The Cliff at Lyons is widely renowned for it culinary prowess. Home to two Michelin Star Aimsir and The Mill Restaurant along with the casual offerings available in Dove Square and The Pantry. This little village filled with foodie delights is really something special.
Located in the serene Kildare countryside, a trip to Cliff at Lyons Estate at any time is joy. From the moment you drive through the gallant Lion clad gates you are immersed into blissful tranquility.
To celebrate a recent, very special occasion, we booked into The Mill Restaurant which has recently come under the reins of Chef Sean Smith. Smith previously led the charge in Cliff Townhouse and has packed up all of his unique style and transferred it seamlessly to the The Mill Restaurant.
The stunning mezzanine design of The Mill Restaurant creates a real sense of opulence and occasion. We were seated by the window with a fabulous view of the illuminated waterfall. The double height ceilings and romantic candlelight evoke an almost theatrical vibe to this gorgeous setting.
The Menu has that Five Star feel but in an ultra relaxed fashion. You are invited to choose from a selection of Sharing Plates, Cocktails and The Dinner Menu. We dined on a Sunday evening in December and could not combat the overwhelming desire to indulge in some classics. The three course Sunday Dinner Menu is priced at €65 per person and we were here for it.
Starting off with the essentials of Bread and Wine. Two devilishly delicious miniature loaves, one Guinness and Treacle Soda Bread, the other Sourdough, the last slice of each were almost fought over. Warm, fresh bread can bring out the best or the worst in a person!
A beautifully curated wine list made choosing the perfect bottle even more enjoyable. Finally agreeing on a bottle of Santa Sofia, Amarone, Della Valpolicella, 2013. We choose this beauty specifically with our main course in mind. Layers of flavour reveal themselves with each sip. From ripe black cherry to chocolate and spice characteristics with integrated tannins. This bold and complex beauty made for seriously blissful drinking.
Selecting Lobster Bisque and Irish Scallops brought about an indulgent start to a glorious evening.
A dish of Lobster Bisque so delicious that if you were at home, bowl licking may just take place. This rich Brandy and Dill Cream infused bisque topped with soft, succulent Lobster meat was nothing short of heavenly.
Scallops are always a favourite of ours but the addition of Chicken Wings is a new one on us. Irish Scallops, Cauliflower Puree, Chicken Wings. This new addition of Chicken Wings, though it may seem small, elicits a powerful punch of tastebud titillation.
For the main event we decided to have a total meat feast and order the Lamb Shoulder, served with Buttered Carrots and Smoked Potato. We attempted to order extra sides and our waiter very kindly advised us that if we needed extra once the main arrived to the table he would have them with us in minutes but he did not think we would need extra once we had seen the dish….he was correct.
A mammoth hunk of Lamb Shoulder draped in glistening buttered carrots and with a side of super smooth smoked potato was more than enough. So much so that by the end of the meal our waiter was offering to wrap up our leftovers.
Clearly this meat has been very slowly cooked as the very sight of a fork encouraged it to fall apart. Intense flavours of red wine mingled with the gelatinous lamb juices created an absolute flavour bomb in the mouth.
Smoked potato and buttered carrots as perfectly paired to this lavish lamb dish as our superb wine choice. What a treat!
It’s true what they say, there really is some sort of separate stomach for dessert. We had no regrets about selecting Vanilla Crème Brûlée, Shortbread Biscuit and Apple Crumble, Walnut & Sage IceCream.
The Crème Brûlée with that elusive shatter-able sugar top was simply irresistible. Buttery Shortbread biscuits that were fresher than a winters morning, impossible not to engage them for the dunking and scooping of this delectable delight.
The classic Apple Crumble with its childhood memory inducing nostalgic flavours (although… Mother never quite made it this good…) is hard to beat, this particular version, even more so. The refreshing addition of Walnut & Sage IceCream created a fabulous fusion of flavour.
We rounded off this outstanding evening of dining with some fresh mint tea, we are very rock and roll like that!
With Chef Smith having only just landed in The Mill Restaurant we are very excited to see the direction that he takes the menu in, come Spring time. If you are looking for the ultimate romantic date night The Mill Restaurant will not disappoint.
The Mill Restaurant,
The Cliff at Lyons,
WRITTEN BY KEITH MAHON & OLIVIA BYRNE