REVIEW: MONO - Progressive Italian Dining in Edinburgh.
15 days AGOIain Fenwick
by Joanne Melville
My dining companion and I visited Mono on a cold and windy Monday evening. It seemed a little out of place in its surroundings on South Bridge but it did make it stand out. The décor inside is lovely, contemporary but still with a nice warm feel. It’s set on two floors; the kitchen is on the down stairs level and is open so that diners can watch. We were sat upstairs so didn’t get to watch the chef’s in action.
The staff were friendly, welcoming and very knowledgeable about the food and wine, and their origins. Cat and I are both gluten free and Cat has an allergy to nuts, eggs and white fish. This was not an issue and we were able to have a choice dishes with some only needing a minor adaption. Great start!
We kicked off with an amuse bouche; three delicious little plates of flavour and colour. All very good; the chef’s take on the classic Italian Caprese was fun, original and flavoursome.
As we are both gluten intolerant, and my friend has an egg allergy, we were brought Panelle instead of bread. The waitress informed us that it was a traditional dish from Sicily, a type of fritter made from chickpea flower, it was very enjoyable and definitely better than many of the gluten free bread offerings we’ve had elsewhere.
Rarely delicious, the partridge was cooked perfectly. Cat had the ox check which she said was delicious. I tried some, it was enjoyable but a little plain for me, I like more flavour. For main course I had the lamb saddle with sweetbreads, artichoke and gorgonzola. Sweetbreads were a first for me and I really enjoyed them, Cat tried them and loved them too. It was a perfectly balanced dish and I’d happily order it again. Cat had the pork neck with braised cheek, celeriac, cumin, prunes and capers, she said it was delicious. I tried some and can say I would happily have eaten the whole dish. I loved the sweetness from the prune.
As we couldn’t eat any of the deserts on the menu the Chef made us something which was perfect. It was light and delicious. I’ve often been given fruit as a gluten free desert option and rarely been impressed but Mono produced a little plate of delight with slither of lovely jelly, a very special sorbet and the basil dust which worked perfectly. We obviously had to pair this with something lovely to drink and were not disappointed the recommended Moscato D’asti. And after all this, they save he best for last, surprising and amazing, the aged parmesan with buckwheat, apple, tarragon, celery. The sorbet is amazing and neither of us likes celery. The perfect end to a beautiful meal.
It was very quiet, but Monday isn’t a popular night for fine dining. I hope this restaurant does well. There’s not much to dislike and I like that it’s a diamond in the rough!!
MONO - https://monorestaurant.co.uk
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