As Matthew was ill on New Year’s Eve we decided to have our own little celebration once back in the Burgh in January. First we went to the extremely cosy Canny Mans Pub in the posh Morningside area. The pub was established in 1871 and passed down through generations of the Kerr family, and it looks like not much has changed since then! There are hundreds of nooks and crannies with interesting little details, and it is just one of those pubs you really don’t mind spending the whole evening in. The place is known for its excellent Bloody Mary, but as we had wine I’m yet to taste it. If you ever visit Edinburgh this is definitely a pub you don’t want to miss! For more photos of the pub, see my previous post.
Matthew bought a whiteboard in a little shop next to the pub, and was so excited about it that I basically spent hours teaching him Swedish (not sure how much he remembers though, there was some wine involved…) All the teaching/learning made us hungry, so we started looking at where to have dinner (very organised once again). We didn’t realise that most small restaurants close in January, but luckily the Edinburgh Larder that I had been wanting to visit for ages was open and had a table for us. (‘Larder’ is a room or a large cupboard for storing food.)
The Edinburgh Larder Bistro that opened in 2012 is a little basement restaurant in the West End Village. (They also have a cafe on the Royal Mile.) It’s a modern yet cosy place with dim lighting and rustic interior design – perfect for a dark and cold winter evening. In summer, however, I could imagine the restaurant feeling a bit deprived of natural light.
As there are several different rooms and boots it’s a good place for a romantic dinner. The restaurant serves unpretentious bistro food with a twist and uses a large number of local, Scottish suppliers, which is always a plus and what I think every restaurant should aim to do. It is very much my kind of place, so I was really hoping it was going to be a nice experience.
The unstable weather in January affected the fish supply, so maybe I shouldn’t have chosen the pollack fillet with heritage potatoes, mussels, leeks, tarragon and mustard sauce. The fish smelled a little fishy, which is always a bad sign. The fillet was also way overcooked, but the rest of the dish was nice and well seasoned. Matthew had the slow cooked beef cheek with feather blade steak (which if I am to believe google is a cheap cut of meat that is ideal for casseroles and stews…), and although the beef cheek was nice, unfortunately his steak was also overcooked and chewy.
For some reason I ate the whole thing, thinking I couldn’t be bothered to complain (I hate complaining!). Matthew also finished his meal – so we were two of those idiots who finish the food on the plate and then realise we didn’t enjoy it…But when the waitress, who was really nice btw, asked how the meal both of us just had to say something. She was really cool about it and offered us both complimentary desserts. Not what I expected, but I didn’t say ‘no thanks’!
We had a selection of homemade ice creams and sorbets with Mara seaweed shortbread (apparently it contains natural umami flavouring) . Refreshing and nice. We also had cheesecake with ice cream that I couldn’t find fault in. Although our mains were a bit of a disaster I’d like to go back and give the Edinburgh Larder another chance. I’ve heard so many good things about the Edinburgh Larder that it can’t all be wrong! (We had dinner at another restaurant a week later and had the same issue with the fish – so think it might be the weather. Doesn’t explain the steak though, and the “overcookedness”…
I really like my new long dress that Matthew gave me for Christmas, and it was a perfect match with the decor both in the pub and the restaurant 🙂
If anyone has been to the Larder – let me know what you thought and if it deserves a second visit!
x Nina x