You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl. And this really is the case as I do enjoy indulging at our local farmer’s market and I have a real soft spot for a farm shop and restaurant. Sadly there are not too many of the latter in Edinburgh.
However, tucked away down the stairs on the corner of Alva Street in Edinburgh’s very own West End Village, is The Edinburgh Larder Bistro, which comes pretty close. Championing local and seasonal produce as well as being a member of the Slow Food UK Chef Alliance this really is a hidden gem, which is only a stones throw away from Princes Street.
Boasting bags of traditional charm, having retained many of the buildings beautiful features our first impressions are very good. As we descend into the basement and through the front door we’re welcomed by the sight of homemade artisan breads and cakes.
But what about the food? To kick off lunch I opted for the parsnip soup, which came served with fresh homemade bread. The soup was thick and creamy and really stuck to my ribs. Perfect for banishing the winter blues. The Chief Taster ordered the hot smoked salmon and horseradish pate served on walnut bread. Again you can tell they know and care about a good bread, which automatically gets my seal of approval. The pate was delicious but there was no trace of the horseradish sadly. It had been well and truly overlooked.
For our main course I went for the honey roasted winter vegetable tart, which had been well executed. The short crust pastry was devine and the vegetables were rich and tasty. On the side was a portion of winter herb slaw served in a Mull Cheddar crisp basket – my favourite kind of cheese!
The Chief Taster choose the layered potato shallot and apple bake with rosemary cream and winter greens. This dish was considerably lighter than the tart and the apple was very subtle but the greens were delicious. On the side he also ordered a portion of beef dripping chips covered in Hebridean sea salt. Now not normally a chip lover these were no ordinary chips. These were proper thick cut homemade chips which would put up a good fight against the greasy French fry!
Now we couldn’t leave without putting the puddings to the test and these certainly did not disappoint. In fact they were the icing on the cake and the portion sizes didn’t sink me either. I had the warm pear and cobnut cake, which would have gone very well with a cup of tea and the Chief Taster had the dark chocolate mouse, which he gave the thumbs up.
A great option for coffee and cake as well as lunch after a busy day shopping, The Edinburgh Larder Bistro is not to be overlooked, although hidden away. And with Valentine’s Day fast approaching I can’t help but think that it would also make the ideal setting for a romantic meal for two!
The Edinburgh Larder Bistro
1A Alva Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4PH
0131 225 4599