I have been on a quite spectacular run of plan dissolution, of late. This evening the plans of an entire set of Food Geeks were rendered soggy and useless by water troubles affecting a temporary closure of Hot Hot in Tollcross, where we’d planned to spend our Tuesday evening.
I was still in desperate need of a good feed, though, so took myself along to Le Mouton Noir on Viewforth, for an evening of relaxed bistro fare.
The place radiates authentic French allure, from its simple elegant layout, to its candle bottles, and the quirky Gallic soundtrack. And if you want to practice your French, you’ve come to the right place, as the staff converse in quick-fire Francais.
It was soup to start, as usual, with the soup of the day being broccoli and potato. This had me pondering whether to go for the snails, as the combination didn’t strike me as particularly propitious. To an extent, that proved to be the case. The potato seemed to me to diminish the punchy flavour of the broccoli, and the texture from the potato whilst good didn’t quite make an overwhelming case for itself. The soup was tasty, but didn’t quite wow me.
The main course of skirt steak, a particular favourite of mine, was excellent. The chips were the best looking rustic fellas I’ve seen in a long while, and they tasted pretty good, too. But the star was the meat, served blue. It cut beautifully and was tenderness incarnate. It’s right up there with Chez Jules and Bell’s Dineras the best steak I’ve been served in Edinburgh.
I rounded things out with a sensational wedge of brie de meaux and a good espresso.
So whilst they didn’t hit the right soup questnotes, Le Mouton Noir rather charmed me. The service was very understated, which may not suit all tastes, but I found it quietly efficient. The main course was good enough for a repeat visit all on its own, so I’ll definitely be back. Next time, I’ll try a different starter; maybe the oysters or the snails.
Blythe scores Le Mouton Noir
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 15/20
Today’s quester was: Blythe
I ate: potato and broccoli soup; grilled onglet, shallot and raspberry vinegar butter sauce, chips and salad; brie de meaux
I drank: house red, water, espresso
I work: blue, grey and black striped www.tieclub.co.uk tie
Total bill: £26.60