In January, a Peebles restaurant, which began operating just four years ago, was featured in the prestigious Michelin Guide for 2011.
Osso, of Innerleithen Road, was the only Borders dining establishment to earn a place in the famous publication, which covers the whole of Great Britain and Ireland – and it was the sole new addition from Scotland to claim Michelin’s Bib Gourmand status in the current year.
Bib Gourmand has been a standing dish in the guide since 1955, highlighting as it does those restaurants offering “good food at moderate prices”.
The accolade is outstanding as the experienced inspectors chose to reduce the number of Bib Gourmand recipients from 131 in 2010 to 117 this year – notable deletions included Gordon Ramsay’s Foxtrot Oscar in Kensington. “It was a massive and thoroughly-deserved shot in the arm for Osso,” recalled owner-partner Allan Bone.
Last week, three months earlier than usual, Michelin released details of its 2012 Guide – and Osso has maintained its coveted place.
When TheSouthern visited Osso last week, Allan’s co-proprietor and chef, Ally McGrath, who is from Peebles, was busy preparing another mouth-watering menu.
But Allan, who runs a barcode software company and is managing director of Osso’s parent company, Rathbone Restaurants, was delighted to talk about the 40-cover eatery’s achievement.
He told us: “We are all thrilled to have continued our momentum in the Michelin Guide.
“Ally is a very dedicated chef and his focus on using fresh-daily produce to cook everything from scratch is paying off.
“Our regular customers appreciate the quality and value that our seasonal and daily-changing menus provide.
“Another key to Osso’s success is team work and all the staff in the kitchen and front of house continue to be motivated to achieve the highest standards – from our daily scone options right through to our seven-course evening tasting menus.”
The Michelin endorsement is a vindication of the decision of Allan and Ally to transform a former popular coffee shop into a restaurant four years ago.
Allan added: “Ally is one of the hardest-working guys I know and his skills as a chef had been plied across the UK when we started Osso.
“We just felt there was a gap in the market for a value-for-money restaurant serving food of the highest standard and, thankfully, our faith in the business has now been vindicated.”
Osso is open seven days a week, from 10am till 5pm for meals, coffees and cakes, while the daily menu has a range of snacks, breads, tapas and specials – all prepared on the premises.
The evening menu is more formal with a choice of à la carte and two and three-course dinners. Osso is open from Tuesday to Saturday night from 6.30pm.
Ally also offers the seven-course tasting menus which must be booked in advance. In addition, Osso holds special wine and dinner evenings, sponsored by various regional and national suppliers.
Osso is in good company in the Michelin Guide with next year’s top 10 including Marcus Wareing and Heston Blumenthal.