Top quality produce and slick service gives capital restaurant an edge
A STONES throw from Edinburgh's distinguished Parliament Square, the Glasshouse off the Mile certainly strives to align itself to the professional and pinstriped clientele who pass its door each day.
Contemporarily dressed in black, the eatery is a dazzling advocacy of smooth sophistication.
Yet with lantern-adorned tables for two, low, smoothly corniced ceilings and tailored upholstery it somehow manages to forgo the cut-glass airs.
The deluxe decor is the only real hint to its links with the Fraser Suites boutique hotel .
An impressive seasonal menu serves as an early reminder the restaurant is striving to stand in its own light.
The overall attention to detail extends as far as the bread, which is a component the Glasshouse takes much deserved pride in.
A starter of leek mull and cheddar tart topped with cress and decorated with petite beetroot chucks and a drizzle of olive oil looks a bit too pretty to disturb.
The pickled beetroot added a delightful sharp contrast to the tartlet's creamy, soup-like filling though it needed more of its well-matched accompaniment.
My dining partner's square chicken and cock-a-leekie terrine was bursting with flavour. Wrapped up in a crunchy green leak with a flag of deep-fried chicken on top and a sweet prune was an inspired blend of flavours.
On to the mains and my sticky raspberry chicken main was certainly another perfectly matched ensemble of both sweet and savoury.
Under a thick, brown, sweet, Chinese-style sauce, the chicken was incredibly succulent and tender.
Its potato crisp partner was however, far too salty and oily to compliment the meats sweet coating, and the fresh green spinach a tad too buttery.
Across the table my partner landed a better catch. A portion of beautifully moist seared sea bass was cooked to perfection, and with the added touch of creamed leek and buttered carrot nage, the simple dish excelled in both flavour and presentation.
For desert the recommended baked apple tart was perfect. Dusted with icing sugar, the warm tart was bursting with flavour and was wedded perfectly with scoops of jaw-droppingly good garden plum ice-cream.
The Glasshouse can only be faulted for trying too hard to impress and sometimes, trying to do too much at once.
But it has all the essentials going for it, namely professional service, excellent locally-grown seasonal produce and most importantly, all at a reasonable price.
The Glasshouse off the Mile: 12-26St Giles Street, Edinburgh, EH11PT
Tel:0131 225 4564
Price:3 courses without sides/drinks: Approx £25 per person