The Ballymore Inn is one of two restaurants in Kildare listed in the latest McKenna Guide (the other being Harte’s of Kildare) and is located in the scenic village of Ballymore Eustace, not far from Poulaphouca Lake. After a walk at the lake in the blistering April sun (yep, we’re still in Ireland!) Ali and I decided to treat ourselves to lunch in the award winning restaurant.
The Ballymore Inn is light and airy and is especially nice on a sunny day. There is a kitchen shop in one corner selling all sorts of homemade jams, chutneys, pestos and bread while also stocking some nice bottles of vino. Opposite the main door is a small bar which is stocked with a wide range of craft beers to keep even the hippiest of hipsters happy. We were seated close to the door and were given the special lunch menu aswel as the a la carte option.
After a little deliberation we decided to go for the special lunch option of three courses for €25.75. For starter I went with the “homemade duck terrine with warm brioche.” It arrived pretty quickly and was presented well. The terrine was beautifully executed and was a little milder than I would be used to. The taste of the duck came through well however and was enhanced by the grape relish. The warm brioche was also delicious although I would have preferred a nice slice of toasted sourdough. A comment must also be made on the fantastic salad dressing, wonderful. Ali’s soup of the day (coconut and butternut squash) was also excellent.
For mains we both decided on the fish of the day. “Duncannon cod with stir fried vegetables and roasted red pepper aioli.” The fish was perfectly cooked and although the vegetables were a little soft for my liking (they were sliced extra thin) the aioli was the real star of this show. It was magnificent and I would have been just as happy sitting there dipping bread into it! The creamy mash was also delicious, a very enjoyable main.
My dessert of “rich chocolate pots with honeycomb” was exactly as predicted, superb. A rich chocolate base topped with whipped cream and pieces of honeycomb. Simple and delicious. My espresso was also excellent, perfectly balanced.
The service at The Ballymore Inn was quite impressive. Our plates were always cleared away quickly between courses and we were looked after very well. From a price point of view it can certainly be said that The Ballymore Inn is in the upper end of the Kildare price point for lunch although we did find it fantastic value for the quality of food on offer. There are more affordable options with a toastie and soup coming in at a very manageable €10.95 so it can be frequented as a treat or as an every day option.
Food: 8.5/10 (8, 8.5, 9)
Value for Money: 8/10