Field has launched itself with quiet assurance on to the Edinburgh dining scene, having taken over the premises previously occupied by Home Bistro, on West Nicholson Street. The team of Richard Conway, running front of house, Rachel Conway, wielding the power behind the throne, and chef Gordon Craig, bring an impressive pedigree, most notably from the Plumed Horse.
I’d assembled a crack team of lunchers to put them through their paces, today. In alphabetical order, we had Yelp’s Jenny, who had quested most recently at Wildfire, Edinburgh Etiquette’s Katey, who was along for our recent trip to The Blackbird, and Mel, who most recently joined at The Circle Café.
Field’s interior is a simple blend of white, black, and wood. One wall is covered in black flock wallpaper, while directly opposite is an enormous picture of a cow, which somewhat dominates the room. It’s a quirky blend of elegance and humour.
The presentation of the menus, in little picture frames, and indeed the look of the dishes when they arrived, embodied this wryly smiling sophistication, too.
The menus offered an excellent deal, with two courses for £11.95 or three for £14.50. Only some of the dishes, those denoted with asterisks, were available in this deal, which did cause a little confusion, but I was more than happy to go with the options on offer.
I started with their soup of the day, which was a tempting sounding apple and celeriac, then followed with pan-fried hake served on a bed of ratatouille, with chunky chips.
Light little bread roll clouds came out first, soon followed by our starters. Jenny had joined me on the soupy side, while Katey tried the smart looking terrine.
The soup was as good as I’ve tasted in a long time, so goes soaring in to Soupquest’s exceptional category, without a moment’s hesitation. A thick and creamy celeriac potage was imbued with a beautiful complexity from the apple, and the toasted walnuts on top added a really enjoyable richness. The apple, though prominent in every spoonful, neither tipped things towards over-sweetness nor dominated the central majesty of the celeriac. Rarely have I tasted such a well-executed and flavour-packed soup.
It was unlikely that my main course was going to match up to the heady praise I’ve bestowed upon the soup, but it was still very good. I would have preferred crisper skin on the hake, but that was my only quibble with what was another highly accomplished dish.
The fish was beautifully moist, and the ratatouille very neat and delicate. The chunky chips were the antithesis of neat delicacy and quite rightly so! Altogether, it was a smart twist on a classic fish and chips, complete with roasted cherry tomatoes to provide the ketchup sweetness.
Katey’s baked gnocchi looked quite remarkable, not unlike a hot-pink rhubarb crumble. Mel and Jenny opted for the salmon, which evoked memories of “sun-soaked summer”, for Jenny.
Jenny and I managed to resist the temptation to round things out by sampling the dessert menu, but Katey and Mel were lured in. Both Katey’s roasted pineapple with gingerbread and Mel’s banana tarte tatin looked rather tasty.
So overall, I found Field to be an extremely high-quality establishment. The really pleasing thing is that while our visit, today, was filled with excellence, from start to finish, this felt like a comfortable level of class from which stellar brilliance can develop. I’m confident that Field can grow to become one of Edinburgh’s premier dining spots. Certainly, I’ll be back for another visit soon, as I was highly impressed by their soup, their service, and the general ambience of jocular suavity that permeated the place.
Blythe scores Field
4.5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4.5/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 17/20
Today’s questers were: Jenny, Katey, Mel, Blythe
We ate: apple and celeriac soup (2), terrine of confit duck leg and sweet potato with parfait bonbon, grilled salmon with potato croquettes (2), goats’ cheese, roast beetroot and horseradish gnocchi bake, pan fried hake with ratatouille, chunky chips and saffron mayo, banana tarte tatin, roasted pineapple with gingerbread
We drank: water, tea, espresso
We wore: stylish daywear
Total bill: c.£69