Newbridge, Co. Kildare

On Valentine’s night, Ali and myself along with our friends Ana and Padraig went for a meal in Harrigans. It is located on the main street of Newbridge, opposite the Riverbank Arts Centre and consists of a pub to the front with a restaurant towards the back. The restaurant was operating from a special Valentine’s menu which had plenty of choice and cost €59.95 per couple for 3 courses.

For starter I went for the “creamy garlic mushrooms with house side salad and toasted garlic ciabatta crostini’s.” I was expecting the mushrooms to be breaded and fried with a garlic dip (as per the norm) but I really should have read the menu a little better as the word “creamy” at the start would suggest otherwise. The mushrooms were contained in what was like a thick soup that looked far from appetising. They did taste nice however and although I would rather them cooked the usual way, I did enjoy them. The garlic spreading on the crostini was too thick for my liking but the salad was delicious.

Starter: 6/10

For mains I was the only one not to go with a steak on the stone and instantly regretted my decision upon hearing the unmistakable sizzle of a rib eye beside me! Instead I chose the “8 hour braised lamb shank served in its own rosemary jus with colcannon potatoes and roasted root vegetables.” The lamb was perfectly tender but I found it and the jus to be lacking in seasoning which let it down a little. The veg and colcannon were cooked beautifully and complemented the dish perfectly.

Main: 6/10

There was no choice for dessert and so we all received an “assiette of desserts served with homemade mixed berry coulis, chocolate and rich dark butterscotch sauces with side selection of fresh fruit.” This translated into 3 mini cheese cakes of varying flavour that were all very nice while my espresso was also of good quality.

Dessert: 7/10

I found the service to be a little disappointing on the night but this had nothing to do with the staff themselves. There appeared to be far too few people working ( I saw one man working the floor, while another man shared the floor and bar work) and so we were waiting for the table to be cleared for too long between courses. Our waiter was very pleasant which was a little surprising considering he was trying to serve everyone else too!

Service: 6/10 (no reflection on staff) 

Valentine’s is a tough night to judge the value of a restaurant as the prices tend to rise while a limited menu is offered. I found it to be a little expensive for the quality of the food on offer although not extortionate by any means. The restaurant is well laid out with a very comfortable feel and was buzzing on the night.

Value for Money: 6/10
Ambiance: 8/10

Overall: 6.5/10

Harrigan’s Bar and Restaurant
Main Street,
Co. Kildare
(045) 487704

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