Norn, Edinburgh, 9/23/17


Norn has been open for almost 16 months and strives to present the best of local Scottish ingredients and those that promote sustainability in their environment.  It is made up of 2 medium sized rooms with small bare wood tables and chairs.  Lots of lighting, reasonably loud music and a mixed age crowd add to the casual feel of the place.  In one dining room a large window looks into the kitchen.  They offer only tasting menus of 4 or 7 courses with wine pairings offered for both.  They also have a wine list composed almost exclusively of natural wines.  Service in the front of the house is by Laura Smith, the co-owner and wife of Chef Scott Smith who run the kitchen.  Both are friendly and personable.  Laura will help you navigate the wine list and Chef Scott brings out some of the courses and is happy to engage in conversation about the food.  You feel like you’re dining in their home.   Continue reading

Le Roi Fou, Edinburgh, 9/23/17


Le Roi Fou is a small 2 room restaurant serving French style food.  They opened in April of 2017 and were voted best new restaurant in Scotland in a local publication.  The front room has nice light from 2 big windows looking out on the street. The back room has nice windows but less light.  Eclectic music play in the background.  They offer a 2 course fixed price menu at lunch as well as an a la carte menu.  We chose to order from the a la carte menu.   Continue reading

Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh, 9/22/17


Restaurant Martin Wishart is a fairly small place with a very elegant feel but a fairly casually dressed crowd.  The room has nicely spaced tables appointed with lovely linens and only a moderate noise level, probably due to the many sound absorptive surfaces. The interior comes off stylish with various pieces of art, an assortment of light fixtures and striking carpet.  They offer 6 or 8 course tastings with a vegetarian option for each as well as 4 course a la carte menu.  Wine pairings are available but we opted to order our own bottles of wine.  Food is old school heavy rich cuisine that is incredibly satisfying and floor service is excellent.  Our waiter was most helpful and tried to get a photo of the head chef that evening with Frankie but the chef left before fulfilling his promise.   Continue reading

Castle Terrace, Edinburgh, 9/22/17


Castle Terrace opened in 2010 in an old townhouse.  Chef Dominic Jack consulted with the team at The Kitchin in planning the “Nature to Plate” theme and so also strives to use Scottish ingredients based on the seasons in his cooking.  Chef Jack trained many years in France and also married a woman from there.  This has influenced some of his cooking to a wonderful end result.  We were excited to be invited in to his kitchen and eat a course while watching the action.  He is a most personable and friendly man from Scotland.  The kitchen is a well-oiled machine with a staff that appeared to enjoy working there.  Our French server, Carole, provided extraordinary service and I suspect that others provide equally attentive and friendly care.   Continue reading

The Kitchin, Edinburgh, 9/21/17


The Kitchin is divided into several dining rooms with one having a large window into the very active kitchen.  Tables are good-sized and nicely spaced, which makes the noise level very tolerable despite being totally full of happily talking people.  The decor is very natural with lots of wood and stone and the menu strives to use only quality local products – they have a map showing where the various ingredients are from and many arrive within 16 hours of being harvested.  I’m wondering if some local sheep farm provided the fuzzy covers for the fun purse stools.  They have been open for 11 years, opening in 2006, and received their first Michelin star after just one year.  Service is attentive and friendly and willing to go into as much detail about the food as you want.   Continue reading

Ondine Restaurant, Edinburgh, 9/21/17

front door

Ondine is on the second floor of building that has a hotel and some fast food restaurants. It is fairly large with a very modern decor and windows on two sides overlooking the street activity below.  Tables are on the small side but not too closely spaced and soft music plays in the background.  The walls are decorated with seafood art, which also adorns the menus, and photos of the various staff members.  Service is attentive and friendly.  Our waiter was helpful in directing our choices and spot on with his advice.  At lunch they offer a 2 or 3 course fixed price menu (which they also offer for an early dinner) with a couple choices for each course.  We chose to order off the regular menu.   Continue reading

Timberyard, Edinburgh, 9/20/17


Timberyard has a rustic feel with well spaced, good-sized wood planked tables, brick walls and candles everywhere.  Small lights hang from the ceiling but it a fairly low light level which makes the photos a bit grainy since I won’t use flash.  A wood-stove and seating area are in the middle of the long room.  The background music is eclectic in the dining room and rain sounds accompany you in the bathroom.  The building had been an actual lumberyard and hardware store up to 5 years ago, thus the name Timberyard.  Service is friendly but not overly engaging.  However the pacing was quite nice.  They offer 3 different tasting menus, 4, 6 and 8 courses with optional drink pairings. Portion sizes are well controlled so the 8 is not too much food.   Continue reading

The Honours, Edinburgh, 9/20/17


The Honours is a good sized place with a modern interior design.  The entry half is a large bar with lounge seating as well as counter stools.  The dining room half has bench seating along one wall and well spaced free standing tables fill the rest of the room.  Some tables are fairly small while others are better sized.  I found it odd that when we were seated there were not many in the room yet, and it never did fill, yet they sat us at a small table right next to the noisy kitchen door.  They definitely are trying for an elegant atmosphere and service was fine just not terribly polished.  At lunch they have a special 2 or 3 course fixed price express menu, a couple fixed price 3 or 5 course menus and an a la carte menu.   Continue reading