The Atholl at The Howard
- Telephone 0131 557 3500
- Bar open Mon–Sat 11am–11pm; Sun 12.30–11pm.
- Food served Mon–Sun noon–2pm, 6–9pm; afternoon tea 2–5pm.
- Average price £32 (lunch); £32 (evening meal)
- Website www.thehoward.com
Solid cooking of locally sourced ingredients at this New Town hotel restaurant.
With high corniced ceilings, a grand marble fireplace and starched white tablecloths, The Atholl, located in a tranquil side-street in the New Town, is an elegant reminder of the hotel dining rooms of old. A sedate exercise in magnolia with only sixteen covers, it’s a quiet space in which to sample a concise menu focusing on quality Scottish produce, sourced from within the city as well as from trusted Highland suppliers. A juicy starter of slow-roasted pork belly is enlivened by a fennel seed rub, while a main of crispy-skinned supreme of chicken is well-cooked but slightly let down by a Jenga tower of soggy sweet potato chips. The quality of the ingredients is evident however; a simple sea bream dish represents the super-fresh seafood on offer. Pudding choices include warm banana loaf with toffee sauce and a tart passion fruit crème brûlée, served with a buttery sable biscuit, perfect for dipping. The sourcing at The Atholl is to be admired but some might find the food, like the restaurant itself, just a little bit … beige.
- High point: A chef passionate about great Scottish produce
- Low point: It can be quiet and lacking in atmosphere
- Notable dish: Slow cooked pork belly, king prawns, spinach puree, sweet chilli sauce
- Private dining: 26, though can accomodate 38 in separate event rooms, 60 if buffet style
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Classical music
- Capacity: 16
- Largest group: 16
- Open since: 2003
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 10
- House wine: £21 per bottle