O’Keeffe’s Bar and Restaurant is on the Harbour in Kilcock in Co. Kildare. The harbour in question is on the royal Canal and in times past was the first big stop out of Dublin. O’Keeffe’s has been in the same family since 1875, and for most of this time it was a big stop, first for canal traffic and then as a stop on the main Dublin Galway Road. The by pass has put paid to that, but this fine family run establishment has survived and prospered by branching into the food business and running a good bar.
O’Keeffe’s is a fine stone building just across the road from the canal, and on a fine Spring evening the tables outside are busy with customers enjoying as drink after work. Inside the small bar on the right, which caters for the local customers, with sports and drinks, while the much bigger lounge and restaurant is on the right, and stretches right back. Traditional wooden tables and chairs and a fine old bar dominate the room.
During the day there is a well stocked carvery at the back, and there is an A la Carte menu and a set menu in the evenings, when the set menu especially offers excellent value with a four course menu with a complimentary drink for only €24.95.
The A la Carte features plenty of fish choices and starters of cornets of smoked salmon and king prawns and a classic prawn cocktail are really very good, with the smoked salmon and prawns being very interesting, with a hint of basil that shouldn’t work but does. Next up a main course of home made scampi – large Dublin Bay prawns coated in a light beer batter are particularly good, while pan fried John Dory is served with a light lemon butter and comes topped with king prawns. To accompany, creamy champ is excellent and a dish of fresh vegetables are crispy and fresh.
We finished with a shared bread and butter pudding and tea and coffee and enjoyed the food and friendly service. O’Keeffe’s are a forth generation business that has re-invented itself to survive and prosper in changing times. The food is very good, and is great value, while the service is friendly, and the canal outside makes this a great spot for a pit stop on a summers day.