Part of the James Thomson stable (he also owns the Witchery at the Castle & the Tower in Edinburgh), Rhubarb is the destination restaurant at Prestonfield, an impressive hotel with a 17th-century pedigree, remarkable ‘Jacobean-meets-Gaultier’ decor & its own grounds. The kitchen deals in mainstream contemporary dishes along the lines of hand-dived scallops with white beans, black pudding & purple sprouting broccoli or a hefty chateaubriand for two with béarnaise & Madeira jus. For dessert, poached rhubarb (of course) might appear with vanilla brioche & hibiscus custard. Prices are stratospheric – especially if you start to plunder the extraordinary wine list – but a two-course lunch (£16.95) & three-course table d’hôte (£30) should help to ease the financial pain. Rhubarb is also popular for weddings & other events, which may explain occasional grumbles about the quality of service.
It’s good to see a fine-dining restaurant that takes the New World seriously, and head sommelier John Power has clearly put a lot of thought into all his sourcing for the restaurant in this boutique Edinburgh hotel. There are a lot of good wines in all styles from all over the globe, but little in the way of over-indulgence.