After a stressful, long wintry day I don’t want to go back to my under-heated house and begin cooking. I want to go somewhere with a warm atmosphere and good food. On atmosphere, Mitchell’s certainly delivers. The service is bubbly and warm; our particular waiter repeated the specials twice and recommended several dishes. The cutlery placed upside-down in empty Lyle’s Golden Syrup tins and coat-upholstered seats are nice touches, as are the board games tucked away in drawers at the window tables.
In its philosophy, Mitchell’s is a thoroughly modern restaurant and one unique to St Andrews. It prides itself on local produce, independent suppliers and letting ingredients shine through simple preparation.
This preparation has produced some spectacular results. I was pleased on a recent visit to see the number of vegetarian options increased (a welcome change in a town full of veggie students). The group of us shared a vegetarian antipasti to start with vibrant roasted beets, herby salad, sweet spicy peppers and marinated aubergine. This dish came with a generous portion of bread and would have satisfied me as a main.
The steak pie was the star of our meal with its flaky pastry and rich shredded meat, although the duck leg was a close second, with meat so succulent, it fell off the bone. The hot smoked salmon salad was a let down, despite its recommendation from our waiter. The fish was delicious, but the plating was awkward, presented as a whole skin-on fillet ,instead of in flakes, next to an oversized portion of anchovy spread, all served in a bowl. I struggled to manoeuvre all the components on my plate, but once I had a forkful, the dressing, crisp green beans and fish were particularly delicious.
Perhaps I ordered a salad, simply because I knew I had to save room for a chocolate brownie. I’ve sampled the Victoria sponge and clootie dumpling (a spicy, dense dumpling in a pool of custard), both perfectly fine. Mitchell’s decadent chocolate brownies, served with clotted cream, merit two orders: one to sit in and one to go for a midnight craving.
Overall, I was impressed with how much Mitchell’s has accomplished since it’s opening in April; usually restaurants take more than a year to sort out service, food and generate a buzz. It is pricey (we paid roughly £15 each for a two-course meal), but I will be back for another inviting, tasty meal before the season’s end.
Mitchell's Deli is open daily from 8am to 10pm. For more information, visit their website.