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  • Writer's pictureEleonora Vanello

Wine bar food at Montrose

Updated: Mar 8

Gilda Pintxo

One-star Michelin’s Timberyard has recently opened a sister restaurant/wine bar in Montrose Terrace in the Abbeyhill neighbourhood of Edinburgh.

The new venture ‘Montrose’  offers two different experiences: fine dining on the top floor and a wine bar with a kitchen on the ground floor.

Mrs Bite and I booked the bar for a Saturday lunch to try the food offer (wine will be tasted later this Spring.)

The decor is neat and Scandic-inspired with pale colours and essential furniture.

As we are seated we note the two glass water bottles on the table, that offer both ‘still’ and ‘sparkling’. The bubbly one is made with a soda stream and has that gentle characteristic effervescence while aligning with Montrose’s ethos of sustainability. 

There is a set lunch menu (available Saturday & Sunday) with two courses for £20 and three courses for £25 or you can choose from the tapas and small plates menu. 

Leeks Vinaigrette, Rye and Crowdie

Wine in cans is a novel item on the drinks menu and our server explains that sustainability also shaped the decision for interesting inclusions such as the sparkling 2021 Jordi Llorens Ancestral Red, Catalunya, and (Macabeu, Syrah, Garnatxa,) and White (Macabeu) and an orange wine 2002 Canetta  (Cartoixa de Marina).

Mrs Bite and I are unfortunately ‘on detox’ but there is also Kombucha, and alcohol-free ciders and beers. We order a German alcohol-free beer, which is refreshing and malty. 

We start with an appetizer, Carlingford Oyster with Kumquat Mignonette. Mrs Bite describes it as a delicious revelatory mouthful albeit the balance is slightly off with a tad too much fruit and not enough sea. 

Next on Mrs Bite’s order, is the Ham Hock Croquette with Apple which she thinks demands a more robust meaty flavour, and the Gilda Pintxo Olive which Google explains was the first ever Basque pintxo.  A large glossy fruit is stuffed with anchovy and it is said that the famous femme fatale and star of the 1940s film, Rita Hayworth, had the same attributes as this salty, spicy, green snack (put the blame on Mame).

For her main, she has an uber-healthy and tasty spin on a Caesar, which comprises a bowl of Radicchio Grumolo that includes wild, foraged leaves and herbs with cheese.

Across the table, I enjoy Leeks Vinaigrette, Rye and Crowdie; aka bruschetta topped with Crowdie and covered with sweet leek vinaigrette and fresh herbs. 

My main course, Spaetzle,  Roscoff onion and baby kale, strikes me as a take on French onion soup, this time with more structure added by the crunchy onions and tender Spaetzle. I loved the paired baby kale with lemon shavings as it cleanses my palate.

We can't miss dessert and I choose Cocoa Husk & Galette Ice cream, which has just the right size and balance of sweetness balance. Mrs Bite has an affogato.

The Bill comes in at a reasonable price (including a 12.5% discretionary fee) although we haven't ordered wine.

If you want to try the upper floor, be aware that on Saturdays and Sundays, a 3-course lunch menu is available at £49 per person. (E. Vanello)

Montrose - 1 Montrose Terrace, EH7 5DJ - 0131 605 00 88.

Open: Wed-Fri 17:00-late, Sat & Sun 12:00-late

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