The Edinburgh Restaurant Festival, a ten day celebration of great places to eat and drink, is now in full swing until 16th October; over thirty bars and bistros, cafes and restaurants are taking part to promote the flourishing foodie atmosphere around the Capital.
There are more restaurants per head of population than any other city in the UK, so it’s important to showcase the range of cuisine with a programme of free and ticketed events, special offers and tasting menus.
From a lively night out with friends to a romantic table a deux, we have a passion for eating out as well as sourcing seasonal, local food at the Grassmarket on Saturday and Stockbridge on Sunday.
Festival events include a Mexican street barbecue hosted by Taco Mazama and a "Meet the Suppliers" dinner at the Pompadour by Galvin at the Waldorf Astoria: on Thursday 13 October, Executive Chef Fraser Allen will prepare a four course dinner with paired wines to highlight Katy Rodger's Artisan Dairy, Fish Brothers, Cullisse Highland Rapeseed Oil and The Little Herb Farm, with representatives to describe their produce.
The Moveable Feast is a brilliant idea – so much so that it sold out very quickly. A small group of lucky guests will embark on a magical mystery tour to enjoy fizz and canapés, starter, main course, dessert, coffee and petit fours, dining around five restaurants.
At the Forth Floor, Harvey Nichols, book a seat for The Sensory Dinner inspired by the legend of Nejma fragrance: seven courses and seven gin cocktails, created by the mixologists at Daffy’s Gin.
As a social media challenge, a table and chairs will unexpectedly appear on a city street for an impromptu ‘Let’s Do Lunch’ each weekday morning during the Festival. If you happen to be there, post a photo of yourself sitting at the table and you may win a free lunch for two.
The message of the 2016 Festival is ‘Try Something New’ and so very timely to try out a few cool and classy places recently opened around town.
Veeno is a unique, chic, speciality Italian wine café which celebrates the art of the Aperitivo. Call in at lunchtime, after work or during the evening with friends to enjoy a glass of Prosecco or bottle of excellent wine (imported from the family vineyard in Sicily) with sharing platters of spuntini - delicious appetisers such as Bruschette with pomodoro, gorgonzola or yellowfin tuna, a selection of cheese and cured meat, olives and home-baked focaccia. These are not little canapés, this is an Italian feast!.
On fashionable George Street, the stylishly smart Cadiz offers a taste of Spain, serving superb seafood such as a gin-cured salmon with grapefruit and avocado puree, lobster, scallops, complemented by cocktails, wines and ice cold Cava.
Fancy a tender, marinated Argentinian steak but can’t afford the flight? Instead visit Cau on Castle Street to taste the real McCoy from grass-fed cattle from the Pampas Plains: the Lomito, a fillet of rump, or Tira de Ancho, the King of ribeye. Also Corn Tortillas and Anticuchos Skewers, the street food of Buenos Aires.
With Castle views and an outdoor terrace, Chaophraya is a unique setting to sample tasty Thai dishes such as Goong Pad Khing, King Prawns with Ginger and shimeji mushrooms or Gaeng Keow Wan Gai, Green Chicken Curry. Awarded a Michelin Bib, Galvin Brasserie de Luxe at the Waldorf Astoria is the place for French dishes, Scottish Crustacea, Prix Fixe menus and laid back Parisian ambience.
Upstairs at the Waldorf Astoria, the elegant Pompadour by Galvin presents classic French cuisine, overseen by Michelin-starred brothers, Chris and Jeff Galvin. Start with a chilled glass of champagne in the adjoining Salon as you study the menus, a choice of A la Carte and Menu Gourmand – seven exquisitely presented courses with the option of paired wines to complement each imaginatively created dish perfectly.
The Edinburgh Restaurant Festival highlights a fantastic list of places for all tastes and budgets, from the Ghillie Dhu for hearty pub grub, cocktails at Tigerlily, burgers at the Hard Rock Café, perfect pizzas at Gusto to a sesonal lunch offer at Hadrian’s Brasserie, the Balmoral Hotel.
This is an appetising Festival for Foodies - so be inspired to try something new, try somewhere new to dine out this week ..and over the months to come.
Edinburgh Restaurant Festival
6 - 16 October, 2016