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Stac Polly Brasserie, Gin & Wine Bar
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Stac Polly
29-33 Dublin Street,
0131 556 2231
Lunch in The Brasserie Mon-Sat 12-2pm; Brunch Sun 12:30-3pm; Dinner 7 days

From the first succulent mouthful I was hooked. Duck seared then marinated in star anise, juniper, coriander, seasoned and left for 48 hours. I thought there was a hint of gin about it. That's why it marries so well with my tipple of choice, Valentia gin with Fever Tree (of course) tonic from Spain garnished with blood orange and a stick of rosemary to tease out the botanicals. 

Spiced duck with rocket leaves, capers and Parmesan shavings (£4.95) is very prettily presented on a rustic board as is Lea's beet-cured smoked salmon with an aromatic fennel salad and pink peppercorns (£4.95). We have both had stressful mornings and feel much better after these tasty starters.

Grilled monkfish and salmon skewers with fondant potato and chilli jam (£9.95) sounds like a bargain to me and I eat them greedily. Chunky fish and glossy Mediterranean vegetables are excellent but I find the fondant potato and chilli jam superflous and tad off-key.  Lea is devouring a homemade burger with onion confit, Dunsyre Blue cheese and wedged potatoes, (£10.95). The flavour of the meat indicates it has been well hung and it's a doorstopper of a burger. The only let down is the generic bun, Lea suggests a brioche would stand up to the meat juices better. 
Desserts are triumphant. I have Drambuie panna cotta in a glass (£4.94). The thick alcoholic cream over a good dollop of tart scarlet raspberry puree is perfect in terms of fruit to cream ratio, a scatter of oats are nicely toasted and shortbread is delicate, thin and sugary. Lea has the chocolate torte with mascarpone mousse with chocolate sauce (£4.95) and good macchiatos revive us for the afternoon ahead. 

Modern Scottish cuisine in a modern Scottish restaurant is the ticket here; a beautiful brasserie setting with the mural of the eponymous mountain on the wall.  

You don't have to go for the full three courses, pick and mix as you wish and you won't be disappointed. (S. Wilson)


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