Great Places to Eat in Scotland
- Green Door Steakhouse, Edinburgh
The Green Door is on George IV Bridge, just a short walk from the Royal Mile, has taken over the premises previously occupied by Tuscany Italian restaurant. Before that, this was the former Bauermeister Bookshop, where many an Edinburgh University student would have browsed for text books. Green Door opened in the summer of 2006 and did very well with Festival visitors exploring the Old Town, and especially people coming in for an evening meal before going to the Tattoo at the Castle just around the corner. And the Museum of Scotland (pictured here) and Greyfriar's Churchyard (with the statue of Greyfriar's Bobby outside) are only a few yards away in the other direction.
Enter straight from street level into an attractive, open plan space, divided by pillars and walls into smaller dining sections. Along the right hand side is long dark brown banquette seat surrounded by neat square tables and comfortable upholstered armchairs. The colour scheme is all very fresh and contemporary in pure plain shades - dark grey, taupe and beige with highly polished cedar wood floors. Black and white period photographs line the walls and, on this particular Sunday night, mellow and smooth ambient bluesy jazz music played on the soundtrack. So far, inviting, welcoming and comfortable. Green Door Steak House gets full marks for being totally accessible for wheelchair users with no step at the entrance door and an accessible toilet on the ground level (other toilets are downstairs). The pedestal table was also ideal for a wheelchair.
This is a serious Steakhouse, so if you like Aberdeen Angus Steaks, cooked as you like, every which way, this is the place to come. But first the starters: What about Crab Salad for a fresh-tasting light dish, served with tomato salsa. A warm Chorizo Salad came in a huge bowl piled high with Curly Endive frisée lettuce - simply too much to eat and my companion left most of it, digging out the small pieces of chorizo. Highly recommended is the Field Mushrooms - these were served warm and stuffed with melted goats cheese, sun dried tomatoes and spinach. Extremely tasty.
The quality Aberdeen Angus beef for Green Door is hung for 28 days and on the speciality Steak menu there's a choice of Sirloin, Fillet, Rump and Rib-eye steaks at 8 and 10 ounces, as well as for those with an appetite, a 14 oz T Bone steak. Signature dishes include a 20 oz grilled Chateaubriand steak for two to share. A fillet steak requested to be cooked medium rare came as ordered, served with a watercress salad and tomatoes and (good presentation), a small bowl of fat chunky chips on the side. (I immediately wanted to sample one!). If you wish, there's also a choice of pepper, béarnaise, garlic and smoky tomato sauce for a flavoursome accompaniment.
But it's not just about steak that Head Chef Mark Williamson (pictured here) produces - there is also an impressive menu. There's a wide fish and vegetarian section as well as other meat dishes. The Tuna Steak was requested to be cooked rare, but this arrived medium to well done rather than pink which is the normal way of searing tuna. The Wild Sea Bass on a bed of thyme-scented, crushed, new potatoes and tomato chutney is most impressive and delicately cooked. The Beef Wellington is a classic dish, but here it was rather dry and tough, although the accompanying Potato Gratin was voted top marks.
After all that good food, the dessert menu was offered and while tempting, it would have been a case of eyes bigger than tummy. So we shared Chocolate Fondant with vanilla pod ice-cream. This was like hot baked chocolate brownie and the Persil white ice-cream was perfection, not too sweet, and it just melted like cream into the chocolate pudding. The wine list is well priced with two New World red and white wines by the glass.
Starters - £5.00 - £8.50. Aberdeen Angus Steaks - from £14.95 - £19.95. Fish dishes - around £14.00. Vegetarian pasta - £10.00. Desserts - £3.50 - £6.50. Cappuccino - £2.40. House wine - Hardy's Chardonnay/ Shiraz Cabernet : £12.95 bottle or £4.40, 240ml glass.
The Green Door Steak House is at 19 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EE. Telephone number is 0131 225 1740. Currently no Web site but you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a Green Door Steakhouse in London, with another branch opening in Harrogate soon.
There's a cool, contemporary and stylish look about Green Door Steak House, cool music on the soundtrack and the banquette seating and chairs are comfortable for a leisurely meal. My friends and I were very impressed by the extensive menu and choice of freshly prepared dishes - far beyond just steaks. Food, service, ambience = quality, quality, quality.
Late July was the perfect time to launch as the Festival visitors found this the ideal location. During August, 4,242 Aberdeen Angus steaks were cooked and consumed! It's a large barn of a place on two levels and I would have thought it might be better to use the space to its best advantage with a separate Wine Bar area to sit with a drink before a meal or with a snack. Also perhaps introduce a lighter Bistro-style lunch menu to entice local office workers and passing shoppers during the week.
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