Dinner at La P’tite Folie
A sparkling mock Tudor building in Randolph Place, in Edinburgh’s West End, is home to Le Di-Vin winebar and La P’tite Folie restaurant. We visited the wine bar last year to sample their sharing platters and wines by the glass and thoroughly enjoyed our visit. We were keen to go back and sample their more formal French restaurant next door.
On our last visit, we were impressed by the ethos of owner Virgine. In addition to her busy day job, Virginie regularly travels to Ethiopia to visit the food project that she sponsors for orphans and refugees. Both Le Di-Vin and La P’tite Folie support Mary’s Meals, so it’s obvious that there’s a lot of compassion in this business. It’s a feel-good place. Not only can you enjoy great wines and food, but you are also helping support Virgines charity.
Arriving before seven on Friday evening, the restaurant looked quiet. What we hadn’t realised is that the main restaurant is situated on the first floor with the ground floor taking any overspill If you’re passing by early on and think it looks quiet, don’t be put off – it will likely be buzzing upstairs.
The main dining room feels warm and welcoming. Large bay windows flood the room with light during the day and provide a view of the bustling street below. Twinkling candles add atmosphere at night and it’s a nice place to settle in to for the evening. There is lots of wood panelling with paintings, lamps and objet des arts adding to its shabby chicness. We had a window table but they also have a couple of larger corner tables in the windowed turrets that would make for a jovial gathering place.
The evening menu is a mixture of updated French classics along with a couple of Specials of the day. It’s uncomplicated and choosing is easy as there isn’t much on here that doesn’t sound delicious.
To start, Raymond chose the crisp golden crab cakes served on a lime tartare sauce (£7.25). Their herby coating gave way to a delicious delicate crab meat heart. The pickled fennel salad along with the zingy lime tartare added some extra textures and a satisfying crunch.
I often have mussels but have never had them served with cheese before. I wasn’t convinced but decided to order them anyway (£6.95). A good sized bowl of fresh Shetland mussels arrived, steaming with cider fumes and coated in cheese – what’s not to like? The camembert had melted over the shells and into the huge molluscs and liquor below. The flavours of apple, onion and cheese came together but didn’t overpower the salty taste of the mussels. It was all a glorious and delicious mess and I was grateful for the accompanying hand wipe!
Raymond chose the special for the day – Fillet of Aberdeen Angus beef Rossini. This decadent French dish was topped with golden, pan-fried foie gras and drizzled with a heady truffle oil. A slice of Pommes dauphinoise is on hand to soak up some of that glorious rich and delicious gravy. Everything on the plate was first class and cooked to perfection.
It was the onions pickled in gin and blackberry jus that attracted me to the roast loin of Highland red deer venison (£19.50) and they didn’t disappoint. The star of the show though were five slices of perfectly cooked pink venison that just melted in my mouth. Traditional sweet red cabbage and broccoli and green beans accompanied the meat. Juicy brambles made this the perfect autumnal dish.
Raymond went for the special dessert of warm chocolate cake served with ice cream. It was perfectly French and the sliver of warm, slightly gooey cake was chocolate heaven.
My Pistachio and citrus cheesecake (£5.95) had a slender biscuit base topped with a creamy filling and a scattering of chopped nuts. It was very nice but I missed any of the promised citrus flavours that appealed so much in the first place. Instead, it came with a fresh raspberry and a swish of familiar looking raspberry coulis. It was still a nice slice of cheesecake.
The food at La P’tite Folie really is excellent and combines the best of Scottish produce cooked with a French flair. Executive Head Chef Grant Gordon has worked at both La P’tite Folie and wine bar Le Di-Vin for 8 years now. Prior to that, he worked at Prestonfield and La Garrigue and he knows his French onions.
How to book a table:
La P’tite Folie is open from 12 pm to 3 pm daily and offers a two-course lunch for a special price of £13.50. They are also open for dinner from 6 pm until 10 pm (11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays) but are closed all day Sunday. Their Christmas menus have also been launched with a special three-course Christmas lunch for £21.99 and three-course dinner for £29.95. With their fairy lights outside and twinkling candles inside what better venue for your Christmas lunch.
La P’tite Folie
9 Randolph Place
Tel: 0131 225 8678