My girfriend, my mum and I went to the Atelier for lunch yesterday and it was excellent. The service was great - our waiters were polite, attentive, punctual and friendly (as they also were when I phoned up to book). The food was equally good and the meal was superb value for money.
I started with a smoked duck and feta salad with pomegranate seeds and orange. It was really lovely, as were the spring onion, asparagus and pea soup, and salmon (the two other starters at the table that I managed to pinch some of).
For my main I had a really delicious mushroom risotto with a bit of truffle oil. It was creamy with different cuts of different types of mushroom and had some very nice slightly crispy stuff on top (roast parsnip I think) which worked really well. If I had an issue it was that the rice was a little more al dente than I like, but it certainly wasn't close to being undercooked and I know that for most risotto should have a little bite. So not complaining that my own, perhaps idiosyncratic, preference for mushiness wasn't quite catered for.
My pudding was a passion fruit fool, served with a mango foam and some very tasty raspberry sauce and another light green sauce of some description. All of the flavours worked together very well, with my girlfriend rightly pointing out that the fool itself tasted an awful lot like a Solero (the traditional orange coloured variety - 'exotic'?), which we all agreed was no bad thing. For me it was a little too sour, but I think that's the nature of passion fruit rather than any fault of the kitchen and the other two thought my dish was the best of the three deserts so I'm putting this very, very minor objection down to personal taste again. For me the super light ginger poached pair or the chocolate brownie with icecream and chocolate orange ganache were both slightly nicer (though all three deserts were delicious).
All of the dishes, especially the chicken the others ordered for their mains and the puddings, were very well presented, with thought and effort clearly having gone into the making each plate as visually appealing as possible.
What made the delicious, clever plates of food so impressive was the cheapness of the meal - 14.95 a head (plus twenty something quid for a bottle of wine). I'm not sure there are any better value lunches in Edinburgh, and while, though delicious, it isn't quite up to the level of some of the pricier set meals available in city it offers outstanding value for money. Will definitely be going back - hopefully very soon!
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