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Angels with Bagpipes
New Review
Angels with Bagpipes
343 High Street,
Royal Mile,
Edinburgh,
EH1 1PW
[View Map]
0131 220 1111
7 Days 12 noon - late (last orders 10pm)

An Italian restaurant on Edinburgh's Royal Mile? I approach the very idea with about the same amount of baggage and trepidation that accompanies the release of Silvio Berlusconi's album of 22 love songs. The history is as loaded as an over-priced, soggy conchiglie. Of course I am wrong, not about 'Il Cavaliere' ; but Divino Enoteca and Cucina at Missoni have brought a cuisine as chic and sophisticated as Italian couture to our city centre and Marina Crolla's restaurant more than holds its own.

 

It is immediately apparent that the menu makes use of seasonal Scottish produce. I choose the ravioli, duck, foie gras, lentils, thyme and fig (£8.75) and Mr Bite has the tartare of aged Campbell's gold beef, quail egg, parmesan and crostini (£9.00). OK it's pricy but it's also exquisite. The tartare is zingy and alive, the beef juicy and the whole dish dances in the mouth like 'Strictly' on steroids. My ravioli and lentils are perfectly al dente, the duck flavoursome; the foie gras adds silky texture. Soft rich tobacco-coloured fig lends sweetness and yet another layer of texture and taste. Plate-scrapingly divine.

 

For mains, Mr Bite chooses Ayrshire pork belly, creamed cabbage, bacon, gnocchi and wild mushrooms (£16.95) and I plump for the venison with Stornoway white pudding, turnip, sprouts and pearl barley (£17.95). The venison is pink, juicy, borderline raw; I can't recall better. My plate is dotted with puréed neeps; the white pud is peppery and moreish. I wash the whole lot down with a flighty vampyric Pinot Noir from Transylvannia. Mr Bite's pork is equally tender and the creamy cabbage balances its saltiness. The only problem here is the gnocchi which is overcooked.

 

We forgive this as desserts again raise the game. I have banana parfait, date sponge and chocolate raisin sorbet (£7.25) and Mr Bite chooses chocolate mousse with pearl-barley ice cream (£6.95). My choice is really an 'assiette' comprising 'scallops' of banana, tuile, 'Old Jamaica' sorbet, purr-worthy parfait and succulent sponge. When I finally emerge and address the somewhat suspicious silence across the table I realise that Mr Bite's mousse is sublime and the ice cream has a decadent, rich buttery quality.

 

'Angels' has a buzzy cosmopolitan air, like the good restaurants in Barcelona rather than the tacky tapas bars. More like this on the Royal Mile please! ( S. Wilson).

 

 

 

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