I first visited The Stockbridge Restaurant five years ago, as part of a panel of Christmas party planners. It didn’t take us long to decide that this was indeed a great place for the company Christmas party. And it was. We had a wonderful evening with the best food I have ever had at a Christmas party. I still remember the quail stuffed with foie gras and pistachios. Sumptuous. It was exciting to come back to the restaurant after so long and find that all the things I liked about it the first time are still in evidence: comfort, good ingredients and great service.
The Stockbridge Restaurant is a small but perfectly formed. It’s dark walls with large prints of Scottish colourists and large mirrors make the room feel inviting and stylish. Crisp white table linen, heavy cutlery, chairs upholstered in brocade: it all adds to the feeling of quiet luxury and intimacy. The service is friendly and the food is excellent. Local and seasonal ingredients are treated with respect and imagination. Some of them are grown on the
The restaurant is owned and run by chef Jason Gallagher and Jane Walker. Jane was running the front of house the day I visited. She gave helped me select a gin for my aperitif and gave us the inside scoop on the white wine we drank. (It was extra clean and crisp from fermenting in stainless steel vats.)
I started with a pheasant terrine with pickled vegetables and Cumberland sauce. It was very good: chunky and gamey. The pickled vegetables were delicious. They were pickled just right to have a good, crisp chew and were sweet pickled. I’ve never got used to super-sour pickles but love a gently, delicate pickle like this one. They brought out the earthiness of the meat. My companion had a chowder which looked silky and comforting, just as chowders should.
My main was seared sea bass with crushed Ratte potatoes, shellfish bisque and a crab spring roll. The fish was cooked just right – crispy on the outside, flaky on the inside – and the shellfish bisque was to die for. It had a sweet, buttery flavour and had perfectly cooked rings of baby squid swimming in it.
The crab spring roll delivered more crab flavour than I thought was possible. It all worked beautifully together. My companion had grilled halibut with beef ravioli, an interesting and unexpected accompaniment.
The dessert menu looked fabulous but we both opted for cheese. (The pre-dessert, a rich mouthful of chocolate and mint, was so good that I almost changed my mind.) I’m always looking for a great cheese board and had a feeling I’d get one here. I did. The Stockbridge Restaurant is around the corner from I.J. Mellis Cheesemongers so they can source excellent cheese easily. We had several great cheeses, from a tangy gold-rind goats cheese, to a fresh and tangy blue and, my personal favourite, Criffel, a silky soft cheese with a pungent aroma but gentle flavour. I really like a cheese board that offers more than a hard, a soft and a blue and this was a real journey of discovery of cheese taste and texture. With a glass of Malbec, it was the perfect way to end the evening.
I really enjoyed The Stockbridge Restaurant and look forward to going back. They are a great place for parties and special occasions. If you have a party of six or more, they are happy to open for lunch for you. The Stockbridge are very happy to welcome locals and regulars as well as to help diners from far away organise a special evening in Edinburgh. They can accommodate groups too. From birthday parties to weddings, first dates and anniversaries, The Stockbridge has a menu and a table for you.
The portrait of Jason Gallagher was taken by Simon Williams.