Dine and Wine Sunday
When I first heard that Stuart Muir had left Harvey Nics and was opening his own place, half of me thought, 'Wow!' and the other half thought, 'What took him so long?'.
His cooking has always been good eating and I was expecting no less at Dine. Disappointment was not on the cards and expectation was high.
Ascending the stairs at the main entrance of the Traverse Theatre, is a verdant and very tactile living moss wall. Chatting with Stuart, and his business partner, Paul Brennan, they explain that the moss is from Falkirk and has a monthly check-up by the moss doctor! Who knew of such a thing? Not only do this duo source local, Scottish ingredients (including bread from Edinburgh's Andante and Katy Rodger's crème fraîche), the breadboards are made from a felled elm from the castle!
We start our lazy Sunday lunch in the bar with Sam and his cocktails. The Old Fashioned is pure theatre, served in a smoke filled decanter; for moi, Bajan Fizz - a heady mix of rum, Grand Marnier, bubbles and a cherry.
Once at our table, we dip into a bowl of olives and char-griddled bread, while happily waiting for our food.
First up impersonating an exotic flower is dainty peach-pink hot smoked salmon surrounded by delicately pickled cucumber; a daub of salmon roe adds a salty sweetness.
My duck rillette is hearty without being heavy. Pistachios (that I mistook for capers) add texture while the pickled walnuts give the dish an acidity that is perfectly balanced; beetroot gives an earthy note that I love.
Sea bream for me is next, along with ‘his’ shin of beef. The fish is well cooked and seasoned - soft fleshed, crispy skinned, sweet, moist and delicious. The warm tartar sauce with hints of caper and gherkin is right up my street.
Bold flavours erupt from his plate. Smoked pomme puree is stunning, the beef is a fat cigar of meat and, along with the robust flavours of a bourguignon garnish, is anything but a shrinking violet and more like Brian Blessed. I'd be happy to go back just for the spud and gravy!
Included in the price is wine and there are some very nice ones by the glass. I had a pink merlot with my main and he had the Shiraz.
We pause briefly before heading into pudding. En-route to his end of the table and hiding under a crumbly buttery blanket is the day's crumble of pear, berry and blood orange. I, on the other hand go for cool creamy cheesecake flavoured with seasonal blood orange.
There is an unrushed ambiance at Dine and guests are encouraged to stay for however long they want.
We had the Dine with Wine menu (£42.50 per couple inc wine)
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