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Mono - Not at all black and white
New Review
Mono Restaurant
85 South Bridge,,
0131 466 4726
Open 7 Days a Week

Edinburgh is currently a dream for food lovers with interesting restaurants opening regularly in each corner of the city. 

 A few months ago Mono opened at the challenging location of South Bridge and when I realised it was an elegant Italian inspired restaurant, a table was booked and I counted sleeps like a child dreaming of Christmas. 

The restaurant spreads over two floors and has a retro sixties come Scandi interior with a minimalist feel and lots of wood. 

Glasses of Prosecco in hand we were seated downstairs in front of the open kitchen where we could watch Chef Neil and his team cook.

Our tasting menu captured the true spirit of Mono. All the dishes are rooted in Italian culinary tradition: ‘panelle’ from Sicily (chickpea flours fritters), ‘ossobuco’ from Lombardy (cross-cut veal shanks), ‘pollo alla cacciatora’ from Tuscany (here revisited with monkfish) and served with a twist. 

Flavours and mise en place are nicely complex and even a drizzle of oil can make all the difference to the eye and to the mouth. Chef Zielinski previously worked at Atelier giving him good credentials.

Kitchen staff include a sous chef with a passion for foraging, a chef de partie who is particularly strong in yeast matters and a sommelier who knew exactly the correct drinks for us throughout our seven courses -  Kante Sauvignon 2013 from Trentino, porto and ice wine.  

 I particularly appreciated the pigeon with salsa ghiotta (typically Umbrian made with dripping, red wine, capers, lardo) and Umbrian lentils.  The bird meat normally tastes prominently of iron but here was very delicate. I enjoyed the idea of serving the cheese platter as a dessert (in Italy cheese is a side dish or starter) offering gorgonzola ice cream accompanied by chocolate. 

I loved the  ‘well of delicacy’ a narrow bowl with green apple sorbet mixed with lemon balm and puffed rice that somehow reminded us of Thai green spices and I admired the boldness of creating a pudding with a green olive sorbet and Campari foam.

At Mono I saw many beautifully presented colourful dishes. 

It was a great experience and refreshing to welcome an accomplished fine dining restaurant inspired by Italy instead of France for a change. (E. Vanello)

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