East Coast has all the ingredients of a good Italian restaurant; it’s family-friendly, has a focus on fish and shellfish and a proud Italian heritage. Located on Musselburgh High Street near the Brunton Theatre the restaurant is a ray of sunshine and a hub of warmth on an otherwise chilly, gray evening when Mr Bite and I visit.
We instantly relax and take our place amongst the group of locals enjoying the hospitality. There is a sister chippy next door which was the well-kent Coral Reef until the present owners Carlo and Katia Crolla began a new era with their rebranded East Coast. They were particularly active offering takeaways during lockdown.
We start by ordering some Gordal Olives to nibble on and complement our drinks. I have an East Coast Negroni; the Campari gin-vermouth cocktail at East Coast is topped up with prosecco. Stewart Brewing is a local supplier and Mr Bite enjoys a bottle of St Giles ale.
The nibbles mean I only need a couple of Cumbrian Oysters for starters while Mr B has a Scotch Egg. The £10 price tag seems steep but it is the size of a large orange and the whisky sauce to the side is an ingenious touch. Moreover, the sausage meat wrapping is pleasantly herbaceous and the egg is gold standard organic.
We sink further into the unbuttoned vibe and choose a couple of indulgent main courses. Lobster Spaghetti from the specials board for him and I go “all-out” with Lobster Thermidor. Both are rich dishes with the sweetest lobster I have tasted. Mr Bite likes that his pasta is cooked al dente. Pasta and piscine combos abound but there are also meat and veggie options.
We order Tiramisu and Cranachan Cheesecake for dessert. Tiramisu means “lift me up” and Ado Campeol who invented the dish died in 2021. Apparently it was an accidental dessert that was the result of dropping mascarpone into eggs and sugar. At East Coast this Italian treat is drenched with coffee liqueur. The cheesecake also has a thick wedge of heavy cream cheese the texture of which is enhanced by the addition of oats. A tart raspberry compote cuts through the richness.
A very good meal all round with honest food from the ‘‘Honest Toun’ At East Coast. (S. Wilson)
East Coast - 171-173 North High Street, Musselburgh, EH21 6AN - 0131 665 2079