Iris, on quaint cobbled Thistle Street has been one of our favourite eateries for a while, especially when looking to impress. Great for entertaining inlaws but equally fabulous when out for a mid week treat with a friend visiting from the Big Smoke.
The three of us were warmly greeted by the staff when we arrived – even sharing a wee joke at the nonsense of changing our booking time three times in one hour. They didn’t seem to mind too much which was a great bonus. Inside Iris the restaurant is split into three rooms; a bar area and two main dining areas. We were shown to a table in the main dining area which is decked out nicely with wall length mirrors to add light, comfy benches and large wooden tables. The tables are quite close together but when seated you don’t get the feeling that you’re sharing your meal with complete strangers, which is testament to the intimate feel of the restaurant.
Bread was delivered along with menus and we relaxed while perusing. Be warned: the menus are very meat oriented but that’s no biggie, just worth bearing in mind if you have veggie chums. We settled on our choices quickly – with starters of Grilled Goats Cheese, Spiced King Prawns and a meat feast starter of Fried Chorizo and Morcilla. A fruity bottle of house red fuelled the conversation while we waited…
On arrival our starters looked and smelled fantastic! The prawns lasted no time at all and I wasn’t far behind with my chorizo and posh black pudding. The combination of salty chorizo and rich black pud was perfectly balanced by sweet caramelised apple pieces – definitely something to experiment wit in the Stovies kitchen at a later date. The goats cheese salad surprisingly light and accompanied by a taste bud popping cherry and chilli jam – quite probably the most imaginative accompaniment we’ve had with goats cheese yet.
Iris is obviously a place where people like the wine to flow as every table (including our own) was chatting loudly and having a great time. The dishes arrived (two steaks and a lamb loin salad) along with our selection of side dishes. Love it or hate it, in Iris you order all side dishes separately. Mrs Stovies has concluded this is a good option as you can avoid the withering looks that inevitably ensue if you ask for an alternative! Our sides were a mix of Sweet Potato Fries, Buttered Green Beans, Sweet and Sour Roasted Tomoates and Griddled Asparagus.
Now, I am pretty picky about my steaks. A badly cooked steak can really rile me and spoil my night out. Luckily my rare steak was perfectly cooked and decadently drenched in a salty garlic butter. The lamb salad was perfect too, a lucky side effect of having a lot of meat on the menu is that it will all be cooked to perfection. Our plates would only have been clearer if we’d licked them!
Sadly we’d no room left for desert but on previous outings the offerings to the sweet tooth have been delicious. Next time we’ll be more dedicated diners….
The damage: £25 a head but ever so worth it.
Iris, 47a Thistle Street, Edinburgh. Tel: 0131 220 2111