Set in a 130-year old cut stone railway building (formerly The Storehouse restaurant), Trax Brasserie has oodles of character, with stone walls, high ceilings with huge exposed beams and lovely old wide-planked wooden floors contrasting with comfortable high-backed chairs, and shiny bare wooden tables that are set up smartly but simply in contemporary style.
Aside from the charm of the building itself, the tidy and well-lit car park makes an excellent first impression (the Kildare Farmers’ Market is held there on Saturdays), and there’s a very welcoming entrance area with plenty of seating, where friendly and knowledgeable staff meet arriving guests and offer the choice of a drink at the bar or going straight to the table – where menus, iced water and bread are promptly presented.
Menus – which include a 2/3 course early dinner menu that offers extremely good value for money - suggest a good range of modern classics including, of course, the great steaks that are de rigeur in these parts.
Vegetarian dishes are highlighted and there’s a good choice of tempting seafood dishes (perfectly cooked Scallops with black pudding fondue, chive oil and dressed salad leaves, for example, wich attrcats a €7.00 supplement on the early menu) along with plenty of other meat and poultry, possibly including an excellent Pot roast of chicken with celeriac and Madeira jus.
Sides like scallion mash, crumbed onion rings, herbs salad and shoestring fries hit the spot too – but do allow space to enjoy the desserts, which are a real highlight here. If you’re lucky on the day, the choices may include a ‘just right’ Crème brulée with raspberries and raspberry coulis – but don’t miss the ‘best ever’ French apple tart with vanilla ice cream.
There’s a full bar licence, and a small but well chosen wine list offers 20 wines, listed by country and covering all varietals (eight each of red and white, with dessert, champagne and sparkling making up the rest).
Good coffees finish off an enjoyable meal here perfectly, allowing time to reflect on the charming old world setting, good food cooked simply with flair (and – something that is rare these days - perfectly seasoned), smart service and good value. All good reasons to return.