Terra Marique - the name is from Latin and it means “by land and sea”.
In Italy we have a famous TV programme called 4 ristoranti where the TV host dines with restaurateurs and the best in terms of four criteria of location, service, price and menu scoops the win.
In November 2022 the show visited Edinburgh to film an episode featuring Giuliano's, Frizzante, Locanda de Gusti and Terra Marique; they competed to win €5,000.
Terra Marique came a close second to Locanda de Gusti which is considered the best Italian eatery in Edinburgh by many. This is an achievement for a relatively young and lesser known venue; a fact that pushed me to make a reservation.
Terra Marrique occupies the spot of the former Il Castello on Castle Terrace. Blue walls nod to the restaurant’s name which is Latin for land and sea and which also orientates the menu.
We start with a Pecorino from Abruzzo (bright, drinkable and pleasant) and Cozze e Fagioli, Mussels and Beans Stew, and Scallops and Guanciale Warm Salad. The former is fresh, earthy with Southern Italyian flavours lending warmth to the dish. Scallops are sweet and tender, Guanciale is crunchy and nutty and the vinegar-dressed leaves add acidity for a balanced taste.
For mains we choose a land option ‘Pappardelle Amatriciana’, home-made pasta with Guanciale and tomato sauce, and a sea option, Pan-Fried Cod, Potato Velouté, Roast Leeks and Smoked Mussels. The pasta has the right consistency but the sauce could benefit from more kick. Fish is delicate, smoked mussels give an extra layer of interest creating contrast to the velouté and leeks.
Ilaria, the restaurant owner, tells us the desserts and we decide for Puff Pastry with Chocolate and Caramel Cream, which is intense but balanced.
Good food, service and value for money are hallmarks of Terra Marrique. If this is what you look for in a restaurant, go ahead and book your table! (E. Vanello)
Terra Marique - 36 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2EL - 0131 229 0070
Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 5pm