The List Eating and Drinking Guide 2011/2012

Award-winning food is often accompanied by a great deal of pomp, but this modest restaurant has simple décor and refreshingly relies on the appreciative chatter of diners – rather than a stereo – for atmosphere.

It’s clear that the focus here is on the food, and chefs Mary Runciman and Keith Marley are constantly tweaking the menu to make use of good, local, seasonal produce.

Dinner is an unrushed affair, with the short menu listing two choices for each course, as well as the local suppliers of the evening’s fare.

Proceedings might begin with a rich celeriac, brie and prune tart, encased in feather-light pastry and served with a piquant lentil salad, followed by an island of scallop and sole mousse in a delicately spiced butternut squash soup.

Runciman’s deft touch delivers superbly balanced main dishes, such as braised halibut with a citrus-laced herb crust, in a buttery sauce dotted with divine smoked mussels.

Not to be outdone, Marley’s desserts are sumptuous, with the pear caramel’s dark, smokey-sweetness complemented with walnut sauce and an intense pear sorbet.

The restaurant’s website calls it ‘the jewel in East Lothian’s culinary crown’, and who’s to disagree?