Denny Lane Bistro is on Denny Street; the fine thoroughfare that runs down the centre of Tralee. The restaurant is facing the Imperial Hotel, and indeed runs down the lane off the street, offering a mix of the old and new architecturally, and a spot of al fresco dining if the weather permits.
Denny Lane occupies one of the fine period buildings, and a new extension stretches from the front. The restaurant is effectively split into different spaces; to the front the two interconnecting rooms are in the high ceiling and stained glass period house, while the new extension is modern and contemporary, with glass running the length, providing plenty of light.
Denny Lane opens from morning until afternoon on Monday to Wednesday, and up until 9pm Thursday until Saturday. Breakfast kicks off the day here and lunchtime feature salads and sandwiches, some hot dishes and daily roast weekdays, while on Saturday Brunch takes over.
In the evenings the menu offers a tapas menu, as well as a selection of modern classics and some very good homemade desserts.
Our recent trip was a lunchtime affair, and a selection of dishes confirmed the quality of the food. An unusual meatball and minted yoghurt salad with chickpeas was a wow, while a chicken and broccoli quiche was incredibly light with good pastry and plenty of chicken.
A couple of tapas dishes were a treat; calamari rings flash fried in a flour, chilli and garlic coating, served with a nice aioli were tender and packed a punch, while a bowl of patatas bravas with a fresh and tangy tomato salsa and lightly spiced mayo were among the best I have tasted, either here in Ireland or my adopted city of Barcelona.
We couldn’t resist a slice of raspberry and chocolate tart. Michel Roux jnr. put his Masterchef protégés through the ordeal of cooking one for him on BBC the previous night, and if their confections were as good he would have happily given them a pat on the back
Denny Lane Bistro is a cut above, serving the type of food that people want right now; smart, casual, tasty, interesting and just really yummy.