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A culinary feast of recommended Restaurants in Edinburgh

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Welcome Welcome to the second edition of Critics’ Choice – a publication that is designed to draw your attention to some of the best loved restaurants in Edinburgh and the East. Every featured restaurant has been given a positive critique either by a food critic, or by a diner through one of the various online sites that allow you to post reviews. All the restaurants are within a 35 minute drive of Edinburgh city centre, or are located in the city itself. I hope this guide will make your lives a little bit easier when deciding on where to dine out. There will be another edition out next year, and if per chance you mislay this publication, you can see it online at


Al Dente Bar Frizzante The Blue Goose The Brig Cafe Cassis The Caley Sample Room Calistoga Castle Terrace The Champany Inn Channings Restaurant The Dining Room Dirty Martini Ecco Vino 56 North The Fountain Gusto Restaurant & Bar Hemma Holyrood 9A The Honours Indigo yard Iris Jamie’s Italian Joseph Pearce Kyloe Restaurant & Grill La Lanterna La Piazza Le Monde Magnum The Mercat Bar Montpeliers Nanyang The Paper Mill Red Squirrel Restaurant 100 Rick’s Salisbury Arms The Southern Tigerlily Timberyard 21212 WHISKI Bar & Restaurant WHISKI Rooms

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CRITICS' CHOICE 2012.indd 3

03/10/2012 11:12:14

style : italian

Al Dente 139 Easter Road, Edinburgh EH7 5QA Tel: 0131 652 1932


he success of Al Dente lies with the concept of a small and selective seasonal menu which uses top quality ingredients, freshly prepared by our native Italian chef. A cosy and intimate environment welcomes our diners who are charmed by our traditional Italian surroundings and our friendly and attentive service. We can cater for your special occasion, be it a wedding, a birthday or silver anniversary (up to 30 people) and we host a monthly theme night which explores the gastronomical delights, culture and geography of Italy’s beautiful regions. Al Dente - a true taste of Italy at your doorstep!

We had an excellent meal, all 3 courses were perfection and the service was excellent, along with the atmosphere which was delightful. Toptable


CRITICS' CHOICE 2012.indd 4

03/10/2012 13:54:41

style : italian

Bar Frizzante

95 Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH3 9AW Tel: 0131 227 7788

Went with my family to this wonderful restaurant... the food was fantastic, with a huge range of dishes. Urban Spoon


he restaurant sits in the heart of Edinburgh next to the Lycem and Usher Hall theatres. We are a family run business with over 45 years of experience. We serve traditional Italian as well as Neapolitan dishes and also have gluten free food options as well as beer. As you might expect, we have a fantastic pre theatre menu! Whether you’re just popping in for a coffee or a drink in our Cafe bar, a lunchtime break from shopping or enjoying an indulgent evening, you’re guaranteed a warm welcome and a meal to remember at Bar Frizzante.


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03/10/2012 11:16:23

style : scottish / spanish

Blue Goose 27 Lanark Road, Edinburgh EH14 1TG Tel: 0131 629 4143


he Blue Goose is a new and unique venue offering the perfect mix of elegance and relaxation from a light supper, family get together, to corporate lunch/dinner. We offer refreshing drinks, a selection of wines from our extensive and diverse wine list, coffee or a refreshing cup of tea served in delicate bone china cups. After a long walk along the banks of the stunning Water of Leith why not pop in and enjoy a nice cool drink and there’s water for your dog too. Our traditional log burning fires and spendid Chesterfields help create the perfect ambience in which to relax and unwind. Our menus offer inventive twists on Scottish cuisine mixing in flavours from Spain including a wide selection of fresh authentic home made tapas. Our large bar and welcoming staff have something to cater for every taste, and we have a superb beer garden.

Our meal was fabulous, there were four of us and there was not one complaint, the food was perfection ! TripAdvisor


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03/10/2012 13:55:13

style : scottish

The Brig Cramond Bridge, Queensferry Road, Edinburgh EH4 6DY Tel: 0131 3394350


he restaurant was fully refurbished, rebranded and relaunched as The Brig in June 2012, and is now independently owned and family run. The new menu is an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary gastro style food which is all freshly prepared on the premises. We also host Brigimals - an animal themed fully interactive children’s playroom with all the latest technology to keep kids occupied while mums and dads dine in our separate family restaurant.

In a nutshell, 1. excellent food, 2. great service, 3. decor contemporary, 4. excellent family area, 5. good value generally for money. TripAdvisor


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03/10/2012 11:18:10

style : french

Cafe Cassis Salisbury Hotel, Sailsbury Road, Edinburgh EH16 5AA Tel: 0131 667 8991

Great food with beautiful surroundings - a little gem. TripAdvisor


afe Cassis is an independent family run bistro with garden based within the basement of the Salisbury Hotel, Salisbury Road. Alison & Denis welcome you to Café Cassis where you can enjoy fantastic food in friendly & relaxing surroundings. The menu at Cafe Cassis is varied with a French influence made from the best locally sourced ingredients, guaranteed to tempt and stimulate your taste buds. Join us for lunch with our market lunch menu or in the evening we have our alacarte menu and specials board, or maybe just a coffee in our relaxed seating area or outside in the garden.


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03/10/2012 11:21:40

style : scottish

The Caley Sample Room 42 – 58 Angle Park Terrace, Edinburgh EH11 2JR Tel: 0131 337 7204

Edinburgh has a shortage of good gastropubs and The Caley Sample Room is probably the best. Gaby Soutar, The Scotsman


e are very big into our craft beer. Craft beer is basically a modern interpretation of cask ale that can come in cask, keg or bottle. This beer is full of flavour and is made using original brewing techniques. We have 8 cask lines - which focus on independent micro/ breweries from around the UK. The likes of Magic Rock - Fyne Ales - Tempest - Black Isle - Summer Wine - Bristol Beer factory. In terms of food we have our main A la carte menu which focuses on pub classics. This is supplemented by our seasonal specials board. These dishes are more restaurant style dishes and are modern British gastropub inspired. CRITICS’ CHOICE • 9

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03/10/2012 13:42:28

style : californian

Calistoga 70/72 Rose Street North Lane, Edinburgh EH2 3DX Tel: 0131 225 1233

Food was outstanding, wine selection extensive. Going to be returning!! TripAdvisor


e aim to bring a little Californian sunshine to Edinburgh. We offer, amongst other things – great food. A choice of great tasting flavours inspired by California, all freshly prepared by our chefs. We make all our own dishes including bread and ice cream. Our chefs also have great experience and have worked at 2 AA Rosette standard and above. Many American-style restaurants concentrate on burgers and steaks, but our mix-and-match grill menu offers sirloin on the bone, chicken breast and tuna As well as fabulous food we also offer great wine - an array of over 100 Californian wines all at just £5 above shop prices. Not only do we have wines you might not be able to find elsewhere, they are also better priced!

Seared Tuna with Wasabi Mash & Sweet Chilli Sauce


CRITICS' CHOICE 2012.indd 10

03/10/2012 13:55:55

style : fine dining

Castle Terrace

33-35 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2EL Tel: 0131 229 1222


astle Terrace Restaurant is the second restaurant from the team behind The Kitchin. It is led by Chef Patron Dominic Jack who gained a Michelin Star for the restaurant in 2011. The restaurant’s philosophy - From Nature to Plate matches that of its sister restaurant The Kitchin. The well-balanced and exciting menus reflect Dominic’s many years of training in some of Europe’s top Michelin star kitchens - such as l’Arpège, restaurant Les Elysées and Taillevent in Paris. Castle Terrace is a true representation of the finest and freshest seasonal Scottish ingredients and offers elegant and wonderfully balanced dishes, all prepared with a delicate flair and passion.

...pork extravaganza with two (!) pieces of fillet mignon, cromesquis (posh dumplings) of slow-cooked trotter and a couple of generous cubes of pork belly. This came with gnocchi, and was set off by an astonishing smoked aubergine purée and a deep, porky jus. It was as good a plate of pork as I’ve ever eaten... The Guardian


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03/10/2012 13:56:11

style : scottish

The Champany Inn The Champany Inn, Linlithgow EH49 7LU Tel: 01506 834 532


t is a restaurant that, while dedicated to beef, has the presence of mind to offer a wide choice of alternative and supporting dishes, accompanied by a most eclectic selection of world-class wines. It is, in short, an experience. Your eye will surely be taken to the rock pond that forms an integral part of the bars décor. This is a keep for glorious Loch Gruinart oysters and lobsters fresh from the Western Isles that will be fished out and prepared for diners. As you walk from the bar to the restaurant you will pass a chilled counter filled with the finest selection of beef that you will ever encounter. It is from these that the chefs will select your choice of Sirloin, Rib Eye, Porterhouse, Prime Rib or Chateaubriand and cut it for cooking.

The rib eye is to die for. Dipped for only seconds in their signature marinade and seared on specialist grills it’s almost impossible to describe just how good this tastes. TripAdvisor


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03/10/2012 13:57:10

style : scottish

Channings Restaurant 12 – 16 South Learmonth Gardens, Edinburgh EH4 1EZ Tel: 0131 315 2226

The staff were incredibly friendly and welcoming and the food was excellent. I would definitely return! Toptable


hannings restaurant in Edinburgh is a delightful neighbourhood bistro with a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and is proud to have been awarded an AA Rosette. Come along and sample our menu of seasonal Scottish favourites from traditional to modern, which can be enjoyed in the tranquil setting of our restaurant, or in the summer months our conservatory or Sun Terrace. Channings restaurant will be delighted to cater for any special dietary requirements and also pride ourselves of being a destination restaurant for families, with special children’s dishes designed to cater for our younger diners. CRITICS’ CHOICE • 13

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03/10/2012 13:57:29

style : scottish

The Dining Room

at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society 28 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JX Tel: 0131 220 2044

Everything was faultless, from the reservation process, the friendly welcome, the food and, of course, the whisky. TripAdvisor


ine within the beautiful and intimate setting of Georgian townhouse 28 Queen Street and enjoy modern, accomplished food with mouth-watering finesse and personable, unfussy service. The Dining Room is uniquely placed within the Members’ Rooms of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (home to the worldwidest selection of single cask, single malt whiskies). You don’t need to be a member of the Society to use The Dining Room, or indeed like whisky, the wine menu is equally excellent. Lunch and Menu de Jour is served along with A la Carte menu. We are open Mon-Sat, visit or website or call us for more details and opening hours.


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03/10/2012 11:27:34

style : european

Dirty Martini

16 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2PF Tel: 0131 270 3900

The decor, ambience, food, staff and cocktails are excellent. This place is buzzing, we had a fab evening and a very enjoyable meal. TripAdvisor


hree words to describe our Dirty Martini – plush, seductive and atmospheric. The glimmering starlight, embellished wall mirrors and opulent chandeliers create the perfect environment for a more sophisticated dinner and drinks experience. Dirty Martini is one of Edinburgh’s most intimate live music venues and has hosted a wide array of music acts from local contemporary bands to world class jazz music. We are situated in a perfect location for sightseeing, shops, bars and restaurants. Dirty Martini is also available for private and corporate events.


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03/10/2012 11:27:45

style : italian

Ecco Vino

19 Cockburn Street Edinburgh EH1 1BP Tel: 0131 225 1441


xperience the relaxed and friendly side of Edinburgh’s bustling city centre at Ecco Vino. With floor to ceiling wines (many available by the glass!) and an intimate restaurant setting, it’s the perfect place for relaxing after work, enjoying lazy weekends or watching the world go by. We pride ourselves on being one of Edinburgh’s most popular wine bars and restaurants with our Italianinspired menu, which although not large, does feature three daily specials: a soup of the day, a risotto of the day, and a baked dish of the day. We also offer a great antipasti board with the very best of Italian products such as tasty Chorizo, Serrano ham and other Italian delicacies. Our extensive wine list offers 50 different wines and we are happy to advise our customers when it comes to making the best selection for their palate.

It’s small, has a great view of Cockburn Street for people watching, fabulous wine list, and lovely food, and lastly, the service is fab. What more could you possibly ask for? TripAdvisor


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05/10/2012 16:00:32

style : scottish

56 North 2-8 West Crosscauseway, Edinburgh, EH8 9JP Tel: 0131 662 8860

The food was excellent, but the highlight was the choice of drinks and cocktails. TripAdvisor


6 North prides itself on being a destination bar with an amazing drink collection. Our drinks menus are seasonal and have been carefully crafted by our team with a huge variety of spirits, cocktails, wines and beers to reflect the season and mood. Our cocktail list represents a fusion of classic cocktails and modern twists. While our spirits stocking is an ever changing and evolving process we pride ourselves on being at the cutting edge with products available worldwide. Closer to home, Scotland has some amazing local products like Innis & Gunn. We also have one of the largest collections of Scottish gins available. Robert Brown, our head chef, and his team, pride themselves on homemade food. Our menu changes regularly with seasonal updates. CRITICS’ CHOICE • 17

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03/10/2012 11:29:36

style : gastro

The Fountain

131 Dundee Street, Edinburgh EH11 1AX Tel: 0131 229 1899

Great gastro pub style menu; asparagus salad with poached egg, smoked haddock fishcakes, fantastic Sunday roast… and lots more. TripAdvisor


nce a legendary spit and sawdust boozer in Edinburgh’s brewing heartland; The Fountain has been given a new lease of life. The dingy destination of old has been replaced by a bright, family friendly spot serving feelgood food and premium drinks all day, every day. The bar is well-stocked with craft beer from our favourite independent brewers, guest ales and wines by the carafe, and our kitchen serves a refreshingly honest mix of home-cooked rustic dishes. It’s the perfect place to bring your kids and dogs are most welcome too. At the fountain, we pride ourselves on serving fresh, seasonal, locally sourced food.


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03/10/2012 13:58:50

style : italian


135 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4JS Tel: 0131 225 2555

The smoked haddock risotto and the pan fried seabream were both delicious.


nspired by the elegant charm of a classic Italian ristorante with a contemporary buzz and a modern, stylish interior, GUSTO brings the true “taste and enjoyment” of Italy to our guests. We pride ourselves on the basic philosophy of provenance. To us this means sourcing responsibly, seeking out suppliers who use traditional, sustainable and natural methods of husbandry to provide the best and freshest produce available. The menu focuses on freshly prepared classic and contemporary Italian dishes featuring an excellent range of pizza, pasta, seafood and meats. Open from early till late, GUSTO is synonymous with excellent, friendly service and not since Harry mixed that first Bellini in Venice has the cocktail been more at home in an Italian restaurant. The cocktail list is endless, stylish and fun. CRITICS’ CHOICE • 19

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03/10/2012 11:31:54

style : european


The Tun Building, 75 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AE Tel: 0131 629 3327

The food and drink is fabulous, and the staff made us feel like family. TripAdvisor


emma means at home in Swedish. It must in some ways be related to the Scottish word for home “hame” and we are obviously like to flirt with the Scots. During the daytime it is mostly like a cafe serving proper lunch and at night time it turns into a nice bar which is quite busy Friday and Saturdays. Hemma is a chilled out Café/Bar closely located to the beautiful Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park. So a perfect stop after your run or the Sunday walk. We are planning lots of events around the bar that will involve Arthur’s Seat. Hemma has two floors and the top floor is available for bookings of parties, leaving dos, weddings, meetings etc. Just contact us on hemma@bodabar. com to make a booking!


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03/10/2012 11:32:50

style : scottish

Holyrood 9A 9a Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AE Tel: 0131 556 5044


n Edinburgh’s old town, just off the Royal Mile, you’ll find the The Holyrood 9A. A place to bring friends and discover a local bar restaurant to call your own in the heart of the city. The gleaming pumps offer 20 beer and ale varieties from Scotland and around the world. There are wines and spirits in any which way and a classic cocktail list for your well deserved post-work tipple. The Holyrood’s all day menu includes mouth-watering ‘two-handers’ - an eclectic array of delicious gourmet burgers, with plenty more large and small dishes including options for our vegetarian pals. Ask us about reserving a bar corner or a whole room for your own event. Stay all afternoon or night and spoil yourself. As Alexander Pope said, ‘a little beer is a dangerous thing...’

Great burgers and brilliant beers on offer. You will not be disappointed. Great service to boot. Check it out! Yelp


CRITICS' CHOICE 2012.indd 21

03/10/2012 11:34:33

style : fine dining

The Honours 58a North Castle Street, Edinburgh EH2 3LU Tel: 0131 220 2513


aving launched the Michelin-starred Restaurant Martin Wishart in 1999, Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond in Cameron House Hotel in 2008 and his exclusive Cook School in 2007, Martin opened The Honours to great acclaim in 2011. Martin aims to further strengthen Scotland’s reputation for good food and to inspire others with his unequivocal enthusiasm for the very best traditional and modern French cuisine. Developed by Head Chef Paul Tamburrini and Martin Wishart himself, The Honours menu combines seasonal, Scottish flavours in brasserieinfluenced dishes. Martin and Paul spent a great deal of time researching ideas for just the right the balance of ambience, design and style for The Honours - drawing on inspiration from many successful restaurants around the world.

Fantastic restaurant, definitely on my ‘top 10 of the best’ oysters, scallops and the crab cappuccino are outstanding. TripAdvisor


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03/10/2012 14:00:06

style : contemporary

Indigo Yard 7 Charlotte Lane, Edinburgh EH6 4PA Tel: 0131 220 5603


hidden gem in Edinburgh’s West End, Indigo Yard is one of the city’s best kept secrets. Over the course of 15 years we’ve been perfecting a winning blend of comfortable surroundings, teamed with an enviable selection of craft beers and wines with great entertainment thrown in for good measure. Deliciously informal dining, it’s the perfect place to relax with friends and enjoy great food and drink.

Maybe it’s the groovy nature of the place but Indigo Yard is blessed with much better than normal staff, which is fundamental to the atmosphere.


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03/10/2012 11:35:56

style : european


47A Thistle Street, New Town Edinburgh EH2 1DY Tel: 0131 220 2111


ris offers an intimate, cosmopolitan atmosphere which compliments our modern European menu. Our chic little bistro with its soft panelling and carpeting in a muted palette of greens and browns, designer wallpaper and rough stone walls offers a cosmopolitan vibe, while our menu offers modern European food, which is guaranteed to impress. Iris is ideal for stylish working lunches, and informal evening meals, and we also have an extensive wine list with around 20 bottles for under £20. From tangy salads to fish and game, our menu makes the most of the seasons featuring the likes of swordfish, guinea fowl, and duck... while our sweets are very popular too.

The food, the atmosphere and the service were first class. We will definitely be back! Toptable


CRITICS' CHOICE 2012.indd 24

03/10/2012 14:00:52

style : italian

Jamie’s Italian

The main courses were fantastic and we soon polished off our plates. TripAdvisor

The Assembly Rooms , 54 George Street Edinburgh EH2 2LR Tel: 0131 202 5452


amie’s Italian opened in time for the 2012 Edinburgh Festival and has already caused a bit of a stir. The 196-cover restaurant called Jamie’s Italian is located in the old Assembly Rooms’ ballroom on George Street and has enough of a WOW factor to knock the celebrity chef’s Glasgow eatery into a cocked hat. The largest part of the restaurant, The Lower Supper, has at its heart an ‘antipasti island’, a staple ingredient of Jamie Oliver’s restaurants. The restaurant offers up traditional Italian dishes at affordable prices and the restaurant is aiming firmly at the mid-market. It is intended to primarily be a “walk in” restaurant but you can book in advance if you prefer. CRITICS’ CHOICE • 25

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03/10/2012 14:01:04

style : european

Joseph Pearce

23 Elm Row, Edinburgh EH7 4AA Tel: 0131 556 41 40 oseph Pearce’s is a landmark in Edinburgh and it has been a bar for 110 years. We are so pleased to get the chance to run it and give it our Scandinavian touch. During the daytime it is mostly like a cafe serving proper lunch and at night time it turns into a nice bar. In the summer we have got a large outside space so you can relax in the sun and watch the life on Leith Walk passing by. We offer a warm welcome to all our customers from families with children, to fun-loving patrons who enjoy a game of scrabble at the bar. We have a Scandinavian inspired menu which includes gravadlax on crispbread with dill, meatballs and smoked haddock, all washed down with a great draught and bottled drinks selection.

A really nice line in upscale pub grub, with their menu covering your needs from snacking to full meals with equal elegance. Urban Spoon



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03/10/2012 11:39:01

style : scottish


Restaurant & Grill

What can I say the food in here is superb and really good value for money! Toptable

1-3 Rutland Street, Edinburgh EH1 2AE Tel: 0131 229 3402


yloe Restaurant & Grill, formerly Restaurant at The Rutland, opened in October 2011 as Edinburgh’s first gourmet steak restaurant. The name Kyloe, an old Scots word for Highland cattle, was chosen as it represents the strength and versatility of Scottish beef produce. Kyloe specialises in providing a gourmet steak experience alongside its popular a la carte menu. The impressive grill menu, designed by The Rutland’s award-winning head chef David Haetzman, showcases at least eight different cuts of Aberdeen Angus Steak. Award-winning Head chef David Haetzman personally selects the best local suppliers. His style of cooking is light and modern and makes the most of seasonally available, fresh Scottish produce. CRITICS’ CHOICE • 27

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03/10/2012 11:39:16

style : italian

La Lanterna 83 Hanover Street, Edinburgh EH2 1EE Tel: 0131 226 3090


oni’s La Lanterna Italian Restaurant has been the fabric of Edinburgh’s city centre Hanover Street for thirty years, offering genuine Italian home cooking in the heart of Edinburgh. As well as Toni’s renowned Italian hospitality, La Lanterna may well be described as a retro, authentic, cosy, homely and non-pretentious tavern with a wonderful atmosphere. The menu offers time honoured favourites such as risotto, lasagne and tiramisu; not to mention a full list of Italian wines and bottled beers. Open from Tuesday to Saturday, noon until 10 pm La Lanterna is an ideal venue for a family meal, cosy twosome, business entertainment or party celebration. No wonder Toni’s customers just keep coming back for more… and more! We received the 2012 TripAdvisor award, and TripAdvisor 2011 Winner Certificate of Excellence.

The Chicken Lanterna was divine with a thick, rich sauce covering tender, juicy chicken. TripAdvisor


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03/10/2012 11:43:18

style : italian

La Piazza 97-99 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh EH2 4SD Tel: 0131 221 1150


e believe in offering traditional Italian cuisine, in a modern, relaxed atmosphere. Our broad menu offers something irresistible for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two or organising a party for your friends, taking business colleagues out or planning a special celebration, our front of house team will ensure that you have a memorable evening with excellent, friendly and attentive service. Most of our dishes are available as dairy free and gluten free all you have to do is ask your waiter. We offer a full a la carte menu, business lunches and have an ever changing specials board.

Mama Mia! It is wonderful here! The food is served in good time but with the best smiling servers around. The menu is full of ideas and the atmosphere has different feelings depending where you sit. Lovely! TripAdvisor


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03/10/2012 11:43:36

style : european

Le Monde

16 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2PF Tel: 0131 270 3900


erfectly located in the heart of the new town surrounded by elegant Georgian buildings, Le Monde can be found nestled on George Street, one of the city’s most popular areas for restaurants, bars and shopping. We’re ideally placed for visiting the top tourist attractions such as Edinburgh Castle, Sir Walter Scott Monument and the National Galleries of Scotland. The Sky Bar serves locally sourced contemporary British cuisine with an extensive choice of wine, beer and cocktails. The vibe is cool and sophisticated and provides the ideal backdrop for enjoying breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner. Alternatively, join us for a glass of wine or ask our mixologist to make you a one of our specialist cocktails. If we don’t list your favourite cocktail, please let our bartender know. They will be delighted to showcase their skills and knowledge.

The bar was fabulous, the breakfast was truly amazing... everything was perfect. TripAdvisor


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03/10/2012 12:39:30

style : scottish

Magnum 1 Albany Street, Edinburgh EH1 3PY Tel: 0131 557 4366


ust a short walk from the city centre, The Magnum is located in Edinburgh’s New Town area close to the Playhouse Theatre. The Magnum is perfect for any occasion be it a be it a pre-theatre meal, leisurely dining experience or an after show drink. At the Magnum we combine Scotland’s best local ingredients with traditional flavours. We serve classic Scottish dishes alongside fresh seasonal game and seafood and pride ourselves on our friendly service which is why we have a regular loyal clientele.

I’m very fond of the Magnum, a lovely pub with a nice atmosphere and friendly management. The food is tasty and the staff are accommodating and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it for a cosy lunch or dinner. The List


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03/10/2012 14:07:07

style : gastro

The Mercat 28 West Maitland Street, Edinburgh, EH12 5DX Tel: 0131 225 8716

Edinburgh’s hidden secret, indeed! Excellent service, never seen before anywhere else. Toptable


xperience a true taste of Scottish hospitality at The Mercat Bar & Restaurant, an award-winning gastro pub run by Graham Blaikie, our welcoming and charismatic Scottish landlord. Our central location, top quality food and service, relaxed and friendly ambience make The Mercat an unmissable Edinburgh experience. Recently refurbished The Mercat provides superb, locally sourced fresh food for breakfast, lunch and dinner (daily). There’s quality drinks to match, with fine wines to bespoke Scottish beers (only available in a handful of Edinburgh’s pubs). And you must try Scotland’s famous drink at The Mercat’s new whisky bar. We’ve got an impressive selection with popular through to rare whiskies available by the glass. 32 • CRITICS’ CHOICE

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03/10/2012 11:46:58

style : contemporary

Montpeliers 159 - 161 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh EH10 4DG Tel: 0131 229 3115

It’s a well-loved place for people who want to combine food with the wine bar experience. TripAdvisor


ou’re guaranteed a warm welcome as you enter Montpeliers Bar and Brasserie. We have occupied this bustling corner of Bruntsfield Place for over a decade now and while countless young pretenders have come and gone, we’ve quietly been perfecting our winning formula of comfortable, stylish surroundings, classic drinks and good quality dining. Over the years we’ve learned a fair few things about the ideal local; it should be warm, laid back and good looking – good job we have this in abundance then.


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03/10/2012 14:08:43

style : malaysian

Nanyang Unit 1, 3-5 Lister Square, South Pavilion, Quartermile, Edinburgh EH3 9GL Tel: 0131 629 1797


n contrast to more traditional Malaysian restaurants we have a modern interior which is stylish and upmarket. We focus on Malaysian cuisine and we also serve a range of Asian fusion style dishes reflecting the taste of South East Asia using a variety of Malaysian spices, sauces and traditional recipes to create the special flavour of Nanyang. We offer traditional street food and beverages such as Nasi Goreng Ayam, Nasi Lemak, Teh Tarik and much more. We also have a special Kids Menu and offer food for carry out. Nanyang has a private function room for events for up to 50 people and we also have an outside catering service too.

Am I the only one who dreams about discovering a secret room in my flat? That’s how it felt to find new Malaysian eatery, Nanyang. The Scotsman


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03/10/2012 11:48:14

style : scottish

The Paper Mill 2-4 Westmill Road, Edinburgh, Lasswade, EH18 1LX Tel: 0131 663 1412


verlooking the beautiful River Esk in the tranquil conservation village of Lasswade, The Paper Mill is a new all-day bar and restaurant situated in an historic former paper mill located only 20 minutes from Edinburgh. The Paper Mill is a striking, yet informal destination, sympathetic to the village’s historical surroundings with a spacious outdoor terrace that leads down to the riverbank. It is somewhere that locals and visitors alike can pop in throughout the day to enjoy a fresh coffee and some home baked cakes, Sunday brunch with the papers, or a leisurely carafe of wine out on the terrace. The head chef works with the seasons to create inventive, exciting and above all delicious dishes that don’t cost the earth.

The Paper Mill is pretty impressive. It seems like a bunch of savvy business people have designed a restaurant, and ticked all the appropriate boxes, including the one marked Get a Good Chef In. Gaby Soutar, The Scotsman


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03/10/2012 11:48:25

style : scottish

Red Squirrel 21 Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH1 2DJ Tel: 0131 229 9933

The choice is fabulous and the menu whilst small is great. We both had burgers and they were the best we have had for many a year. TripAdvisor


reat beers and a bite to eat! Here at Red Squirrel we welcome friends, cohorts and fellow bon vivants. Next time you’re in our neck of the woods pop in and try over 20 craft beers and ales on draft, Squirrel Pub Classics, ever-changing set menu and delicious locally-sourced share plates. There’s even a fancy wine and cocktail list. Pull up a pew and join the banter.


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03/10/2012 11:49:40

style : scottish

Restaurant 100

Royal Over-Seas League, 100 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 3AB Tel: 0131 225 1501

Exquisite food with excellent service. View spectacular across to the Castle. Customer service top class. 5pm


estaurant 100 is open to both the club members and the public (pre-booking necessary) seven days a week with a seasonal à la carte menu featuring an array of high-quality local produce. While enjoying contemporary Scottish cuisine, accompanied by one of the wines from our fine world-wide selection, you can admire magnificent views over the Edinburgh Castle and stunning Old Town that lie before you in panoramic splendour. Our Observation Bar is also popular. There you can sit back, sip a cocktail, or one of our fine selected wines, enjoy soughtafter views and a range of home-made sandwiches, soups, meals and light snacks. CRITICS’ CHOICE • 37

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03/10/2012 14:09:45

style : contemporary


55A Frederick St, Edinburgh EH2 1HL Tel: 0131 622 7800


favourite destination for the chic and stylish, Rick’s is Edinburgh’s original cocktail bar and was one of Scotland’s first boutique hotels. Our Scottish themed menu is in tune with the seasons, using the very best produce sourced as locally as possible. We’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner which can be enjoyed in our boutique styled restaurant, or equally so in our outdoor terrace area where you can chase the day away enjoying our extensive cocktail list that wouldn’t look out of place in Manhattan.

Very trendy bar and restaurant... great service, well patterned menu, lovely selection of wines, cocktails etc. lovely ambience, well set table with candle.. perfect atmosphere for a romantic evening. TripAdvisor


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03/10/2012 12:41:01

style : gastro

Salisbury Arms

58 Dalkeith Rd, Edinburgh EH16 5AD Tel: 0131 667 4518


he Salisbury Arms is a beautifully restored bar and restaurant in Edinburgh’s southside, sitting in it’s own grounds directly opposite the Commonwealth Pool. Primarily a student haunt for the past 15 years, the focus now is firmly on the food with the bar having picked up runner-up position in Shortlist magazine’s UK gastropub of the year 2012 after only opening a year ago. The extensive menu is complimented by an ever rotating trio of cask ales and an interesting international wine list. Lazy leather couches, open fires and an up market beer garden make this a bar for all seasons

A good selection of beers and an extensive menu, with daily specials, made a choice quite difficult - but we both enjoyed beautiful meals in a cheerful ambience. TripAdvisor


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03/10/2012 12:33:49

style : scottish

The Southern

22-26 South Clerk Street, Newington, Edinburgh, EH8 9PR Tel: 0131 662 8926

The burgers are amazing! Loads of different beers on tap as well, with the staff more than willing to offer advice. TripAdvisor


hey do say everything improves with age. On Edinburgh’s south side, just behind the Meadows on South Clerk Street is The Southern. With a respectful nod to all previous incarnations of this often-loved pub, we’ve taken all the best bits of our bars that our friends and regulars love and made them even better. A passionately sourced, rotating range of eclectic craft beers and ales on twenty pumps, many of which you’ll never find elsewhere. New creations on the lovingly handmade gourmet burgers menu. Welcome back, call it your own. We’re all becoming wiser as we get older.


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03/10/2012 12:44:00

style : contemporary

Tigerlily 125 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4JN Tel: 0141 225 5005


s one of Scotland’s leading boutique hotels, Tigerlily offers the same style and sophistication in its bar and restaurant. Recently revamped, the showgirl of George Street is looking great. Renowned for our tantalising cocktails, our award-winning mixologists have their finger firmly on the pulse when it comes to innovative recipes, and our cocktail masterclasses are not to be missed! What is more, our seasonal menus are sure to impress as we source our produce from as locally as possible.

This restaurant has everything you need-style, ambiance, variety and excellent food and service. TripAdvisor


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Photos by Abi Radford

style : scottish

Timberyard 10 Lady Lawson St, Edinburgh EH3 9DS Tel: 0131 221 1222


e are delighted to be a restaurant that embraces sustainability and the environment. Timberyard is located in an unspoilt warehouse which dates back to the 19th century. An amazing restaurant space with original features of wooden beamed ceiling and cast iron columns. Timberyard also offers private dining and a sheltered south facing yard for outside seating. Ingredients are carefully sourced from small, local, artisan growers, breeders, producers and foragers. An interesting selection of cocktails and great local beers by Black Isle, Williams Brothers and The Kernal, plus an eclectic wine list starring many British producers. Now developing a smokery, butchery and raised beds... the freshest of produce from our own patch in the heart of the city.

It’s just so easy to like and admire Timberyard, a bold, forward-thinking concept delivered with heart and soul. Joanna Blythman, Sunday Herald


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05/10/2012 16:07:02

style : contemporary


3 Royal Terrace , Calton Hill, Edinburgh EH7 5AB Tel: 0845 22 21212


ichelin-starred chef Paul Kitching opened 21212, in 2009, and only eight months later he received a Michelin star. The 38-seater restaurant with an open kitchen is located in a listed Georgian townhouse which has been transformed into a 21st century environmentally friendly restaurant. A glance at the carefully constructed menu shows that Paul is staying true to his modern French style of cookery, which he championed at his former restaurant Juniper, but with a more grown up approach to his menu combinations. As well as some special treats for diners, the five course gourmet menu consists of a choice of two dishes on the starter, main course and dessert courses, hence the restaurant’s name. The restaurant is open Tuesday - Saturday.

Edinburgh has a growing band of Michelin star restaurants and Paul Kitching’s 21212 is a worthy member. The food is fabulous and the service excellent. TripAdvisor


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03/10/2012 14:12:19

style : scottish


Bar & Restaurant 119 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SG Tel: 0131 556 3095


HISKI is a stunning multi-award winning whisky bar and restaurant on the Royal Mile, full of character and with a brilliant atmosphere. Whiski has a HUGE collection of malt whiskies and a great selection of cocktails, wine and local beers. Step inside and you will enter a truly unique environment, full of warmth and character - a true retreat from the bustle outside. Delicious fresh food served daily, using the very best of Scottish produce. We offer Scottish seafood, Scottish beef, lamb, venison, and our famous haggis all featuring on the menu. We also offer live Scottish Music seven nights a week.

The food was excellent value for money, served in comfortable and relaxed environment. The service was also excellent, attentive and friendly… this is a place not to be missed! TripAdvisor


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03/10/2012 14:13:08

style : scottish


4 - 7 North Bank Street, Edinburgh EH1 2LP Tel: 0131 225 7224


HISKI Rooms opened in June 2011 and has quickly established a reputation as being one of the best restaurants in Edinburgh and one of the best Whisky Bars in the world. It is the only Ardbeg Embassy Whisky Bar in the UK, and achieved a Silver Award at The DRAM Awards 2012. WHISKI Rooms specialise in all things Scottish with a premium wine, cocktails, craft beer and drinks offering including an amazing range of whisky both in the adjoining shop and bar. With our daily whisky tastings, which offer you bespoke tastings with our Whisky specialists, and with regular live music in the evenings, the WHISKI Rooms offers a great Scottish experience to all.

The menu has a great selection of starters, mains and tasty desserts, with a wide selection of fresh fish mains. The food is full of flavour and well presented. Toptable


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Some Other Restaurants Worth Checking Out... Amarone 13 St Andrew Square Edinburgh EH2 2AF Tel: 0131 523 11 71

Mithas 7 Dock Place Edinburgh EH6 6LU Tel: 0131 554 0008

The Kitchin 78 Commercial Quay Leith EH6 6LX Tel: 0131 555 1755

Number One The Balmoral Hotel 1 Princes Street Edinburgh EH2 2EQ Tel: 0131 557 6727

Martin Wishart 54 The Shore Edinburgh EH6 6RA Tel: 0131 553 3557

Passorn 23-23a Brougham Place Edinburgh EH3 9JU Tel: 0131 229 1537

The Pompadour by Galvin Caledonian Waldorf Astoria, Princes Street Edinburgh EH1 2AB Tel: 0131 222 8888 Port of Siam 3 Pier Place Newhaven EH6 4LP Tel: 0131 467 8628 Wedgwood The Restaurants 267 Canongate, Royal Mile Edinburgh EH8 8BQ Tel: 0131 558 8737

Critics’ Choice Upper Floor / Finnieston House / 1 The Stables Yard / 1103 Argyle Street / Glasgow / G3 8ND t. 0141 221 6965 e. w. Publisher: Susan Young / Production: Jenny Kelly Advertising: Martin Cassidy, Lynn Kelly and Emma McDonald Editorial: Susan Young / Administration: Cheryl Cooke Published by Media World Ltd The publishers, authors and printers cannot accept liability for errors or omissions. Any transparencies or artwork will be accepted at owner’s risk. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the copyright holder and publisher, application for which should be made to the publisher. Articles published in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publishers. © Media World Limited 2012.


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Critics' Choice 2012  
Critics' Choice 2012  

A culinary feast of recommended restaurants in Edinburgh.