On a summer’s evening I step from the blazing sunshine of Stockbridge’s Hamilton Place into the cool hush of eórna. There’s a handsome curved marble bar and twelve tall chairs, all with a direct view of the kitchen. The colour palate is moody dark blues and slate greys, surfaces are tactile, and every elegant detail has been carefully considered.

My sister and I are warmly welcomed by sommelier and co-owner Glen Montgomery with an aperitif of organic Louis Roederer champagne to set the scene for this tasting menu experience. eòrna is a joint venture between Montgomery and chef Brian Grigor. The accomplished pair have worked in many of Scotland’s top restaurants, often together, and have been hosting pop-ups over the last few years while waiting for their perfect venue.

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At eórna there is one sitting per evening with a set menu so there’s nothing to peruse. Instead we get comfortable and nibble on dainty canapes – a delicate Mull cheddar tart with quince and pecan, a chicken mousse with beetroot served in a thin wafer cone, and leek and truffle souffle with a silky slow-cooked leek garnish eaten with a teaspoon from a ceramic oyster shell.

Our champagne aperitif is contrasted with the 2015 single vintage from the same vineyard to begin the formal pairings. The 2015 is rounder, richer and toastier. “We always used to start with smoked salmon and champagne at Number One (at The Balmoral where the duo once worked together),” says Montgomery, “it’s a nod to our history”.

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The smoked salmon is very good: carefully smoked and easily yielding to a fork, and the champagne beautifully cuts through the rich, oily fish. As it’s an open kitchen we’ve been watching Grigor painstakingly prepare the dish – the careful piping of the lemon gel, the tweezered arrangement of micro-herbs, and the perfect placement of tiny caviar. I’m sure Michel Roux Jnr., his former boss when Grigor oversaw the Scottish Roux restaurants, would approve.

There are a lot of nods to culinary history here. A bookshelf above the kitchen is lined with the distinctive red spines of Michelin guides. Beside them, a portrait of Albert Roux, “He’s keeping an eye on me,” says Grigor.

Tomatoes with basil and pickled raspberries are a refreshing next course, topped with a raspberry sorbet and a garnish of fennel fronds. I like the pairing of tomatoes and raspberries, but for me the chill of the sorbet is more distraction than enhancement. I’m far more enamoured by the wine, a buttery ‘Rooidraai’ 2021 Chenin Blanc from Swartland, South Africa.

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Montgomery’s enthusiasm for the wine he introduces is infectious, he has the knack of imparting just the right amount of information to empower your taste buds and introduce the producers, without information overload. It’s no surprise that Harpers Wine & Spirit magazine recently named him one of the UK’s top 25 sommeliers.

A seared scallop with oyster leaf puree and burnt apple is paired with a German riesling by Maximin Grunhaus. It’s dry and textured, slate-clean with a rich apple spritz, matching beautifully with the sweet scallop. Sous vide Orkney beef then takes centre stage, paired with tender white asparagus and a sherry sauce, and we move to red with a rich and velvety 2018 Henschke barossa.

A honeyed Sauternes Lions de Suduiraut 2018 pairs with the sweet courses. It’s delicious, with hints of ginger and orange.

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First up, Katy Rodgers creme fraiche with alphonso mango, basil and passionfruit. We’re in peak Scottish soft fruit season with the first rhubarb appearing, and we’re eating passion fruit and mango? Another creamy pudding follows, this one is in a tulip mould. Strawberries make an appearance as a syrup. It’s here that I get lost, a niggling feeling that has been building solidifies with the tulip moulded dessert. Smoked salmon, souffle, scallop, roast beef, cream pudding: is this the Ritz in the 1980s or Edinburgh in 2023?

I wanted to love eórna, the restaurant is gorgeous and the hospitality exemplary: relaxed, knowledgeable and friendly. The technical skills of Grigor are unquestionable, his knowledge of ingredients top-notch, but I’d love to see him ditch the deference to the Roux brothers and the tweezers and have a bit more fun. Yes there are interesting lifts – the oyster leaf puree with the scallop, the white asparagus with the beef, but I’m left craving creativity, and a few more vegetables. And with only 12 guests to worry about, catering for at least some dietary differences should be possible.

The National: Ailsa Sheldon samples the tasting menu experience with paired wines at eórna in Edinburgh

I have no doubt that eórna will do well among well-heeled lovers of classic French-style dining: it is beautiful food, expertly cooked. At this price point though, I want to see more flair. eórna may well attract the attention of those revered red guidebooks, but when you leave a restaurant far more excited about the wine than the food, something has gone awry.

eórna costs £95 per person, with matched wines for £75.

68 Hamilton Place, Stockbridge, Edinburgh EH3 5AZ