Barley Bree Restaurant with Rooms
- Telephone 01764 681451
- Food served Wed–Sat noon–2pm, 6.45–9pm; Sun noon–5.30pm. Closed Mon/Tue. Closed Mon/Tue
- Average price £18 (lunch); £32 (evening meal)
- Website www.barleybree.com
A 19th-century inn that's become a homely and highly regarded restaurant with rooms, specialising in Scottish produce served with French flair.
If you are looking for sophisticated cooking in the depths of rural Perthshire, try Barley Bree in the main street of Muthill. This restaurant with rooms has a cosy lounge area with, in season, a roaring log fire, while the bare wooden floors, chunky tables and harvesting tools decorating the walls give the spacious dining-room a casual air. The food prepared by chef Fabrice Bouteloup, however, is precise. Purple-fleshed vitelotte potatoes surround rabbit in a terrine, served with finely chopped piccalilli arranged on thin slices of pickled cucumber. Pavé of celeriac and potato is topped with a soft poached duck egg and garnished with tiny asparagus spears. Meltingly braised pork belly is paired with breadcrumbed pig cheek fried to crispness and set off by star anis jus. Or, rosettes of half shallots in a flaky tatin accompany lightly pan fried pheasant breast. After this, Tête de moine, Dunsyre Blue and Bonnet are some of the cheeses served with oatcakes, while lemon posset topped with blueberries and intensely pear-flavoured ice-cream is a light and refreshing alternative.
- High point: The delicacy and imaginativeness of the food
- Low point: Getting home afterwards
Since taking over in 2007, Fabrice and Alison Bouteloup have renovated this 18th-century building in the conservation village of Muthill to an impressive standard, while leaving the rustic charm of the former coaching inn – now a restaurant with rooms – firmly in place. Finely balancing traditional French dishes and modern cuisine innovations, chef Fabrice combines top quality Scottish produce with continental flair, making everything from fresh, including the bread. West coast hand-dived scallops, mussels, soba noodles, mooli, red chilli and wasabi broth is one signature dish, while apple tarte tatin is another. Alison looks after everything else including an impressive wine list that features no less than 15 wines by the glass. Big supporters of local producers and suppliers they favour Simon Howie butchers in Auchterarder for the Sunday roast, Ochil Foods in nearby Aberuthven for many of their Scottish products and Perth’s Inveralmond Brewery beers. Awarded ‘Rural Restaurant of the Year’ by the Scottish Restaurant Awards in 2013 they also scooped the top accolade of ‘Scottish Restaurant of the Year’.
- Private dining: Up to 22 covers
- No. overnight rooms: 6
- Provides: Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Outdoor tables
- Capacity: 35-ish
- Largest group: 40
- Open since: 2007
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 15
- House wine: £17.95 per bottle