Italian fare gets a leg up into the realm of modern dining with Mono, a new addition to Edinburgh’s restaurant scene.
From the tasting menu, we started with a trio of beautifully prepared amuse bouche, before enjoying a selection of breads.
The first course, of brown crab with black tea jelly, was fresh and subtle, although the accompanying truffle didn’t pack much punch. The next course of roast partridge was more interesting, incorporating a potent vermouth sauce that we couldn’t get enough of.
Modern or not, it wouldn’t be Italian without pasta, and next up was a wonderful hazelnut pasta filled with fontina cheese and a surprise pop of tart redcurrant, doused in an indulgently moreish cheese sauce.
The North Sea cod was perfectly cooked, soft with a crisp outside, and well matched with gnocchi Romana, while the bonus baccala bonbon was a treat.
One of our top dishes was the Borders lamb saddle. Soft, tender, beautifully pink, it was a masterclass in meat, made all the better by the addition of sweetbreads and capers.
We may have been full by this point, but we were by no means finished. Aged Parmesan with crisp apple sorbet was a delightful play on the cheese course, and the chocolate and plum tart with Laphroaig mist was lovely.
However, the stand out was the sumptuous olive oil cake with aromatic fig leaf ice cream and brûléed figs, which was the stuff of dreams.
Special mention must go to the excellent service at Mono, the waiters managing to balance formality with friendliness flawlessly, while the expansive wine list is also particularly well thought out.
With four other menus on offer, we’ll be back to try the rest. 85 South Bridge, Edinburgh www.monorestaurant.co.uk