REVIEW FORTH FLOOR BRASSERIE Summer in the city Forth Floor Brasserie, Harvey Nichols / 30-34 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2AD 0131 524 8350 If you've ever crossed the street just to walk in the sun, then you're also probably the type of person that gets excited about summery culinary fare. Now that it's becoming feasible to feast outside on sun-splashed balconies, Harvey Nichols' Forth Floor Brasserie has a new Summer in the City prix fixe menu on offer that perfectly complements the warmer weather we're having.
The brasserie is adjacent to the restaurant, with no apparent differentiation apart from the white table linens a few feet away. I'm politely seated at a window revealing a brilliant view of the castle that gets more magnificent during sunset. I can imagine that in a matter of weeks, the deck on the other side of the glass will be packed full of sun-seekers and cocktail drinkers feeling the euphoria of sunshine and city-wide festivities.
Already pleased with great company and a great seat, my friend and I celebrate with a stunning glass of the 2005 Alain Geoffroy chablis while we decide on the rest. This is a menu that exhibits not just your ordinary recognition of summer with a vegetable here and a fish dish there; there's actually some imagination and class that has gone into creating a list of foods I'd gladly come back for, perhaps with a visitor needing a refreshing view of the city.It's not hard to decide on my chicken and sunblushed tomato terrine with roast corn and avocado to start. The texture is perfect, not heavy at all and so good that I know it's my favourite before I am brought anything else. My friend's summer veg antipasti is refreshing with small sheets of fresh parmesan making the dish all the more delightful. For my main, I'm all up for the summer beans fricassee accompanied with roast sweet peppers and crispy shallots-the additional crunchy factor proves a big winner (recommended with the Tavel Rose £6). My friend's grilled trout fillet over a sea of shrimp, capers and wilted greens is a bewildering mix of flavours prompting a moan here and there to signal she's a fan (with the recommended Spice Route chenin blanc £5.70). The only part of the meal that is as memorable as the terrine though is the mull cheddar and oatcakes with honeycomb, simple but sensational. The creme brule is okay but I imagine some fruit or sorbet would have been better. The menu (2 Courses £13.95 or 3 Courses £16.95) is definitely a great value but the experience is surely at its finest when sat at a table that makes the view seem like your very own. OPENING HOURS: Mon-Sat 10am-10pm Sun brunch 11am-5pm
Also in Bite Magazine June 2008