Decor is minimalist, with sparse greyness dominant. It’s really quite stylish, though newness makes it feel slightly stark, but this will improve once the place is better worn in.
The menu gave me considerable pause for thought. Not only did dishes read impressively, they presented a range of possible routes to success. Did I opt for seafood, something more hearty, or did I slavishly stick to August’s current veggie plan? I opted for traditional soup, which today was cauliflower, followed by a fabulous sounding venison main course.
Service was friendly and efficient throughout, with plenty of good banter at all the right points.
My cauliflower soup soon arrived. It looked rather bonnie, with its little topping of baby florets and olive oil drops. It proved to be outstandingly good, with a warm roasted earthiness to the spicing, which made for highly enjoyable spoonfuls. It takes its rightful place alongside the Soupquest exceptionals.
The main course was very good, too. A hearty portion, it comprised two venison elements: slices of haunch; and a little chocolatey hotpot. With greens, mash, and wonderful vanilla carrot puree all set in a rich, sticky gin and beetroot jus, it was a really smartly executed dish.
The place has some of the usual new restaurant kinks to iron out. They’re aiming squarely at “casual fine dining”, which something that takes a little while to perfect, but they start their journey from a really strong starting point.
Overall, The Atelier is a really promising new addition to our Edinburgh restaurant tapestry. The quality of their dishes is very high, and all the other elements for success are in place. The location could be the only weakness, as other places have struggled to establish themselves in this neighbourhood, but their offering is compelling enough to demand a dedicated visit. You’ll be as impressed as I was by this elegant, welcoming place.
Blythe scores The Atelier
4.5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 16.5/20
Today’s quester was: Blythe
I ate: cauliflower soup; venison
I drank: Sicilian red, water, espresso
I wore: classic stripes
Total bill: £26.70