Being the only westward facing village on Scotland’s east coast, it’s fitting that Portmahomack should have an eatery which has a stellar view of the Dornoch Firth and the mountains out west. I was invited by Bistro by the Sea to enjoy the views and food on offer!
As well as a beachside B&B, Caledonian House opens its own bistro for lunch and dinner service, Friday – Sunday.
As well as outdoor picnic benches right on the beachfront, there’s a couple of spacious and light rooms in which you can grab or reserve a table – our tip is to go for a windowside table to make the most of people-spotting on the adjacent beach! (I did this, and in so doing failed to notice the Christmas tree that you can see on the below picture!)…
…although equally if you sit away from the windows you get much closer to a cosy woodburner and twinkly fairy lights!
The lunch menu was nicely varied. It was nice not to see only standard soup and sandwich options (although they are there), and be able to choose an croque madame or variations on eggs benedict had we wanted to. More hearty meals were also on offer, in the form of fish and chips, housemade burger or even an all day breakfast featuring five meat elements!
Wanting something a little lighter so we could avoid a post-lunch slump and explore Portmahomack, Mr B had pan-fried King scallops, served on some crispy bacon and a balsamic vinegar reduction. The scallops were just delicious and perfectly cooked.
As usual, i can never resist halloumi and this dish went down so well – thick rounds of grilled aubergine topped with even thicker slabs of halloumi, served with a fruity chutney which was a good accompaniment. Both meals came with chips and a generous dressed salad.
Seeing as we had been well and truly stuffed with sweet things earlier at Seaweed n Stuff (more to come on this in my next post!) much to our regret, we declined dessert and home-baking choices, but everything very tempting, including some huge fruit scones.
Bistro by the Sea is a recommended choice if you are wanting to dine out in Portmahomack – using locally sourced ingredients wherever possible, we really enjoyed the food here, and the welcome from Carol, the owner. Like the rest of Portmahomack, this bistro deserves much more attention than it currently gets, being on the Easter Ross section of the NC500 route.
A Highland Blend was invited as a guest of Bistro by the Sea, and received a meal in exchange for an impartial review.