Vie de Châteaux
Widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in Co. Kildare, it’s taken me some time to get to sample the food at Vie de Châteaux. As a proud Newbridge man, I tend to avoid
Shelbyville Naas like the plague but once in a while, there is something worth risking it for (!). Vie de Châteaux is one such place. The original and flagship restaurant is located beside the Grand Canal in Naas at Harbour View. There are also a number of other incarnations: VDC@Home is a café located on Friary Road in the centre of Naas and VDC@The Curragh is part of the TRI Equestrian Superstore beside the Curragh Racecourse. Ali and I have been to VDC@The Curragh before to grab breakfast or lunch. The original venue is a light and airy restaurant with a sizeable outdoor terrace to the front and plenty of seating inside for when the weather isn’t so good – which in Ireland, is most of the time!
My mother had suggested we go somewhere for dinner as a family. My brother and I happened to be off on the same day and she wanted to take advantage. Sunday evening normally isn’t the best time to go for a meal – the Sunday Lunch set menus are finished and you go back to an extortionate A La Carte option or the restaurant is closed. Vie de Châteaux have spotted a gap in the market here and offer their Sunday Lunch set menu until 9 pm; very clever. The four of us arrived at 7.30 pm and were seated close to the door. One thing to note is that the tables are quite close together. It didn’t really effect us as we were to the side, but if you are in the main area, Jimmy and Mary at the next table are hearing all of your juicy gossip. Era, you shouldn’t be gossiping anyway.
It’s always fun trying to decide on a restaurant with my family. My mam is fairly adventurous and as long as you don’t give her “raw” meat (it has to be well done), she’ll be happy. She’s normally open-minded when it comes to trying new food and unusual ingredients. My dad on the other hand, is a conservative eater, so you must insure there’s a roast of some kind or a steak on the menu. And my brother? – well I’ve yet to figure him out, it depends on his humour that day! Happily Vie de Châteaux ticked all the required boxes with a good selection available. For starter, I went for Rabbit Country Terrine with Green Peppercorn, Piccalilli Vegetables and Sourdough Toast. To my dismay, it was served on a piece of slate (what’s wrong with using plates?), but it was a roaring success in terms of taste. The terrine could have been considered slightly under seasoned by itself but when paired with the sharp and salty piccalilli vegetables, it was perfectly balanced.
For my main course, I ordered the Pan Fried Fillet of Hake, Summer Vegetables, Polenta and Tomato Consommé. The hake was flaky, juicy and perfectly cooked and although the polenta was sitting in the consommé, it retained a nice texture. The consommé was a little light on flavour but I can see the predicament here – too flavourful and it kills the more delicate fish. It was a very pleasant, light dish executed well. I skipped dessert and went for a cheeseboard instead. There was a good mix of cheeses on the board with French Comté, Reblochon, Chevre and Brie being joined by Ireland’s favourite Cashel Blue. The accompanying chutney had the taste of Christmas (in a good way) while the cracker and nut selections were heavenly. The perfect end to my meal.
The service at Vie de Châteaux was excellent throughout. The staff were helpful and knowledgeable and made us feel welcome from the start. As for the price, for the quality on offer, €28 for 3 courses is exceptionally good value. One option on each of the three courses has a supplement but this still leave four choices at the stated price. The wine is a little more expensive than other places but anywhere that serves Saint-Emilion by the glass gets my vote! In total we paid €167 for 3 x 3 course meals, a 2 course meal, 2 glasses of wine, 2 glasses of beer, a sparkling water and 4 x teas/coffees.
Vie de Châteaux
(045) 888 478