The Cellar Door has always been a source of considerable intrigue, for me. It’s a place of which I have read much, but I’ve never firmly captured it in my line of sight.
On the legendarily hard to master final Sunday of the Fringe, I found myself in the neighbourhood, fixed it in my tractor-beam glare and moved in for the kill. Regular irregular quester, Nadine, and I were pretty lucky to sneak in without a reservation.
The menu offers a good range of options, the most noteworthy of which is the “surprise menu”, featuring two courses for £17.95 and three for £20.95. On another night, this would have been the way I’d have gone, but I was pretty confident that what I wanted was soup followed by something beefy.
I quickly spotted the cote de boeuf on the menu, so took little time to convince Nadine that this was the way to go, for a shared main of meaty goodness. She opted to start with veggie haggis, served with spiced apple, while my soup of the day was lentil, so we offset the forthcoming meat-fest with virtuous vegetarian starters.
My soup was nicely prepared, and decidedly on the peppery side. Really, it should have been described as lentil and black pepper. I had a little taste of the veggie haggis and liked it, very much. The spiced apple was particularly good.
I did then plumb new depths of bad photography by taking a picture of the highly impressive cote de boeuf that barely featured the huge hunk of meat. I do sincerely apologise. I guess it means that if you want to see it in its full glory, you need to pop along and order it for yourself, something I would strongly recommend you do.
Cooked beautifully rare, the beef was top notch. The sides of chips, coleslaw and salad were also spot on, although the pepper and garlic butter sauces didn’t really bring much to the party.
With friendly service that managed a busy room with calm efficiency, and a smart but understated interior, I was really rather impressed with the Cellar Door. Outside of Festival time, I imagine their offering is even better. I’ll certainly be back to give the “surprise” menu a whirl. If you haven’t had the pleasure of dining there, I recommend you do so, soon.
Blythe scores The Cellar Door
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 15.5/20
Today’s questers were: Nadine, Blythe
We ate: lentil soup, vegetarian haggis, cote de boeuf
We drank: rose wine
We wore: shoe top, lightweight tweed jacket
Total bill: £59