I have visited Johnston’s Bar-Bistro in Lint Riggs in all of its former guises – getting a new book at Inglis every Saturday, celebrating the millennium in Bar Comma and enjoying coffee in Full Stop.
However, I think the premises’ current incarnation might just be its best yet.
Johnston’s prides itself on using fresh local ingredients fresh-sourced by head chef Izzy Kerr – who trained at a Michelin star hotel in France.
The decor has been spruced up, and the toilets have been given a much-needed makeover with smart black tiling giving them a stylish feel.
The restaurant itself is modern and welcoming, with comfortable couches downstairs where you can sip a coffee and watch the world go by.
It was a Tuesday evening when Brian and I headed for our meal, and I was surprised to see so many people already there eating. However, once our food arrived, I soon realised why this place’s popularity has been revived.
There is a huge choice available on the main menu, and running alongside it is a midweek special menu of two courses for £9.95, which is excellent value for money, especially given the high quality of the food on offer.
There is also an extensive cocktail menu from which I sampled a mojito, which was fabulous with lots of ice and mint.
For a starter I chose king prawns, which were pan fried in wine, garlic and chilli and served with homemade bread.
This was, without exaggeration, the best starter I have ever had. The prawns were gorgeous and the warm crusty bread was the perfect accompaniment for the sauce.
Brian’s seared scallops came on a bed of the creamiest cauliflower and were absolutely delicious too.
For my main course I had a pulled pork burger, which had a tangy barbecue sauce and a lovely fluffy bun. It was served with crunchy coleslaw, huge homemade onion rings and rustic chips. It was a really generous portion, and it pained me to leave anything on my plate because it all tasted so good.
Brian went for the rib-eye steak which was cooked to perfection and also came with the fantastic homemade chips.
After my bumper main course, I was really full, but I struggled on to finish with white chocolate creme brulee for dessert. It was sumptuous and creamy and was served with a lovely homemade strawberry ice-cream. A perfect ending to our meal – and hopefully the start of a bright new future for this eatery.
Johnstons Bar Bistro, Lint Riggs, Falkirk FK1 1DG, www.johnstons-bar-bistro.co.uk