As some of you may or may not know, over the past couple of years I’ve spent a lot of time in Dumfries. Well, next week we are finally buying and moving into our own home in Glasgow and saying goodbye to Dumfries, but before we leave, I need to pay homage to one little restaurant that has brought us dish after wonderful dish, and I will miss it immensely!
Home Restaurant, located in a small space above a pub on Whitesands, is run by husband and wife dream team Louisa and Thomas, a couple with decades of experience and lots of heart. Every time we have visited we have been welcomed by Louisa and her team with enthusiasm and genuine warmth. We loved this place so much we were there on an almost weekly basis, to the point we even had a regular table, and the food is of a standard that could easily compete with any quality restaurant in Glasgow.
Thomas used to be head chef at another restaurant in Dumfries, but eventually left to go it alone. We loved his food back then, especially a dessert he created called ‘Textures of Pistachio’ which was honestly mind-blowing. We talked about it so much when we visited Home that when they created their latest menu, they added an adapted version of the dessert onto their menu!
As this is technically a review, I should probably tell you a bit more about the food, shouldn’t I? I could rave about numerous dishes we’ve had there over the past year or so, but I’ll try to narrow it down…
One of our favourite things about eating here is that before your starter, you are brought a fresh bread roll which is made in-house, along with smoked houmous, also made in-house. The houmous is incredible, Sam and I are always fighting to scrape the last remnants of it out of the bowl it’s that good. The bread is always best warm, so early bookings have the advantage, but even at our 8pm booking, the bread was still beautifully soft with a crisp crust, usually scattered with different herbs, salts or spices for added flavour.
As well as their extensive a la carte menu, you’ll also find a range of daily specials on offer based on the freshest produce available, from seafood to locally made cheese. There is almost always a scallop special, usually involving chorizo (which they source from Spain) and whatever vegetables are in season. Variations have included things like cauliflower, butternut squash and sweetcorn. Thomas always chooses vegetables that have a naturally sweet flavour which perfectly compliments the salty, savoury flavours of the chorizo. You would think the flavour of the scallops might get lost amongst all that deliciousness, but their delicate flavour breaks through, and they are always perfectly cooked.
On one particular visit, there was another special on the starters that caught my eye, especially given the way Louisa raved about. The dish was a slow cooked beef ravioli in a rich consommé and it was, as expected, incredible. The pasta soft, the meat inside falling apart, the consommé full of rich, hearty flavour, I think Sam was pretty jealous! I can also highly recommend their fresh mussels if they’re on offer, and the smoked ricotta gnocchi (above) is also delicious.
When it comes to main courses, you’re unlikely to find a dish that isn’t delicious, but the pork belly and the venison loin dishes from the a la carte are both favourites of mine. There is always a range of steaks available, which are cooked exactly to your liking, and their specials board is always full of beautiful, seasonal dishes, like pan fried cod with white wine sauce and a langoustine on the side just because! I’ve had beautiful spaghetti with fresh mussels in a rich tomato sauce, and last night they had fresh, locally caught lobsters served with homemade chips, samphire and paprika aioli. The options are endless and amazing. If you’re a fan of truffle, order a side of the truffle chips – they are incredibly moreish!
If you have room for dessert, order the chocolate and pistachio pot – it was literally inspired by our nagging about Textures of Pistachio! This little pot consists of pistachio sponge, a rich chocolate ganache, pistachio ice cream and pistachio brittle. I wish I had a photo of it, but I always dive straight into it because it’s so darn delicious. It is quite rich though, so we tend to split one between two of us.
If I could pick this little restaurant up and move it to Glasgow with us, I 100% would. What we have found time and time again at Home is a warm, friendly and sincere welcome, attentive, personal service and food that deserves to at least be in the Michelin guide. Thomas’ dishes are always plated beautifully, full of flavour and based on the best local produce. The restaurant is so popular with locals, you’ll have to book a week or so in advance, but it’s worth the wait. If you are ever in Dumfries and Galloway, make sure you look this place up…