When I was invited along to review The Stockbridge Restaurant, I absolutely jumped for joy. Tucked away in a basement on St Stephen’s Street, this chic little brasserie has been impressing diners for years. Helmed by award winning chef Jason Gallagher, and sitting pretty in TripAdvisor’s Edinburgh top ten, it’s the ideal place to celebrate a special occasion.
And special occasion it was. The week before our visit, James and I had hiked along the West Highland Way: 96 miles from Milngavie to Fort William. It was absolutely incredible and I’ll definitely be writing about it soon, but for now let’s talk about our victory meal in one of Edinburgh’s most lovely restaurants, shall we?
We were allowed to choose any table for two that we fancied, so I chose one right in the middle of the restaurant. Despite being sandwiched between two tables for three, we still felt like we had plenty of privacy. There was lots of room to move, and it really felt quite romantic. Can I just take this moment to add that I think tables for three are an excellent idea? Quite a few groups were arriving with three members, and it’s nice having everyone sitting round the table without a spare chair reminding someone that they’re the third wheel.
The wine list had some really nice sounding bottles, and I liked the way that it was split into flavours rather than regions. We went for a nice floral bottle (from Spain). Before we started our meal we were presented with a basket packed with fresh bread, and a lovely vinaigrette singing with fresh herbs. We made short work of that, before being brought our “pre-starter” which was a tasty little mozzarella salad.
We ate from the ala carte menu and let me say that choosing a starter was probably one of the most difficult decisions of my life. Everything, and I mean everything, sounded good. Here are just a couple of things I could have chosen: “spiced pigeon breast with duck liver pate, wild mushrooms, onions, pancetta and red wine sauce” , “seared salmon with avruga caviar, crab beignet, crayfish and scallop mousse, courgette ribbons and shellfish sauce” , and “seared Scallops with cherry tomatoes, tapenade, aubergine and tomato vinaigrette.”
After some humming and hawing, I went for the “Goats cheese fondant with beetroot salsa, caramelized walnuts and toasted brioche.”I was definitely happy with my choice. The tangy goats cheese, earthy beetroot, and crunchy sweet nuts went together perfectly to create a nice light starter that had me anticipating my main.
James went for the absolutely amazing sounding “Rabbit loin wrapped in Serrano ham with a cep mousse, tagliatelle, wild mushrooms and Madeira sauce.” I cheekily stole some, slipping some onto my side plate while the waitress’s back was turned. Another excellent choice, with all the elements coming together nicely to create a deep and delicious first course.
The mains were equally delightful sounding, but for me it’s hard to see past duck if it’s on a menu. The “Gressingham duck breast with duck confit spring roll, foie gras boudin, savoy cabbage and bacon, potato terrine and sauce” certainly didn’t disappoint. The duck was nicely pink, full of flavour and really juicy. The potato terrine was my favourite though, it reminded me of my mum’s dauphinoise potatoes. Something she only makes at Christmas.
James went for the “seared sea bass with crab ravioli, crushed heritage potatoes, langoustine bisque and braised vegetables” which I thought sounded pretty darn good. It must have been, because he didn’t let me anywhere near it. Clean plates all round.
Finally, it was time for dessert: although I didn’t manage to snap a pic as I was too eager to get tucked in, d’oh! James went for the “plum Crumble with vanilla sauce and praline ice cream” while I indulged my inner chocoholic by choosing the “Chocolate brulee with chocolate brownie, white chocolate mousse and milk chocolate ice cream.”
Dessert was the only course that didn’t blow me away, actually. I was expecting the white chocolate mousse to be more, well, moussey. It had more of a melted, gooey texture. I also thought the milk chocolate flavour in the ice cream didn’t really stand up too well. Personally I prefer a dark chocolate ice cream, something rich and fudgey. The chocolate brulee was excellent though. Again, I don’t know about the plum crumble because James scoffed the lot before I got a look-in.
But hey, two out of three certainly ain’t bad: and with other delightful sounding desserts on the go like banana tart tatin and an IJ Mellis cheese board, I think I might have to come back and give them a wee chance to redeem themselves. 😉