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Edinburgh Restaurant Report - Week One

Since I know a few people planning trips to Edinburgh, I promised to keep track of where I ate and how it was. I didn't eat out much this week, so it'll be brief, and everything was within walking distance of my flat.

Without much further ado, here's the first in a series of four restaurant reports.

Petit Paris
38-40 Grassmarket (map)
Old Town
0131 226 2442
Cost: Moderate. £25 for soup, main, dessert, and coffe.
Thoughts: This was a charming, very Parisian cafe. I had the beef bourginon, which was good, though the souce was a little stronger than it ought to have been. The leek and potato soup needed a little more seasoning, but the chocolate tarte was quite good. The restaurant itself felt a little crowded - all the tables were rather close together, but it still had a congenial atmosphere.

15 Jeffrey Street (map)
Old Town
Tel No. (0131) 557 8184
Cost: Expensive. ~ £40 for an appetizer, main, dessert, and coffee.
Thoughts: I ended up here when it turned out the restaurant I had intended to go to was no longer in business. It was late, I was hungry, and Iggs looked reasonable. The scallop and jamon appetizer and blackberry sponge cake dessert were both fantastic, but the filet of Scottish beef was just okay, and had too much gristle. Also, though the wine list was very extensive (focused on Spanish wines), they didn't have any dinner wines by the glass. The restaurant atmosphere was very nice, trying for refined, and the service was polite, if a bit slow. If you go, stick with the seafood.

City Cafe
19 Blair Street (map)
Old Town
0131 220 0125
Cost: Very Reasonable. £8 for a large brunch and two cups of coffee.
Thoughts: I had a great brunch here. The atmosphere is laid back and casual, definitely a place where you could sit and relax for a while without having anyone bother you to move along. Plus, when I asked for water they brough ice tap water with lemon (exactly what I wanted), rather than having to do the bottled still vs. mineral dance that you seem to have to do everywhere else. The tap water is great! I got the french toast with crispy bacon, and it was the perfect size for a Sunday brunch. City Cafe is definitely worth checking out.

North Bridge Brasserie
20 North Bridge (map)
Old Town
0131 622 2900
Cost: High Moderate. £30 for an appetizer, main, dessert, and coffee. Wine available by the glass or half bottle, as well as full bottles.
Thoughts: I loved North Bridge, and fully intend to go back. It was the best meal I've had on my trip, and the setting was spectacular - it's in the Scotsman Hotel, an old building with exquisite detailing and lovely views. I had the tomato salad, crispy sea bass, and chocolate fondue, and they were all perfectly done. The service was lovely, everyone was friendly, and I want to go back just to sit in the window seats in the bar. I also got a flyer advertising 2 course lunches for £12, which sounds like a great deal.


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I just read about a restaurant in Edinburgh in the latest issue of Bon Appetit magazine. Apparently they serve very tasty CHOCOLATE scones for afternoon tea at The Bollinger Bar at Palm Court, at the Balmoral Hotel (http://www.thebalmoralhotel.com/restaurant3.html). Have a scone and think of me!!

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