Think fine dining and a brigade of chefs comes to mind, working in unison like a marching band stepping in time to the beat. At Eòrna, however, it’s just a duet – and it’s an astonishing final product given the constraints on the tiny team: one chef, one sommelier.
Chef Brian Grigor and sommelier Glen Montgomery met in hospitality circles, and each boast lengthy CVs. Brian retained Restaurant Number One’s Michelin star over the four years he headed up the kitchen, going on to work under Albert Roux. Glen was head sommelier at two Michelin starred Restaurant Andrew Fairlie and subsequently Heron nearby.
The pair’s joint venture is quietly confident; at the sleek 12-seater chef’s counter there’s nowhere to hide. Glen hosts with relaxed Northern Irish charm, while Brian produces plates from thin air with an almost uncanny calm from the immaculate open kitchen.
It’s tasting menu territory only, and guests are served in unison at a polished quartz bar. A tiny canape comes as an impossibly fine cracker cone, filled with biting Isle of Mull cheddar and sweet quince. It’s a cheeseboard in a mouthful and prepares you for more bold flavours to follow, like a fat, firm fillet of smoked salmon topped with crisp apple, caviar, and salty fingers. The latter act as additional seasoning, while the fresh garnishes cut the rich fish. Elsewhere there’s blushing lamb with charred baby gem, a sweet pepper piperade and yoghurt. The flavours are unchallenging in the most gratifying way - familiar, comforting flavours executed beautifully, paired with top-class wines and shared among fellow food enthusiasts.
The white chocolate mousse dessert is a showstopper too. There’s an elderflower soaked strawberry at its heart, a ruby chocolate shell and a crystal-clear strawberry consommé that combine to make an instant classic. This is food with real class, the kind that transcends trends and seems to do the impossible: please everyone.
The whole meal is unexpectedly light and shows Brian’s knack for creating food that’s easy to love yet prettily plated in portions that don’t require a magnifying glass. Together with Glen he’s created something completely unique to Edinburgh and we can’t help but think you should bag a seat at the table while you still can.