Synnott’s Bistro is in the Park View Hotel and is located in the heart of Newtownmountkennedy, a town that has changed since I knew it as a child growing up. I would have remembered it as the main road to Wicklow and now with the bypass it has become a quaint little village dotted with doll size cottages and pretty window boxes now in full bloom.
The restaurant itself is a small enough room, nicely divided to give a sense of privacy between tables. The décor is contemporary modern and with tones of purples, reds and taupe they have the balance between elegant and cosy just right. Sheenagh Toal heads up the kitchen now and has created a formidable menu that has gained a great reputation with customers in both the bar and bistro.
We visited on Easter Sunday with family and it was a non-stop affair all day for the staff, who were serving between the restaurant and the bar. Easter Sunday lunch was a four course set menu well priced at €23.95. With a choice of five starters and the same of main courses it was easy to make a decision, and starters included cream of vegetable soup, traditional prawn cocktail or a deep fried Wicklow brie. Moving on you could follow with roast stuffed turkey & ham, a braised lamb shank or the vegetarian option of spinach & ricotta tortellini..
I started with the chicken liver pate which was more solid than creamy in texture and served with hot toast and a sweet mango & apple chutney, a combination that always works well while mum and daughter went with the soup and hubby had the crisp crositini which was served with pesto and chorizo sausage and smothered with a melted mozzarella.
To follow on I had decided to have the oven baked salmon as the lighter option on the menu, and it came with creamy garlic potato and fresh tomato & pepper salsa while two of the others were tempted with the turkey and ham, a large serving which was placed on a bed of creamy mash and came with all the usual sides of gravy and cranberry sauce, and apparently the stuffing was to die for. Himself went with another Easter tradition; slow braised shank of lamb which was so well cooked it just fell of the bone and this was served with champ, baby ratatouille and a rosemary jus.
After such a large meal it was hard to think of dessert so we took a bit of a break, and then took a peek. Malteaser cheesecake with Belgian chocolate was my guilty pleasure, and I was delighted to see it wasn’t too big and I did manage to clear the plate. We also took delivery of warm apple pie with homemade custard and fresh cream, profiteroles with chocolate sauce & cream and a selection of ice creams. We finished off with teas & coffees it was now time to do a good walk in the Wicklow hills to work off a splendid lunch, and thankfully the weather was accommodating.
While we ate a special Easter menu, The Park View also have a great casual menu which is served all day in the bar, and when we arrived the day previously we enjoyed a light lunch. It was obvious from how busy they were that this has quickly become a favourite and offers great value. Check out the seafood chowder and follow up with fish and chips, or indulge with the spicy prawns Pil-pil and enjoy a homemade gourmet burger.
The atmosphere of the hotel combines sophisticated design with homely comforts, so whether visiting for a celebration or just enjoying a coffee and browse through the papers it is the ideal location. Perhaps it’s time to get reacquainted with Newtownmountkennedy.