The Glasshouse
The Observatory Restaurant based in the Glasshouse Hotel is now open to non-residents and we were invited along to try out their unique dining experience.  The entrance to the Glasshouse is located at 2 Greenside Place and the restaurant and hotel rooms are situated on top of the Omni Centre next door – this makes getting there a bit of an adventure.  Thankfully we were greeted by a lovely member of reception staff who escorted us up in the lift to the restaurant.
The Bar with open fire pit
On arrival, we were offered a Pimm’s out on their two acre roof terrace and as it was such a lovely night and we were in no rush, we decided to spend some time outside to enjoy the views.  It was well worth the effort as we were able to sip our drinks and peruse the menu while marvelling at this unexpected oasis of calm in the centre of Edinburgh.  Our friendly waitress returned to guide us back to the restaurant and showed us her favourite view from the terrace which was a stunning panorama down towards Leith and the Forth – just breathtaking.
Pimm’s on the rooftop oasis
Amazing views from the roof top garden
The restaurant is overlooked by Calton Hill and the floor to ceiling glass makes for a light and airy dining experience.  Decor is pleasant but could be more adventurous to give the room a stronger personality and to escape the hotel restaurant feeling.  We dined early so there weren’t many diners in to give the place a buzz – service was therefore very efficient without being too intrusive.
The restaurant
An unexpected treat first up was an amusee bouche of beef served on mushroom toast – a delicious bite sized morsel that kept us happy until the starters arrived.
Amusee Bouche
I went for the brown crab terrine (£8.00) that was a lovely dish with crab, chilli, lime and apple terrine served on a tomato soup and topped with a parmesan doughnut.  The crab was fragrant and delicious that went well with the rich, ripe tomato soup although I have to say it was the parmesan doughnut that intrigued me the most.  It was light, fluffy and made the dish a real standout – delicious.
Donnie opted for the Pea dish that was a simple salad of fresh peas, crispy bacon, pork crackling served with a soft egg yolk and pea shoots (£6.95).  This was a fresh colourful dish that looked like a summer salad should but with added crunch.
Next I ordered the fillet of sea bream, smoked aubergine puree, white wine shallots and kiwi (yes, as in the fruit) (£16.00).  The fish was perfectly cooked and went really well with the smoked aubergine puree.  I wasn’t sure how the kiwi fruit would work and was quite shocked to discover that the sweetness complimented the fish perfectly.  A great combination of flavours.
Sea Bream
Donnie opted for the 10oz Celtic Hereford 32-day matured sirloin that was served with triple cooked chips, grilled Portobello mushrooms and roasted vine cherry tomatoes (£24.00).  The steak tasted very nice although did look a bit anaemic on the plate – Donnie would have preferred it cooked at a higher temperature perhaps to give it a more char-grilled appearance and flavour, whilst still retaining its “mediumness”.   The accompaniments were all top notch especially the chips that were super crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the middle.
My main was strategically chosen so that I would definitely have room for one of the tempting desserts on offer – if they offered a trio of them I would have snapped it up.  In the end I decided to go for the chocolate brownie, chocolate ganache with raspberries.  Donnie ordered the vanilla cheesecake, blueberry compote, honeycomb, vanilla iced tea.  The brownie was moist and delicious with the layer of chocolate ganache giving an extra chocolatey hit – the cookie came in the form of a soft raspberry sponge.  I must admit to having dessert envy as Donnie’s cheesecake looked and tasted amazing.  The cheesecake was soft and creamy with the added honeycomb crunch and had the added ice tea refreshment at the end to cleanse the palate.
Vanilla Cheesecake
Chocolate Brownie
There was a lot to like about The Observatory restaurant.  Overall the service was very good although could have been a wee bit more polished on arrival.  Drinks on the terrace was an undoubted highlight but the star of the show is the food.  The menu here is well thought out, fresh, seasonal and has enough imaginative combinations that definitely warrant a return visit.   Whether you are a hotel guest, or just looking for somewhere a wee bit different to eat with an amazing rooftop garden, fabulous views over Calton Hill and interesting food, then the Observatory Restaurant certainly fits the bill.  The restaurant only seats 50, so you can be assured of a private oasis within the bustling city.
The Glasshouse
2 Greenside Place
Tel: 0131 525 8200
Twitter: @ObservatoryGH

PS.  The Glasshouse is really quite photogenic – we were so lucky to dine on such a wonderful evening……it’s a shame not to share these other pictures we took on our iPhones .

Perfect venue from Private Dining, Parties and Weddings
The Terrace under Calton Hill – perfect for a quiet cocktail!
Keeping an eye on Calton Hill!
Comfy and shaded!
Oasis in the city.
The Glasshouse has lots of wonderful Edinburgh focused works of art by Liana Moran 
 We dined as guests of The Glasshouse to sample their new restaurant and menu.  All views expressed in the blog are our own.

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