Lautrec's Brasserie Kilkenny, French Restaurant
9 Kieran Street, Kilkenny.
Lautrec’s Brasserie is on a sleepy little lane in the centre of Kilkenny. It's easily spotted from the outside by the canopy and two bistro style tables, which provide a perfect perch on a lazy sunny evening. Inside the restaurant is split over two levels, in a long narrow building filled with character. With timber floors in one area and stone floors to the rear, original beams and exposed brickwork, all the nooks and crannies are filled with antique artifacts and whitewashed walls are hung with prints from the works of Toulouse Lautrec. It’s all very continental, and works very well.
There are a couple of dining options; an early bird menu offers 2 courses for €19.95 and 3 courses for €24.95. The A la Carte menu is very well put together and with a selection of French and Italian classics, you’ll find something to please. The starters go from €2.95 for garlic bread to €8.95 for a very tempting charcuterie plate. The homemade soup was mushroom, and there were also moules mariniere, a perennial classic. I chose the confit of duck leg served on a rosti potato which was delicious, the rosti packed with dill and all kinds of aromatic herbs; tiger prawns Lautrec for my friend were served on grilled ciabatta while my husband went for the Mediterranean pinchetos; marinated skewers of Hereford beef on cous cous with cumin and cucumber yoghurt, this was also a delicious choice, I had to steal a taste. The beef was moist and oozed flavours.
Mains ranged in price from €14.95 for the tagliatelle Soleil prepared with smoked chicken to €24.95 for the 10oz sirloin. This time I ordered the lamb shank served on scallion mash in a rosemary and red currant jus; a huge serving and beautifully prepared while other dishes that came to the table were the monkfish and tiger prawn curry with basmati rice; creamy and all the flavours really worked without being too hot, the taste of the monkfish really came out, not getting lost in the sauce. Sizzling chicken fajitas brought up the rear. There is something lovely about a sizzling dish on the table, and we all dipped into this one, again really well prepared.
Everything that is made in the kitchens at Lautrec's is locally sourced, with perhaps the dairy from Waterford or poultry from Wexford coming from farthest away; everything else is from Kilkenny, and suppliers are listed on the menu, which we always like to see.
Desserts are also all made in the kitchen and are priced at €5.95, we had a good key lime pie on a honey crumble base to share, which was really refreshing and a good choice to finish a meal while one had to try the chocolate pudding which was rich, lightly warmed and served with a white chocolate sauce. There was also a cheeseboard, a selection of Irish cheeses, fruit chutney and water biscuits for €8.95.
The wine list is smaller than usual, but very well chosen with a good selection of New World wines from smaller producers at reasonable prices. Lautrec’s is the perfect setting for either an intimate night out or a gathering of friends, there is always a good atmosphere, full of hustle and bustle.