The Bank, Adamo Hotel, 78 Upper Craigs, Stirling, FK8 2DT www.adamohotels.com
The Adamo Hotel in Stirling is an imposing building, having been converted from its previous incarnation as a bank, it seems quite natural that they should give that name to their restaurant, which occupies much its ground floor space, together with a bar and lounge area. Seating in the restaurant is well spaced and modern in style; there are also some booths by the bar, where we chose to sit when we went there to eat on a recent visit to Scotland. Adjacent to the bar restaurant, separated by open doorways there is a comfortable lounge area where customers could enjoy a drink from the bar in a relaxed atmosphere.
We sat and had a glass of the house white while we chose our meal, a very pleasant crisp little number. For our starters we chose the haggis, neeps and tatties and the Scottish scallops and Stornoway black pudding. The haggis dish was like a miniature stacked main course, the haggis had a full flavour, some good spiciness and a lovely texture, the tatties and neeps were a good accompaniment and the dish had a lovely gravy bringing it together. The scallops were perfectly cooked and sat atop rounds of soft black pudding which set them off well. These came with an apple chutney on top of each scallop which had a curry flavour that I thought went well with the black pudding but was a little strong for the scallops; all three elements were excellent though.
For mains, the pistachio and herb crusted halibut was an excellent piece of fish, firm, meaty and moist, it was cooked to perfection and nicely enhanced by the delicate crust. This was sitting on some leek and parmesan crushed new potatoes that were well balanced and just sufficiently strong so as not to overshadow the fish, some red pepper, char-grilled courgette and a crème fraiche sauce completed the dish well. The fillet of beef was a deceptively sizeable piece of meat that had been cooked medium rare as ordered, it was tasty and tender, a joy to eat, it came with some dauphinoise potatoes that were lovely, vine cherry tomatoes, sauté mushroom and beer battered onion rings, plus a choice of sauce, in this case the mushroom. The dish came together perfectly and the sauce had a meatiness to it which complemented the steak well. These were two well executed and very good dishes.
Desserts were a bit of a challenge, but we rose to it, sharing the chocolate toffee pudding and the banoffee pavlova. Both were indulgent dishes, the pavlova lighter, and rather less sweet than you might imagine, offset by some cream that brought the toffee sauce, banana and meringue base together very nicely. The chocolate toffee pudding had a treacly flavour to it that was great, this was served with a good scoop of vanilla ice cream that contrasted well with the warm pudding.
Service at The Bank was very good, the staff there are very attentive. With our meal we stuck to the house white and red; we have already commented on the white, the red was a good medium bodied wine that went well particularly with the steak. A little outside the centre of Stirling, The Bank is a relaxed haven serving good food and is certainly a place to visit. Look at their web site to see what they have on their menus. They also have a good vegetarian menu as well as lunchtime offers that are worth checking out.