribeye steak with sautéed mushrooms, fries and either pepper sauce or garlic butter. However, his heart was set on a Hereford prime Irish beef burger which came on a brioche bun topped with shredded lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon and cheese and a side of fries.
From a dessert menu that included a warm chocolate brownie with dark chocolate sauce and vanilla pod ice cream; homemade crème brulee with a mixed berry compote; and a selection or sorbets and ice-creams, I opted for a delicious piece of mint chocolate cheesecake drizzled in tasty chocolate sauce and served with vanilla ice-cream – heavenly. Himself was also delighted with dessert, eagerly making his way through his Eton mess, a tasty melange of crushed meringue, fresh strawberries and cream.
So whether you’re looking for a great meal or a great night out fuelled by a top notch cocktail menu, make your way to Butler & Barry.