Donald Reid makes his way to Greywalls Hotel in East Lothian as Albert Roux, the most influential restaurant chef in the UK in the last 30 years, comes within touching distance of Edinburgh
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BRASSERIE GERARD 20 Royal Exchange Square, City Centre, 0141 221 7727, www.brasseriegerard.co.uk, £10.50 (set lunch) / £18.50 (dinner) This first Scottish outlet of the national chain declares its motto as ‘Simple French Food’ and it is; this is hardly fine Parisian cuisine, but straightforward fare for business lunchers and after-work couples, in a handy city-centre location opposite the Gallery of Modern Art. The décor is in neutral colours and all a bit generic, while the menu is meat-heavy (there’s not much for vegetarians) including a variety of steaks and a rich, smoky flavoured boeuf bourguignon.
24 George Square, City Centre, 0141 221 9988, £6.95 (set lunch) / £15 (dinner) Well-established local restaurateur Georgios Leronmidis has brought the Greek dining experience to the ground floor of a grand city centre building looking onto George Square. Diners at Elià – meaning olive – are presented with olives and bread as a welcome. Starters are arguably the main attraction with huge portions of dips such as tzatziki, or tyrokafteri (a lightly spiced feta dip), as well as tigania sausage (something between a chorizo and a frankfurter) stewed with peppers. Mains are dominated by souvlaki and other grilled meats, although there are veggie pastas and salads on offer and familiar puddings accompany thick, sweet Greek coffee to finish.
THE BUTCHERSHOP BAR & GRILL 1055 Sauchiehall Street, West End, 0141 339 2999, www.butchershopglasgow.com, £12 (lunch) / £20 (dinner) In case you can’t guess from the name, the Butchershop is decorated with clues that steaks and burgers are the main attraction. All steaks are 28-day dry-aged Angus beef and the quality of the sourcing is clear. For non-meat eaters there is a veg risotto and some fish dishes. Blink and you’ll miss the short dessert menu but there is a seasonal special, and the coffees are excellent. The view from the terrace of Kelvingrove and Glasgow University makes it an ideal spot for a sundowner, with an extensive choice of cocktails for pre-club action in the early evening.
Edinburgh TASTE OF ITALY 9 Baxter’s Place, New Town, 0131 5557 9996, £10 (lunch/dinner) Taste of Italy shows all the signs of having made good a somewhat blighted corner a few doors down from
W hat’s Albert Roux doing in Scotland? Well, as a chef he has a very high regard for Scottish produce. More practically, he and his consultancy have been contracted by Inverlochy Castle Management International to establish Chez Roux restaurants in three Scottish hotels: Rocpool Reserve in Inverness, Inver Lodge in Lochinver, and here in Gullane, in the attractive country house designed by Edwardian architect Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1901. His team are currently training 26-year old Scottish chef Derek Johnstone to run the restaurant. The winner of Masterchef: the Professionals, in 2008, Johnstone subsequently spent 15 months at Roux’s La Gavroche in London. The menus – written by Roux and blending his rigorous French classicism with the inspiration of local food – are not daunting and, with a daily menu at £25 for three courses, very approachable. Asparagus from Aberlady is served with parmesan salad and chorizo, while seabass comes with stewed artichokes and new
12 THE LIST 27 May–10 Jun 2010
season potatoes. The dining room is smallish with colourful striped chairs contrasting with cream walls and ivory drapes, with framed Roux-related cartoons and grainy photos on the walls, and golf-course views beyond. It’s not La Gavroche, but it is 45 minutes from Edinburgh. + A dignified country house made accessible and – whisper it – a wee bit exciting - A lot of golf about
Greywalls Hotel, Muirfield, Gullane, E. Lothian 01620 842144, greywalls.co.uk,
Food served: Mon–Sun noon–2pm; 7–9.30pm [bar
snacks Mon–Sun noon–10pm]. Avg price two- course meal £22.50 (set lunch) / £25 (set dinner)