I do enjoy a wander through Stockbridge. St Stephen Street bursting with basement shops filled to the brim with antiques, books and vintage wear; visiting the bustling Stockbridge Market that is always full of couples wearing wellies and taking their dogs for a walk; but most of all visiting Stockbridge as it’s home to some of the best restaurants that Edinburgh has to offer including Stockbridge Restaurant, Purslane, Kilted Lobster and Scan and Scallie.
And so on a Tuesday night we walked passed the ever impressive St Stephen Church and along St Stephen Street to the well-known and highly acclaimed Stockbridge Restaurant.
Stockbridge Restaurant is everything you’ve read about. It’s charming, cosy, welcoming and warm but the one word that does spring to mind is traditional. This is how I expect a proper restaurant to be – a hankering back to times of linen tablecloths, heavy solid cutlery and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where you are treated like the only people in the room. This describes Stockbridge Restaurant.
Traditional is the word I would use to describe the menu too but perhaps add in ‘with a modern twist’. They have just launched their Autumn menu and the dishes do lend themselves to the colder weather and all sound rich and hearty. Dishes like Ox Cheeks with horseradish puree, Pigeon Breasts with Fig Tarte Tatin, and Duck with a confit leg and Lamb Rump with potato terrine all conjur up images of autumnal countryside, roaring crackling fires and warmth.
Their homemade bread consisting of granary, pesto and white breads accompanied by a chervil and chive dip and butter arrived at the table. Who can resist homemade bread!? Breads were all light and fluffy and perfect for tearing apart and lightly dipping into the fervent green chervil and chive dip.
Once we placed our orders a wee amuse bouche arrived of Serrano ham and mozzarella. Tangy and light. The balsamic vinegar and spring onions adding some zing.
For starters we ordered the Partridge Breast and confit leg with cep tortellini, wild mushrooms and Madeira sauce; and the Seared Scallops with butternut squash puree, apple salsa, serrano ham and caramelized walnuts.
Partridge has just come into season at the start of September, so lovely to see this on the menu. The meat was cooked well (a little dry in places) and overall had a good taste with the Madeira sauce and the mushrooms adding a rich earthiness to the dish.
As many of you will know, I adore Scallops and if they are on the menu, that’s what I will order. Beautiful, soft, succulent, juicy scallops on the sweet butternut puree carpet. For me there didn’t need to be anything else on the plate but I am scallop-blind!
Next up, for mains we ordered Pan Fried Venison Loin with roasted potatoes, celeriac puree, kale, poached pear jus and chocolate oil; and the Seared Sea Bass with crispy squid, sautéed heritage potatoes, roasted beetroot, chorizo sausage and aioli.
Both these dishes screamed the colours of autumn and are so pretty to look at; however it was a pity that 2/4 slices of venison where the end cuts and cooked thoroughly on the one side. The slices from the middle of the venison cuts, were beautiful thought – pink, tender and juicy.
I know that Stockbridge Restaurant likes to use only fresh ingredients that are seasonal so I usually always ask about the provenance of some of the dishes. It’s good to know that some of their seafood is being landed by Danny from Neptunes Larder in Port Seton however I am still waiting to find out if it was Red Deer from Perthshire??
My seabass was cooked perfectly and seasoned really well. The skin was crispy. I did note that calamari is served with this dish and that there is a global shortage of squid at the moment – this probably explains the small delicate rings of calamari on the plate.
Next up was a wee plum trifle refresher before we shared a dessert of Vanilla Rice Pudding with apple compote and short bread crumble and cinnamon ice cream. Rice pudding and the apple compote was multi layered so each mouthful was of creamy sweet vanilla rice with a tart apple puree. It was a pleasant dessert but glad I shared it as it’s a fairly large portion.
They have a great and substantial wine and drinks menu but as it was a ‘school night’ we were both being fairly good and drank a refreshing Scottish Cider.
I also noted that they don’t have any vegetarian dishes on the menu but they do state on their website that if you have any allergies or dietary requirements, to let them know. The staff are lovely here, and I have no doubt they will go out their way to tailor a dish to suit.
I do like Stockbridge Restaurant and I can understand why so many people love it here. It is very Stockbridge! (if you have ever walked, lived or been out in Stockbridge, you’ll know what I mean when I write that).
Thank you to Jane from Stockbridge Restaurant for the invite.
Stockbridge Restaurant, St Stephen Street, 0131 2266766, www.thestockbridgerestaurant.co.uk
My Spoon Award : Gold