A long disused corner building in the heart of Galway, now elegantly refurbished, is home to the modern and friendly pub, Blakes Bar, is on one side and, on the other, the restaurant and wine bar 'The Brasserie on the Corner', which is a younger sister business.
In the bright room with a shining vaulted ceiling, the smartly dressed staff are quick to meet and greet and settle you at a table. Seafood and steak are the declared speciality and, while first impresssions on a daytime visit might put it in the 'gastropub' bracket, further inspection reveals that the menus of this stylish venue are too refined for that title.
Impressive looking 'Brasserie Boards' are served with a little tossed salad, good bread and marinated olives. Choose from a Cured Meat Board, Irish Artisan Cheese, Seafood, or Vegetarian - or customise your own board with any four ingredients from across the lot.
Tasty morsels presented in little shot glasses and cute kilner jars include tomato and goats cheese mousse or blue cheese croquettes, crab & salmon sausage, fresh salmon, smoked mackerel pate, tempura prawn and ginger tartare. Salads, open sandwiches and soups also feature at lunchtime, along with the permanent backbone of burgers, fish and chips and good vegetarian options.
The same boards are available on the evening menu, where the focus is on locally caught seafood and steak from McGeough's Artisan Butchers of Oughterard. The choice beef cuts from McGeoughs include sirloin and rib-eye, either stone cooked at the table or cooked by the kitchen to order - choose from blue and cold centred for the hard core meat lover, all the way through to well done for the haemaphobic.
All steaks are served with freshly prepared in-house Maris Piper chips, crispy onions rings and home-made tomato relish. A further choice of accompanying sauces lists all of the classics - Cafe de Paris butter, whiskey pepper, onion gravy and more.
A Specials Menu also offers a number of vegetarian and seafood dishes, changed according to the daily catch and the season.
Desserts are inventive, expect chocolate and raspberry puddings with chocolate chip cookie, toffee sauce and raspberry ripple ice cream or a fragrant lemon and passion fruit tart with a few passion fruit seeds left for crunch in an otherwise smooth lemon custard.
The Wine Menu lists over 40 wines selected from the smaller vineyards across France, Spain, Chile, and New Zealand, along with an extensive cocktails menu. A selection of craft beers completes an impressive beverage offering.
This restaurant has enjoyed great popularity from the moment it opened and has since remained among the top Galway dining hot spots.