From Victoria Street, climb the stairs at number 30 to the first floor to discover The Grain Store, a 20-year Edinburgh dining tradition. With views of the Grassmarket, this restaurant offers a great taste of new Scottish cuisine with a classical French influence, from its baked-fresh daily grain breads to its contemporary seafood dishes and elegant desserts. Paul, the “creator of the atmosphere,” is at hand to share his love of fine ingredients with guests. He’ll answer your questions, take your tastes into consideration and make excellent recommendations.
The philosophy at The Grain Store is simple: to provide meals made with care that allow diners to savor the Scottish experience. With even the desserts made to order, your meal is guaranteed to be fresh, leisurely and relaxed. Kudos go to Chef Carllo and Chef Ewen for their fine work.
The atmosphere of the restaurant is decidedly rustic, with wooden tables, stone walls and plenty of candlelight to set the mood in several intimate dining spaces. It’s clear that the staff enjoys presenting the food as much as the diners enjoy eating it. And at The Grain Store, the menu’s descriptions match the quality and presentation of the foods prepared.
Starters are generously sized. Oyster lovers should try the creamy cauliflower and sorrel soup, accented by poached oysters and caviar. The torchon of foie gras with smoked duck and poached and seared quince was truly fantastic. Sitting atop a brioche crouton, the foie gras itself was rich and buttery. The duck, smoked in-house, was tender, moist and flavorful. Perhaps my favorite of the starters was the seared scallops with Jerusalem artichoke and crispy bacon. Served in the shell on a bed of salt, the scallops were delicate and savory. The Jerusalem artichoke puree and crisps added texture and dimension to the presentation.
For mains, we tried the seared halibut with red peppers, olives and crispy squid. The fish was delicate and flaky, while the pan sauce complemented the protein brilliantly. We also enjoyed a perfectly tender and juicy saddle of Perthshire venison with confit of shallots and celeriac puree with roasted vegetables as accompaniment. Dessert was a decadent chocolate tart with coffee essence and glazed orange slices.
A worthwhile experience in Edinburgh – tell them you read about their restaurant on my blog!
The Grain Store
30 Victoria St (1st Floor)
Tel: 0131 225 7635
Fax: 0131 622 7313