An impromptu date night led to a quick search for somewhere new to try. We found ourselves at Edinburgh restaurant Lovage thanks to a handy list of recent restaurant openings I came across on mymonkfish.com. The two chefs behind this, brothers Lukasz and Bartek Jedrejek have a surprising pedigree, with a background in biomedical sciences as well as fine dining. Their skills and passion for local ingredients shone through on the seasonal menu.
Not wishing to find myself divorced, I didn't bring the big camera so all the photos are iPhone snaps. (Low light is not the camera phone's best friend, so just embrace the grain). On the bright side that means we will need to go back on a sunny lunch time with the camera and sit at the lovely table by the window.
We started with the stilton raviolo for Instagram husband and a pork cheek for me. The Pork was tender, cooked slowly and served with crispy brussels sprouts, putting the dehydrator to good use and the first clue of the skills and techniques at play in the kitchen. The raviolo was technically well executed with silky home made pasta, but not as good as the pork. Its a terrible thing food envy.
Next up came hake, cooked to perfection with crisp skin and moist flesh and topped with a perfectly poached duck's egg. The accompanying sorrel mousse provided a wonderful sharp foil to the rich egg.
Instagram husband ordered steak, He would usually choose a rib eye or onglet, but the rump, cooked rare was perfect and surprisingly full of flavour served with a rich jus, just the thing on a cold, wet January night. The accompanying mushrooms would have made a satisfying dish even without the steak.
We probably should have just shared a dessert between us but couldn't agree which. The panna cotta was slightly disappointing, but only in the context of the other dishes. The orange and cardamon cutting through the cream like a spiced marmalade, but too much gelatine left it solid rather than wobbly and the portion was so generous we couldn't finish it. Christmas pudding crème brǔlée was so good it evaporated before I could snap a photo, I hope they keep it on the menu the rest of the year.
Service was unpretentious, attentive and knowledgable about the ingredients and short but well sourced wine list.
Clever food served without fuss. This should prove to be a welcome addition to the Edinburgh restaurant scene and we look forward to returning soon. Somehow they have even convinced me that my three most hated veg (an unholy trinity of cauliflower, turnip and the dreaded Brussels sprout) are my new favourites.
Lovage Restaurant, 38 St Mary's Street, Edinburgh, ED1 1SX
www.lovagerestaurant.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org 0131 557-5754
Open lunch and dinner, Tuesday to Sunday
Lunch: two/three courses approx £14/£17
Dinner: two/three courses approx £29/£34 without wine