Visited 1st March 2014
Today we had planned to head south towards Musselburgh but our plans were thrown into disarray early doors when a car garage let us down so suddenly, on a beautiful blue sky morning, we had an empty day and no plans.
When I’m not on-call, and don’t need to stay in Fife for the weekend, I always like to head out of the Kingdom and make the most of my freedom. So with escape in mind I remember that years ago someone mentioned – possibly on Twitter – that they’d had the most amazing mussel soup at Yann’s in Crieff. Ever since then it’s been on my radar as some place to visit. One of the reasons we hadn’t already dined there was that it was a restaurant that only did Sunday lunch or evening meals. As Crieff isn’t on the doorstep of the majority of people it’s not someplace you would necessarily plan to go for an evening meal unless you were staying the night. Fortunately though, today when I checked the website, I discovered they are now doing Saturday lunches. Woohoo! We phoned up and booked a table but as they have only started opening the kitchen early on a Saturday we needn’t have bothered but I’m guessing when word gets out you will have to book well in advance to secure a table.
First off – if you are driving there and can drive through Glen Devon then do. The scenery is amazing and as there’s no good radio signal you should prepare in advance and make a cd of your favourite music. Either go for classical and pretend you’re Morse as you drive through the winding roads or if you’re more like Jeremy Clarkson put on The Who.
When we arrived at Yann’s we were greeted warmly at the door and offered the opportunity to enjoy a drink in the lounge or to go straight to the table. We opted for the table and were offered the choice of two. We sat down and admired the decor. It was beautiful; very French and very striking. The dining room walls are covered in French pictures and photographs. There are wine and champagne bottles scattered everywhere and although it has that boho cluttered feel to it, it also looks very organised and dust free.
We ordered drinks and the waitress brought as water, bread and butter and pointed out they didn’t do side plates as they were tres French but she could bring one if we needed it. She then told us the specials and wandered off to fold linen napkins with such precision I felt guilty at unravelling mine and placing it on my lap.
When it came to menu choice it wasn’t too hard as Gratinated French Onion Soup was an option. The waitress had mentioned there was garlic snails on the menu and it did make me hesitate but come on, French Onion Soup in a French restaurant?? OH opted for poached pear, gorgonzola and smoked pancetta salad with hazelnut dressing.
With just the right amount of waiting time our starters arrived. OH’s salad was well displayed on a piece of slate. He mentioned it was a bit vinegary but it balanced out well with the cheese and hazelnuts. My soup was lush – not as hot as lava which is often a real hazard when it comes to French Onion Soup but full of flavour with stringy roasted cheese on top. At this stage I’d like to point out to lovers and people on first dates that they shouldn’t choose French Onion Soup if they are trying to impress their partners as it isn’t the most delicate of eating experiences ;p.
Normally OH is jealous of my food choices and looks on with green eyes at my plate but today he played a blinder by choosing the Chef’s special of
Rolled Roast Pork Belly on a cassoulet of beans and peppers (btw Im not sure if that is the exact description but it’s close enough). I made him let me try some and it was definitely me that was envious today.
In complete contrast, I had chosen smoked salmon and crème fraîche with potato rösti.
The salmon slices weren’t too thick so it had a good texture and it wasn’t overly smoked, which can sometimes be off putting so overall it was an ideal light lunch but I’m still gutted I didn’t have the pork belly.
For afters OH went for crêpes au chocolat seved with vanilla ice cream while I stuck with the Pinot Grigio. He tells me the crepes didn’t taste floury, were the right consistency and the ice cream was thick and delicious.
After dessert we retired to the lounge. Gorgeous brown leather couches, big bay window, solid wooden furniture and an open fire. Sitting in front of that fire on a chilly evening would be just the place to enjoy a Cognac. (btw I’m adding that to my things to do list) As OH enjoyed his coffee I sought out the ‘toilettes’. Of course there were clean and beautifully decorated. Maybe a downside is that there was only one so you may have to queue but today it certainly wasn’t a problem.
Our bill came to £60.30 (2 starters @ £5; Chef’s special £14.50, light lunch £8.00; Dessert £5; Drinks £22.80)
After our visit to Yann’s I’m now going back to change the scoring on my previous posts as I’ve now realised I’ve been rating too high because Yann’s has just pushed the bar up! 8/10
OH has just told me to add the 2 female staff were just as tasty as the food and to be fair they were great. Very welcoming, friendly and made the whole visit extremely pleasurable – I’m sure that’s what he meant ;p.