Owned by Edinburgh restaurateur James Thompson and out of the same stable as The Witchery by the Castle, Rhubarb is the destination restaurant at Prestonfield – a sumptuous hotel with a 17th-century pedigree, remarkable “Jacobean-meets-Gaultier” decor and impeccably tended grounds. The kitchen deals in highly worked contemporary dishes along the lines of hand-dived scallops with cauliflower, lovage, chorizo, apple dressing and confit lemon or roast Gressingham duck breast and seared foie gras with shallot tart, confit cherries, caramelised chicory and turnips. For dessert, poached rhubarb (of course) might appear with vanilla brioche and hibiscus custard. Prices are steep – especially if you start to plunder the extraordinary wine list – but two-course ‘light lunches’, theatre supper and the three-course table d’hôte should help to ease any financial pain. Be warned that Rhubarb is also hugely popular for weddings and other events.
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.