Vie de Chateaux is a French restaurant in Naas, Co. Kildare. It is situated in the Harbour, which is where the locks of the canal passes through the town. They have developed quite a reputation in recent years, and we arranged to meet our friends Gerry and Grainne Kinnerk there for dinner, as they live just down the road in Kilteel.
We arrived on a Saturday night towards the end of summer and were greeted by the sight of people enjoying a bit of balmy weather on the outside tables, with the canal providing a sylvan backdrop. We were shown to our table along the side wall, and the four of us got down to the serious business of choosing dinner, while the ladies worked their way through the wine list, finally deciding on a bottle of Savary Chablis, well priced at €28.50.
The menu features plenty of French favourites, and right in front of us was one of the large blackboards which display the daily specials. On the regular menu there are platters of charcuterie or (mainly French) cheeses that can be ordered for one or to share, as well as a chargrilled rib of beef on the bone for two, and bistro classics like snails in garlic butter, moules frites and tarte tatin. The specials on offer included a starter of scallops, a black pudding and apple tart, and sardines. The main specials included loin of lamb with red wine jus, fillet of sea bream and fillet of veal.
We all stayed with the specials, with the black pudding and apple tart and the sardines being the stars of the show, while the lamb main course was cooked pink as requested, and came with shallots, red wine jus and a separate pot of Lyonnaise potato, Grainne’s veal was rustic and hearty, rather than slim and flat, but the dishes worked well and the flavours were very good. Altohough we ate off the specials, which are priced as A la carte, our food bill came to €150 for four. There are two set price options as well, the bistro menu offers three courses for €29, while the Gourmet menu is three courses for €36.
We shared two desserts, a classic crème brulee and a millefiulle of raspberries, the latter being very delicious, and was presented like some art on a plate. A few coffees rounded off a very good meal, and we decamped to the terrace for a second, and possibly third bottle of wine until the wee hours. Vie de Chateaux lived up to its reputation and we will go back. It’s extremely pretty, apart from anything else, and their terrace is very nice indeed. We took away some lovely memories of Irish summer evenings that in reality didn’t really happen in 2011. How easily we are pleased.