With all the talk of Mark Greenaway’s new bistro restaurant, Bistro Moderne, recently opening in Stockbridge, I thought it was time to try his successful restaurant on North Castle Street which holds 3 AA Rosettes for outstanding cuisine .
Restaurant Mark Greenaway re-opened in 2013 in a new building after being based for 2 years at Picardy Place. The reopening did not change the modern creative approach to the dishes on offer but did enable Mark to showcase his stunning dishes in contemporary bespoke surroundings. The restaurant has a grand atmosphere with white linen table cloths and brass Chandeliers. Providing an intimate, formal atmosphere.
My husband and I were greeted as soon as we entered the restaurant and taken to our seats where we were given the menus. As it is December we were given the Festive menu. This consisted of 4 starters, 4 mains and 3 deserts all showing various styles of cooking. However my husband and I actually chose the same which rarely happens! Shortly after ordering , we were presented with an amuse bouche of Pumpkin Espuma. Fluffy light foam packed full of sweet pumpkin flavour. This had me looking forward to what was to follow.
For starter, we had Ham Hough and Pork Ballontine. This was served with a seared west coast scallop and parsley mayonnaise. The scallop was succulent and juicy and was cooked to perfection. This was the highlight of the dish. The actual Ballontine itself was full of flavour; Smokey from the ham and with a really meaty texture. Sitting on top were some small crisps (I can only explain these as being like posh prawn crackers) which added another texture to the dish. The parsley mayonnaise was very light and gave the dish a modern fresh taste. My only criticism would be that there was not enough of this, making the dish slightly dry.
This was not the case for the main course of Loin of Borders Lamb. The rosemary jus poured by the waitress at the table was full of flavour and brought the dish together. The lamb was luscious, still pink and very tender. This was served with roasted cucumber, soused tomatoes and tapenade. The cucumber and tomatoes changed this dish from being a very good lamb dish to an excellent one; however it could perhaps have benefited from some form of starch to soak up some of the lovely jus. Luckily we had ordered some extra home-made bread to do the job for us.
Now, I know I love every dessert, but this was truly exceptional. Titled “Knot” Dark Chocolate Tart. This is definitely the best chocolate tart I have ever had; the pièce de résistance. The chocolate was smooth and heavenly. Served with crème fraiche parfait to give the dish a creamy feel, kumquat Syrup and sweet white chocolate soil which melted in my mouth. The dessert also had popping candy throughout which gave the dish a theatrical feel and a surprise texture in the mouth.
Throughout the meal the service was very attentive without being overpowering. Always ensuring your wine glass was never empty and that you were being attended to. Mark Greenaway has managed to restore my faith in Christmas menus again; often they consist of pre-made, easily re heated food; but not here. Here you will find gastronomic delights in a romantic setting. I will definitely be returning to sample Marks normal (non-festive) menu at a later date.
Bill for two: £112 (including bottle of wine and coffees)
Service: Attentive, Friendly
Overall: 8.5 / 10