Whiskers Wine Bar & Bistro
Wining and dining in Stockbridge By Sharon Wilson The two things I missed most during lockdown were swimming and catching up with friends in smart restaurants.
Meeting someone to chat with over good food is a luxury and a pleasure which now tastes all the sweeter for an enforced absence.
When I walk into Whiskers Wine Bar & Bistro to meet my friend Simone for the first time in six months, she is sipping salmon-hued Cremant de Jura. I order the same, and the waiters happily let us chat pre-food. It is a sunny afternoon in Stockbridge, and the south-facing glass frontage makes the most of the weather.
We move further back into the restaurant area to eat our meal. The menu is simple, tasty-sounding, with a focus on produce. The Hardiesmill steak tempts but I can't resist Seafood Thermidor. Simone chooses Chicken Charlotte Pudding, and we decide a bottle of Albarino should work well with both dishes. It does.
My Thermidor has been scooped into a king scallop shell and placed under the grill. Each mouthful is decadent; chunks of salmon, bites of hake and scallops have all been slathered in a bubbling rich sauce. Creamy mash is piped around the edge of the shell. How retro!
Simone's says her chicken pudding comprises tender, flavoursome meat encased in delicious crispy bread that has a perfect amount of crunch. Two skillful, heart-warming dishes. Desserts are showstoppers. I have a deconstructed strawberry cheesecake —shards of brittle lacy brandy snap sit in thick framboise cream cheese. Strawberries are room temperature and consequently bursting with summer flavour. A cold hard berry is a food crime, but the chefs in the open kitchen have prepared our food with attention to detail.
The modestly named Chocolate Cake hooked Simone and she said it was:
"Light with a gorgeous gooey melting sauce in the middle. The clotted cream ice-cream and cherries complemented the rich chocolate. Very moreish! "
Whiskers impressed us both, and I imagine we will return. It has an urbane, laid back vibe. The wine list is tweaked weekly and looking at the current menu there isn't a vino I wouldn't be interested in tasting. It is the perfect place for a drink and a nibble or a slap-up meal after a pleasant wander-come-shop around Stockbridge (S. Wilson).
Whiskers - 48 Raeburn Place, EH4 1HL - 0131 343 3681