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The Lantern Room
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The Lantern Room
1-3 Baxter's Place,
0131 526 3778
Open for food: Mon - Thurs 6.30am - 10pm Fri - Sun 7am - 10pm

The automatic doors glide open as we walk up the steps of The Lantern Room @Courtyard by Marriott, that lead to a modern, bright bar accented with lime green chairs and banquettes and wooden clad pillars. 

The downstairs restaurant has the same livery as the bar, with the typical vibe of a hotel dining area.

Starting with a Cosmo, the delicate pink cocktail arrived in a chilled glass, with a sliver of orange peel bobbing on the surface; hints of sherbet were refreshing but the drink lacked alcoholic kick. 

The ham hock terrine with homemade piccalilli called to me, while Mr H fancied the baked camembert. Service was swift and we were soon tucking in.

His cheesy starter was twee, seductively runny, the red onion marmalade was delightfully sweet and, along with the sourdough, made for a pleasing mouthful. Mine was a meaty slice served with a wee Kilner jar of piccalilli that packed a cumin punch. 

We chose chicken for mains; coq au vin for him, with 'grill of the day', poussin, pour moi.

My baby bird was spatchcocked, served with the usual suspects, with the exception of new potatoes for fries. I couldn't fault the cooking; the poussin's skin was crispy hiding juicy flesh; a whole tomato plopped on the confit mushroom though was inelegant.

His plate was meagre by comparison - two small chicken thighs, two tiny fondant potatoes lacked the buttery decadence the tuber deserved; an undercooked, under seasoned turnip was inedible. The sauce wasn't the glossy, deeply savoury winey flavour one would expect for the French classic.

As we waited for desserts, I ordered an espresso martini; it was a booze- laden, sinful rendition.

Desserts were a disappointment. My chocolate fondant didn’t look ‘in-house’.  It melted in the middle but lacked the rich chocolate mouthfeel of good couverture; vanilla ice cream was a generic snow-white blob.

His tarte tatin was appley with a crisp pastry base that was neither buttery nor rich, the promised whisky ice cream turned out to be vanilla.

The menu didn't seem to show the kitchen's ability, it lacked originality and felt too safe.

On the other hand, the general manager, Lucca, and waiter Alberto, were wonderful - chatty and professional making their guests feel comfortable. (L. Harris) 

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