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Eating Out Review
When you live on Arran it is easy to take for granted the marvellous food and produce created right here on the island.
So what a great idea by Crofters Arran to come up with a night simply showcasing what a wonderful local larder is available on our doorstep.
It was a small intimate gathering for the Brodick restaurant’s first foray into fine dining evenings and reception of their first night guests you can be sure it will not be their last.
Crofters have just reopened after a major refurbishment and they welcomed customers back with an evening of the best produce Ayrshire and Arran have to offer,with tutored wine pairings.
The tables may be slightly farther apart than before Covid but the atmosphere in the cosy restaurant, as the food and wine flowed, was convivial with a nice mix of both locals and visitors who chatted easily as the friendly staff lead by Ealana, with Prentice and Cadely, went about their duties.
In charge of the wine chat was the vibrant and knowledgeable Lesley Inglis from Beith-based Alliance Wines who took the diners on a tour of the vineyards of the world with a few choice stops along the way. Her comments were sharp and punchy, unlike some wine experts, and we even discovered Salvador Dali’s favourite wine.
The night began in style with a foraged Manhattan aperitif with 10 year old Arran malt whisky and American rye . The forarging were the accompanying brambles, which had been picked that very morning in Brodick and would become a theme for the evening.
The the food began with, for starters goats cheese, mouse on a Wooleys Oatie with bramble and pickled shallot, a home- smoked trout rillette on sourhdough croute, crispy pig cheek and apple gel which were delightful little morsels. And accompanied by not too sweet Stars ‘Touch of Rose’ Cava from Spain.
Hand-dived Kintyre scallops, from Tim James, were then served with celeriac and apple, pork reduction paired with a Calvese Falanghina, from a small Italian collective – which was my favourite white wine of the night.
More foraging in the foraged hazelnut crusted turbot with Arran potato fondant, glazed Ayrshire beef cheek, foraged chanterelles, which came next, paired with an excellent Argentinian Charonnay from the famous Mendoza region.
And this was followed by the main event loin of venison, parsnip puree, rowan berry, back pudding crumb and game jus. Served with the first red of the night a Bourgogne Pinot Noir from France.
A light desert was all that was required after that feast and it came as a delightful compressed peach, hogweed seed creme fraiche and foraged sorbet- I am not sure how you forage sorbet but I was too busy licking my plate to ask. It was served with a splendid Coteeaux du Layon from Loire in France.
The meal was rounded off by what was described as petit fours, but was more a light moose with homemade shortbread served with a smooth digestif. Coffee and a bold Bulgarian full bodied 14.5 per cent red rounded the meal off in style.
There was the option to have Arran cheese and biscuits but even the deliciously sounding Crofters Larder gooseberry and apple chutney was not enough to temp me to try and eat another thing.
So wined and dined the customers drifted off happy and content into the night. We are sure Ealana and the team were pleased to have pulled off their first fine dining evening in style. We know they have more planned in the coming months and, if last Thursday is anything to go by, we are certain they will be surefire success.
Prentice serves the rose cava to one of the dining couples. 01_B37food01
Ealana Boyle with the starter. 01_B37food02
Lesley Inglis gives one of her wine talks. 01_B37food03
Lesley raises a glass the the fine wines on offer. 01_B37food04
The hand-dived Kintyre scallops. 01_B37food05
Guests are served their turbot and beef cheek. 01_B37food06
The peach desert. 01_B37food07
Head chef Ross Butler and sous chef Jamie Mnew were roundly applauded at the end of service. 01_B37food08