Kirby’s Bistro is the newest addition to the dining options at the Westgrove Hotel in Clane. Situated in the centre of the hotel, it is a circular room with a split level effect. To the right as you enter there is a semi-private dining area sectioned off with chiffon curtains, a featured red wall and large dining table with high backed chairs; the perfect setting for that special occasion with friends.
In front are two fabulous, gold leather booths and this is where we were seated. The lower level has more banquette seating, while the raised level has tables and chairs. Feature wallpaper adds to the glamorous feel. Over the booths are large crystal chandeliers, while the rest of the room is more softly lit. On a Saturday night the restaurant was full, and with the hum of people talking and the background music, there was a great atmosphere.
As we were reading the menu two bottles of house still water were brought to the table, so we sipped as we decided on supper. The menu offered a selection of eight starters priced from €4.95 for the soup of the day to €9.50 for Bantry Bay mussels. There is also a goat’s cheese & braised pepper tartlet, pan fried Toulouse sausage or an oriental chargrilled chicken salad.
There’s choice of eight main courses, plus a selection of burgers and steaks to choose from. The prices ranged from €14.50 for their Golden Wonder (liked this addition) potato gnocchi to €27.95 for the 8oz fillet of beef. There is another vegetarian option of Pink Lady apple, walnut & gorgonzola risotto, a fillet of lemon sole or an Assiette of Barbary duck.
The wine list to the rear of the menu is a short selection with seven reds and the same of white priced from €21 for the Santa Ana to €33 for the Lupe Cholet Macon Lugny. We chose the Villa Huesgen Riesling, one of my favourites and well priced at €29.
I had the smoked haddock and cod fishcakes while Fred had the Mediterranean vegetable tempura; both dishes were presented beautifully and tasted just as good as they looked. The fishcakes were more fish than potato, and the Tempura was crispy and the vegetables retained a bite.
Next I enjoyed the pan fried Dunmore East monkfish, served on crushed rouille potatoes with beetroot sauce, which was meaty and delicious. Fred had the 10oz rib eye which came with sauté onions and mushrooms, whipped potatoes and creamed spinach. There was a choice of sauces from cognac to garlic butter, but he went the traditional route with the pepper sauce. The meat was tender and perfectly cooked, while the creamed spinach was as good as it is in Shanahan’s. Head chef John Carolan has certainly brought the grandeur of the K Club to Clane but priced it well.
Desserts offered a chocolate experience, a plated Pina Colada or strawberry softies and all for only €5.50. We didn’t have room, not even in the special dessert tummy and we opted for a baileys coffee for me and himself had an Irish coffee. We sat for hours chatting and thoroughly enjoyed our evening
If you are looking for a fine dining experience in a wonderful atmosphere, I would certainly recommend Kirby’s. Remember to book as they are only open Friday and Saturday evenings at the moment