This is quite simply a list of the restaurants I would most like to visit (at the moment) and my reasons why. Just to make your mouth water I have also given a flavour of their wares by including what I would choose from their current menu. I am starting small but I have no doubt that this list will grow arms and legs as the year goes on.
The Lust List though short is diverse, from decorated restaurants to rustic al-fresco dining and locations stretching from my home county of Fife down to my beloved North Yorkshire.
I would be keen to find out if you have visited any of these restaurants and if so what you thought of them. Also please let me know which eateries are on your Lust List.
I plan to create a page on the blog for the Lust List so that I can add to it as time goes by and include links to reviews, should I be lucky enough to be a patron of these fine establishments.
Without further ado …
Linlithgow – www.champany.com
If you live in Scotland the chances are you have heard of the Champany Inn, which is located in the hamlet of Champany just outside the historic market town of Linlithgow. This luxury restaurant with rooms is described as a “haven of excellence” and indeed they were the proud winners of Restaurant of the Year Award 2013 (CIS Excellence Awards).
Beef, Beef, Beef. That is what the Champany Inn is all about and they do it to perfection. There is a Chop & Ale House for a faster and possibly less expensive meal but no, not for me. If I am going to dine here I want the full candlelit experience. I want to sit in the bar with an aperitif and gaze with wonder at the rock pool (yes in the bar) which contains oysters and lobster from Loch Gruinart ready to be fished out fresh for surf and turf! I want to wander past the chill cabinet on the way to the restaurant where magnificent cuts of beef are displayed and know that this is where my meat will come from. I want to experience the old world charm and opulence of this famed restaurant – and at only £22.50 for a Monday to Friday quick lunch I just might!
What would I eat?
In for lunch (lets face it, it would be lunch) – Stilton salad followed by the Champany Pot Roast and topped off with Hot Malted Waffles (worth cancelling my embargo on sweet treats for one thinks)
Staithes, North Yorkshire – www.endeavour-restaurant.co.uk
My first date with my B was a weekend away (yes really) to the pretty little seaside village of Staithes in North Yorkshire. We stayed in the rather cold “True Love Cottage” and had whale of a time. On our first visit to Staithes there was no restaurant and I remember chittering with cold in a phone box attempting to order pizza to be delivered to the Cod and Lobster pub!
In subsequent visits I couldn’t help but notice that a rather lovely restaurant had popped up – The Endeavour. The Endeavour is housed in a 200 year old building and consists of a dining room and 4 en suite rooms.
It is a stylish sort of place – all egyptian cotton sheets and Farrow and Ball paint. The food looks rather splendid as well with fresh fish, lobster and locally sourced meat. To be honest they don’t have the best website so information is scant, but I have peered in the windows and studied the menu which has resulted in its inclusion in my foodie lust list.
The lovely picture is you will see not of the restaurant (could not find one decent one) but of the lovely village of Staithes.
B if you are reading – I am thinking for the next big birthday – a night here with food – revisiting the start of it all!
What would I eat?
Grilled goats cheese served with homemade onion compote followed by King Scallop ‘Cardinale’ – King Scallops sauteed with shallots, mushroom, tomato and garlic served in a pastry case finished off with a Strawberry and Raspberry Pavlova.
THE LOBSTER SHACK
North Berwick harbour – www.lobstershack.co.uk
One glorious summers day 2 years ago we discovered the Lobster Shack in North Berwick. Coffers were running low and lobster was not on our agenda that day, but this al-fresco dining experience has been on my lust list ever since.
It is indeed a small shack, set up at the side of the ludicrously quaint old harbour. Interestingly the Lobster Shack was one of the inspirations for James Robb who is the proud owner of the East Pier Cafe (also on the lust list).
The Lobster Shack is the perfect setting on a balmy day to enjoy fish as fresh as it comes – from boat to plate – washed down with a crisp white wine. You can either sit on one of the tables and chairs dotted around the harbour or head to the beach with your super posh lobster lunch. This coming summer I do believe I have a date with the Lobster Shack.
What would I eat?
Fresh North Berwick Lobster with garlic and herb butter served with homemade chips and mixed leaves along with a large chilled glass of Pino Grigio Via Nova.
Edinburgh – www.pomegranatesrestaurant.com
The bright and contemporary Pomegranate is owned by the team behind the award winning restaurant Haman. As you may have guessed the speciality here is food from the middle east – Morocco, Iran, Iraq and Lebanon.
Olives, pitta, honey, sesame, dates, mint, chickpeas, sumac, aubergines, mint and lamb – I absolutely love the fragrant flavours of Middle Eastern cuisine.
Here you can either indulge in a selection of hot and cold mezze dishes such as Hummus Shawarma (hummus topped with thin marinated slices of lamb fillet) and Baly Merishke (lemon scented chicken wings straight from the BBQ) or you can order from the utterly delicious array of main courses including the wonderful sounding Chicken Koobideh (minced chicken breast, marinated in tomatoes and turmeric with a hint of green chilli & parsley).
I am writing this knowing that all I have for dinner tonight is some home made tuna fish cakes and I feel a growing sense of dissatisfaction with my lot. I want spice and fragrance and oomph – ach well!
I think that this would be a fantastic venue for a girly get together so girls if you are reading – this is my next suggestion!
What would I eat?
I would opt for the mezze style of eating
Dish one – Fatoush – Lebanese style salad with shredded lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, radish, fresh
mint and cubes of toasted flatbread, seasoned with Iranian summac
Dish two – Soujuk – spicy Lebanese sausages sautéed in tomato, green pepper, garlic and chilli
Dish three – Bayengaan – slow roasted baby aubergines, stuffed with rice, yoghurt & traditional spice
THE EAST PIER SMOKEHOUSE & CAFE
St Monans, Fife – www.eastpier.co.uk
I was brought up in Pittenweem which is only a mile away from St Monans, and am delighted that The East Neuk now has a phenomenal reputation for fantastic local food – the secret is out! This particular eatery was recommended by my friend Rachel, who is a lady of exceptional taste – its a goody!
The North Berwick Lobster Shack (also appearing on the Lust List) and a Prawn Shack in New Mexico were the inspiration behind the East Pier Cafe which is run by James Robb. It’s canteen style service makes this the antithesis of fine dining. You place your order, wait for your food then find yourself a seat. Here it is all about the food and from what I can see the decor ain’t half bad too. It is achingly simple seaside chic; all exposed white rafters, French stove and windows looking out to sea. What better setting to enjoy the freshest seafood in town.
There is a great review of this cafe over on www.avocadosweet.com . They also allowed me to use this lovely picture – thanks guys.
What would I eat?
In for lunch – smoked Pittenweem Langoustines with herb mayonnaise and lemon
In for dinner (£18.50 2 courses) – Seared scallops with a Vanilla Chilli dressing followed by Smoked fish curry with Salmon, Haddock and Mussels
St Andrews – www.theadamson.com
The Adamson is housed in the the old post office building in the heart of St Andrews . Although the building is historic the interior is very contemporary and sophisticated with clean lines, tastefully exposed brick and great lighting.
St Andrews has a superb reputation for good eating and I hope this new kid on the block is just as good as my current St Andrews Faves. The credentials are looking good with Julie Lewis, who includes a stint with Martin Wishart in her impressive cv, heading up the team. At the helm in the kitchen you will find a man who was good enough to impress Gregg Wallace and John Torode – Scott Davies was the runner up in the 2013 programme ‘Masterchef: the Professionals’.
The food is classic brasserie cooking with a modern twist and the menu is pretty extensive.
What Would I eat?
I would nibble on a mini baked loaf with olive tapenade, olive oil and balsamic vinegarfollowed by a Roast Chicken Salad – beetroot, smoked almonds, squash, baby spinach and lentil dressing
I think I might find it hard to resist having a dollop of Rum & Raisin ice cream (my favourite flavour)
Auchtertool – www.tielrestaurant.co.uk
The Tiel is located in a tiny village a stones throw from where I live in Dunfermline. B and I ventured into this little inn years ago for a very nice pint but it has since been completely refurbished and metamorphosed into a very desirable restaurant.
I have heard whispers about this restaurant and it appears to be a bit of an undiscovered gem. Then again perhaps I am just the last to hear about it, wouldn’t be the first time.
To be honest The Tiel had me at the mention of Sunday newspapers and roaring fires but it is fair to say that the food is reputed to pack a punch as well. At ‘The Tiel’ they promise “good honest quality food” with a focus on sustainability, freshness and seasonality.
The Teil looks relaxed, informal and charming and a good restaurant so close to home is manna from heaven.
What would I eat?
From the lunch menu:
Chicken skewers steeped in a fiery ‘bang bang ‘marinade with crispy salad of leaves, cantaloupe
melon, beansprouts topped with sesame seeds
Followed by breaded monkfish medallions served with chips, house salad and a tartar and dill sauce