Friday, September 17, 2010

Contrast Brasserie, Inverness, Scotland

Sadly we did not have much luck with food in Scotland... We were really looking forward to the rustic waterside Temple Seafood in Oban, only to find a sign on the door saying they were closed (no reason given).

We found ourselves on the Isle of Skye at the end of a 3-day bank holiday weekend. Going first to one NY Times recommendation (having to wait an hour until service actually started), then another (gone on their own holiday), then heading back to Portree only to find out that a lot of the restaurants had run out of seafood!

However, after this run of bad luck, we were happy to sit down to a very nice, reasonably priced meal at Contrast Brasserie in Inverness. We were drawn in to Contrast while strolling along the banks of the River Ness by the sign advertising a 2-course pre-theater menu for 12 pounds. The menu looked interesting, it was early, we were hungry, and the price was right.

For my starter, I had a poached egg and wild mushrooms on sourdough toast. Redneckhunter got duck pate, which came with a nice chutney, and sprinkled with sea salt.

For my main course, I had grilled colley, on top of sundried tomato risotto. The fish was perfectly cooked, the risotto, not so much... It was undercooked, but I didn't care, I was happy to finally have some fresh fish! Redneckhunter got an Asian-inspired lamb stew/curry.

When I got home and googled the place, I discovered that Contrast had been on Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares! Apparently he acknowledged that the food was quite good, but somehow their marketing failed to get any customers in the door. Well, I'm not sure if what he taught them helped any because we were 1 of 2 tables of diners. Sure, it was a Tuesday night, and it was the early bird special, but still, it was a lovely, warm evening, you would have thought more people would have liked to dine riverside. Service, however, may be one issue with the place. All I can say is that if someone indeed needed to partake of the pre-theater menu in order to make it on time to the theater, well they might not have made it...

Contrast Brasserie
In the Glenmoriston Townhouse Hotel
20, Ness Bank
4 (0)1463 223 777

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