The Boathouse, Pier Road, Kinross
The Boathouse, which is perched prettily on the pier overlooking Loch Leven in Kinross, really is a restaurant for all seasons.
In summer, patrons can sit outside on the extensive decking and enjoy the beautiful views across the loch, while in winter a cosy fire crackles and a veritable constellation of fairy lights twinkles above.
At one time the Boathouse didn’t have the best of reputations but since being taken over by Julie McGrattan it’s taken a quantum leap from fair to fabulous, and this year was named best restaurant in Kinross in the Perth Business Awards for the second year in a row.
My daughter and I visited one dreich Wednesday lunchtime, and as we were visibly shivering we were straight away ushered to a table as close to the roaring fire as it could be without actually setting it alight.
Service was friendly and prompt, and Julie visited each table personally to extend a warm welcome.
In the kitchen, the chefs make the most of the abundance of fresh produce that’s available locally and every dish is freshly prepared – even the scones, cakes and pastries are baked on a daily basis.
Since neither of us like to eat anything with fur, feet or feathers, we opted for ‘A Winter’s Tale’, a hearty combo of local honeyed winter root vegetables, mixed with torn homemade Italian bread, spinach and sunflower seeds drizzled with a white wine and Dijon mustard dressing. Scrummy doesn’t even cover it – although the Highland Moo (Auchtertool steak cooked in Guinness with onions and carrots) that was being demolished at a nearby table looked mighty fine too.
In the evenings. ‘A Winter’s Tale’ is available as a starter, along with mouth-watering choices such as smoked sea trout and crispy Parma ham salad, insala Caprese and baked seafood pepper.
Since every dish is freshly-made, the dinner menu is by necessity not extensive, but among the seven mains on offer you’re certain to find something to appeal.
Dishes include In voltini Di Pollo Al Prosciutto (sliced Scottish chicken breast, marinated with garlic and chilli, wrapped in Parma ham and served with leek and potato mash drizzled with white wine consommé); wild mushroom pappardelle with roast chestnut and fresh herb pesto; king prawn tagliatelle ; lasagne made the Umbrian way and Auchtertool fillet steak.
I don’t usually do puddings but I must say it was a delight to find an eatery that actually offers affogato, without the diner having to explain what it is. For those who may not know, it’s a shot of espresso coffee poured over vanilla ice cream – delicious.
The Boathouse is also popular for quick bites, coffees or just a drink.
Check it out on www.theboathouselochleven.co.uk
Winter dinner menu
Homemade soup of the day
Smoked sea trout and crispy Parma ham salad
Baked seafood pepper
A Winter’s Tale
Auchtertool fillet steak
Braciozina di maiale alla griglia con sanquinaccio (Auchtertool char grilled pork chop with black pudding, caramelised apples and a cider mustard)
In voltini di pollo al prosciutto
The Boathouse classic freshly made fish pie
Wild mushroom pappardelle with roast chestnut and fresh herb pesto
The Boathouse classic lasagne
King prawn tagliatelle
Rosemary and honey poached pears
The 70s classic creme caramel
The Boathouse’s own chocolate and orange mousse
Vodka and lemon sorbet
Ice cream trio
The Boathouse is open from Wednesday to Sunday