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Review of Courtyard Bistro

Courtyard Bistro
Ranked #37 of 136 Restaurants in Dumfries
Price range: $13 - $46
Cuisines: Scottish, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner
Description: Come and try our eclectic menu of traditional, contemporary, Scottish and International dishes. Our expert Chefs source local produce wherever possible from suppliers such as Barony Country Foods in Lochmaben and Mrs McMynns Organic Free range Eggs from New Abbey. Favourites with regular customers are Cullen Skink, Tempura Prawns, Steak and Ale Pie, Sirloin Steak, Teriyaki Salmon followed by Warm Chocolate Brownie or Banana Split. Carse of Ae Venison and Pigeon make guest appearances when available, as do Solway Samphire, Kirkudbright Scallops and Strawberries from our Garden. Our current Vegetarian Mains are Sweet Potato and Quinoa Veggieburger, Lockerbie Cheddar and Leek Frittata, Mixed Bean and Vegetable Chilli. Haggis, Tatties and Neeps is always on the menu and goes beautifully with a pint of Twisted Thistle craft IPA. All served by our helpful and friendly staff in a relaxing Bistro atmosphere.
Reviewed April 9, 2013

We stayed in the Best Western Station Hotel for three nights. Having had a nice long leisurely 6 hour journey with stops, we decided we just wanted a walk around the area, before staying 'home' for dinner on the first night.

Dinner at the hotel is served in the Courtyard Bistro, a basement area of the building. This is nice, but lack of windows to see out of makes it a little disappointing, as there is glass, but that is frosted, basically because it's a basement, but does make it a tad claustrophobic. The decor is very pleasing and typical of a bistro, but with no 'proper' dining room operating in the hotel, it's maybe not to everyone's taste, as the only dining place in the hotel.

There is a Table D'hote menu as well as the A la Carte one, and the two provide a surprisingly good choice for a 'station' hotel. We stuck to the set menu on the first night, but be warned, depending on what you choose, it isn't actually that much of a bargain, as it is possible to have choices from the A la Carte menu which cost no more than the set menu!

The service was very good, and the food was really 'trying to be good'. We both had Scampi as a starter, and that was an unusual starter, and very nice, with a lovely 'chef made' Tartare Sauce. Venison as a main course was the choice of both of us too. Mine was dreadfully tough, yet the other piece was okay. The raspberry sauce was way too sweet for the venison - a bit of tartness is required with game, even if it is fruity. The accompanying parsnip chips were dripping in oil - seems likely they were deep fried rather than roasted. Tempura Cauliflower was a nice change. I had the most delicious butterscotch sauce with my Banana Fritters and Ice Cream for dessert - definitely a superb Sticky Toffee Sauce and the best I've tasted. The other dessert was much appreciated too. I just think that sometimes, the commendable efforts of chefs to attempt a very wide range of proper restaurant food doesn't always work 100%.

Our breakfast in another section of the basement adjacent to the bistro the next morning was great too, and very friendly and attentive service was evident again. As someone did mention in another review, the area by the bistro when you come out of the lift is the corridor to the kitchen, and initially you do think you've stumbled on an area out of bounds to guests, so that spoils the ambience a little.

A cold night on our second night, and my husband's cough being worse when we walked around outside saw us decide on the Bistro again for dinner - not really what our dining plan had been when we were having three nights in Dumfries, as there are plenty eating places to choose from, but we thought there was a good choice on the A la Carte menu to suffice another dinner there under the circustances.

To start I chose Tempura King Prawns and my husband had Chef's Pate - both delicious, (but there is a sting in the tail later). For main course I chose Highland Chicken and the other choice was a Lamb Tagine - both very good indeed. The waiter was supposed to ask what kind of potatoes I wanted, and I called him over to say I'd have chips. Small boiled potatoes in their skins arrived, and I accepted them - my theory being that the chips might have been as oily as the Parsnip chips the night before. No room for desserts that night.

I won't go into the details, but a very naughty king prawn seemed not to agree with me, and I was very unwell for the next 24 hours. When my husband had to breakfast alone there was genuine concern from the staff, and a lovely wrapped plate of toast - all I could face - sent up to my room. Very disappointing, but I wouldn't hold the chef or hotel responsible, as I do seem to have a love/hate relationship with prawns - on occasion. Only on occasion, which is very annoying,as I adore them, and continually give them another go. Perhaps the short time cooking Tempura requires was partly the reason, but the Tempura King Prawns had been delicious....at the time!

Anyway, lost a good bit of a day for sightseeing, courtesy of the naughty prawn and didn't really eat for 24 hours, which is annoying when you've just got 4 days break, but was very touched by the lovely blonde haired waitress's concern when I did manage down for breakfast of a glass of water and toast the following day.

They are all very attentive staff, and even the gentleman who had been on the hotel reception desk was roped in to serve on the Saturday night, as well as being barman, and they were all keen to please and gave commendable service. I must give a special mention to the lovely young male waiter who insisted on saying 'Good Evening' or Good Morning' each time he approached our table, as he had a very lovely personality.

On the whole, this Bistro is offering a very good range of food, and the service is super, and it truly is a bistro type setting, so no complaints there.

Worth noting that on a Sunday the Bistro appears not to be open, and food is served in the Loung of the Hotel.

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1  Thank Larsonsmummy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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42 - 46 of 51 reviews

Reviewed April 6, 2013

Friendly, welcoming and well priced. This small restaurant, as part of the Best Western Station HOtel is well worth a visit. Probably one of the best in Dumfries.

Thank donaldwynd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2013

My husband and I decided to eat out, not interested in the pub food places so chose to eat out here, it being a Best Western so chances of it being up to our expectations we thought were quite good. I'm sitting writing this review and feeling very sick, it's the worst meal I have ever had in my life. The garlic mushrooms and the slice of bread they came with was saturated in butter, the mushrooms were tastless and very disappointing. My husband had king prawns in batter, not the healthiest looking,certainly not in crispy batter, but edible he said. I chose lamb tagine for a main course which tasted like soap, can't say it was any better than that. I think the most disgusting meal I have ever tasted in my life. My husband had steak pie, the meat he said was tender and tasty but the pastry was soggy. The service by the waiters was faultless, we chose to say how disappointed we were with the food, we would pay the bill in full but we would never go back. During our visit it appeared that the restaurant was empty and only accommodated by residents, not a good sign when the locals don't fill it up. Sorry to report this, I'm not a complainer but I couldn't recommend this place to my worst enemy.

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Thank S_S_Scotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2013

I live locally and sometimes you dont value whats on your doorstep. This is an excellent bistro where the service is quiet and efficient and the food is a treat.

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Thank HootsMon13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2012

Stayed at a Hotel across the road, and had an evening meal. We had'nt booked, but were fitted in, even though they seemed almost full!
A good choice of food, with steaks, Morrocan tagine, fish of varying types, and home made pie. All very good, and will return when I revisit Dumfries.

Thank Dee5360
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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