The Green Barn restaurant at Burtown House is located off the M9 on the road into Athy, Co Kildare. The setting is a Scandinavian style barn with a New England twist, combining rustic and contemporary to give you a stylish dining area, high ceilings, distressed furniture and floor to ceiling glass doors taking full advantage of the kitchen garden views
The property has been in the Fennell family since 1710, and James Fennell returned home a couple of years ago and opened the property to the public with beautiful park and farmland walks, as well as The Green Barn offering a farm to fork experience.
The food is honest and unpretentious letting the produce speak for itself. Almost everything served has come from the kitchen garden that morning. The evening we visited we were experiencing our best summer ever, so with the doors open into the garden and many people eating al fresco it certainly had the real holiday vibe.
The wine list was well selected to suit the foods and had a choice of by the glass; half litre and bottle options ranging in price from €24 for a pinot grigio or N’Ero D’Avolo to €42 for a pinot noir, we chose the Jules Taylor sauvignon blanc Marlborough 2016 which was a light fruity winebursting with flavor
The menu is short with a choice of three starters, mains and desserts allowing the chef to use all seasonal produce. Head chef Phil has brought experience and passion to the kitchen at The Green Barn, having worked in some of the countries top properties including L’Ecrivain, the K Club, Cliff House at Ardmore and Clontarf Castle, so you know you’re in good company.
All courses offer a meat, seafood and vegetarian option, with starters displaying an antipasto board, pan seared king prawns and a summer salad of beetroot, feta and walnuts. I chose the antipasto board which was a generous serving of cured meats, Toonsbridge mozzarella, manchego and pickled cucumber which came with sourdough bread and a choice of dips. It was delicious and suited the warm evening perfectly. The guys had the king prawns in a garlic and herb butter, cooked to perfection and exceptionally moreish.
When it came to mains Keisha and Fred had the 8oz chargrilled beef served on a bed of york cabbage, the plate was dressed with Pablo beetroot and an onion relish and drizzled with veal jus, a picture on a plate and cooked to perfection.
I went with the oven baked hake, succulent, melt in the mouth decorated with micro herbs of broccoli on a bed of smoked pancetta with lemon butter emulsion. The vegetarian option was a risotto of onion, kale and broad beans.
For dessert we did one of each, a dark chocolate brownie with vanilla bean ice cream; lemon and raspberry posset with oat crumb which won the dessert of the night and a rhubarb and pear crumble with ice cream.
The evening was leisurely and highly recommended next time you’re in the area. With photographer James Fennell’s attention to detail and Phil’s culinary expertise it is a recipe for success and has brought something very special to South Kildare