In the pretty market square of Kildare Town, Harte’s Bar and Grill occupies a prime slot. An old fashioned Irish pub exterior belies the modern dining room and contemporary Irish cooking that goes on inside. Owner Paul Lenehan has added this pub to his portfolio of gastropubs in the Kildare/Dublin area. At Harte’s, Head Chef Barry Liscombe brings 15 years of cooking experience to the kitchen. Enthusiastic, committed to the use of local and Irish produce and full of ideas for the future, Barry is a young giant in the culinary world.
Food at Harte’s is smart casual. The day begins with lunch. On the menu, a selection of salads sees products like Newbridge Ham, West Cork Black Pudding and Ardsallagh Goat’s cheese transformed into appetising light bites. Busy lunchers can choose from the freshly cut sandwich menu, and marry it with soup or chowder for a good value meal deal. The express counter at the entrance to the bar is designed specially for food to be served quickly. Pies and casserole dishes are hot and ready to go to the table in minutes. For those who have time for a more substantial meal, there’s always home made soup with house soda bread, and a choice of fresh fish, lamb and beef mains. Barry particularly loves the lesser used cuts, and chooses Blade of Irish Hereford for his speciality 8 hour braised beef served with a meaty beef gravy and accompanying vegetables. The specials board has more offerings.
In the evenings the tempo changes. A busy day trade becomes a slower moving affair of diners there to enjoy a seasonal a la carte menu. Steaks at Harte’s are taken very seriously indeed. Hereford fillet and sirloin are cooked by diners at the table on a searingly hot lava rock – with instruction on cooking preference. Food foreplay before the main event of eating. Black Rock Steak is one of the most popular dishes on the menu. House desserts follow both lunch and dinner.
There is a full bar service at Harte’s with a Bar Library table menu to tempt beer lovers. An extensive list of bottled beers, ciders, ales and wheat beers from home and abroad. Irish draught offerings include Guinness, Smithwicks, O’ Hara’s ales and Heineken. Wine lovers will appreciate the concise and reasonably priced wine list, with plenty by the glass. Finish with a cocktail. Feel free to start with one also.
Harte’s kitchen is dietary requirement conscious, with clear marking on the menu for coeliac, lactose free and vegetarians catered for generously. An early bird menu runs Mon to Thursday. There is a kids menu of homemade favourites.
Hartes also run a cookery school where they will show how to create four days worth of meals from the same 6 ingredients making 4 completely different dishes in 1 hour.