Feb 26 2010 by Alison Lowson, Perthshire Advertiser Friday
THE Applecross Inn in Wester Ross, the Oystercatcher at Otter Ferry ... and now the Stag’s View in Crieff. Knock Castle’s new rooftop restaurant surely must have one of the three most stunning views in Scotland?
Perched on the top of a charming gothic pile overlooking the whole Strathearn Valley, ladies who lunch can cast their eyes over a stunning panorama AND one of the best menus around.
This is actually my second visit to the Stag’s View. Other Half and I were invited by Chef/Patron Jason Henderson to the VIP official opening just before Christmas where we quaffed Moet and nibbled top notch canapes.
It was such an enjoyable evening that I was keen to make a return visit in daylight to check out the view properly and sample the menu that Jason’s canape banquet merely hinted at.
Although an extensive bar menu is also available in the Stag’s View and adjoining bar area, Other Half and I decided to order from the Table D’Hote menu. Great value at £15 for two courses and £19.50 for three courses.
I decided to start with a palate-sharpening plate of smoked salmon and juicy prawns served with an avocado salad and Marie Rose dressing. A timeless classic, executed with style. Other Half chose the wild mushroom risotto which was bursting with earthy flavours and sharpened by fresh parmesan.
Our charming waitress also offered two choices of home-baked bread – a white onion loaf and a honey and raisin bread. Slathered with unsalted butter, I’m ashamed to say that I ate enough to somewhat spoil my appetite for the main course.
However, where there’s a will etc, etc. and I still managed more than half of the intriguingly crispy fried gnocchi served with roasted tomatoes and parmesan. It was a combo designed to satisfy vegetarians and committed carnivores alike.
Meanwhile, served on a bed of creamed savoy cabbage and accompanied by a mound of crushed potatoes, Other Half’s pan-fried sea bass also got the thumbs up. As did the two glasses of chilled Sauvignon Blanc that washed down the whole shooting match.
Excellent though the first two courses were, they paled into insignificance for this reviewer compared to the show-stopping puddings. I had the strawberry panacotta which was silky perfection. But even this was nothing (I repeat, nothing!) compared to Other Half’s banana clafoutis. Freshly baked, this French classic was made even more sinful by a dollop of white chocolate ice-cream. Truly memorable.
Mark my words, the combination of breath-taking views, Chef/Patron Jason Henderson’s delicious cuisine and a well-priced menu will give every eating establishment in Perthshire a run for its money.
So far THE place to eat this year.
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