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Bia Bistrot
Bia Bistrot
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Bia Bistrot
19 Colinton Road,
Bruntsfield,
Edinburgh,
Midlothian,
EH10 5DP
[View Map]
0131 452 8453
Tues - Sat 12 noon-2.30pm & dinner 5pm-10pm

January 2011

'Bia' is yet another example of how a neighbourhood eatery blows the socks off of complacent 'on the main drag' Edinburgh restaurants. Frankly, (my dear), I am a little bored by the mantra ... local, seasonal, home-made, but luckily at Bia you can take it as a given and turn your attention to good old-fashioned taste.

My starter of lobster bisque with crab dumplings (£6) was as enticing as it sounds. When it arrived however, I had a heretical foodie thought, 'what a small portion'. I was wrong of course. The bisque was an intense, rich, concentration of flavours with fruity ginger, chilli and aromatic tarragon. I still think a shallow plate rather than a deep bowl would enhance presentation but the soup itself was truly sublime as were the soft crab dumplings which were plump with rosy lobster and crab meat. Meanwhile Simone complimented her cured Scottish salmon, lemon dressing and  potato blinis (£5.50) for being 'not too chilled' and Rayne scooped at her roasted bone marrow, red onion jam, toasted sourdough (£4.00) most enthusiastically.

Main course for me was coley fillet, surf clam and veg chowder (£13). Simone had halibut fillet new potatoes, spinach and lemon butter (£14.50); it was Bramley old spot pork fillet, smoked sausage, apple and turnip "Sauerkraut"  (£14.50)for Rayne and black truffle gnocchi, butternut squash, spinach and sage butter (£12.50) for Liz. The gnocchi was sumptuously soft and caramelised and so pretty against the burnt orange squash and emerald spinach. Simone and I were both happy with our 'dieters' fish dishes which were characteristically full of flavour and Rayne praised the pork for being cooked well and raved about the innovative sauerkraut.

Warm gooey chocolate cake, treacle tart & crème fraiche (both £4) and four spoons took care of dessert. Again, I can't criticise as all was as it should be.  An inch of ginger treacle and good-looking pastry was declared ‚Äúdeliciously sticky 'n' sweet" by Liz and I helped Rayne (so kind!) with the comforting, intense, chocolate delight of a cake.

My three foodie friends and I all agreed, Bia is a triumph of good taste.

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