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L'escargot blanc a vin
New Review
L'Escargot Blanc
17 Queensferry Street,
[View Map]
0131 226 1890
Mon-Sat, 12-2.30, 5.30-10

What had been a sorely underused downstairs space below L'Escargot Blanc restaurant has now been revitalised by the acquisition of small premises next door, making possible a complementary wine/charcuterie/cheese bar on an intimate scale, both for those wanting casual sharing plates and those queuing for the full hot dining treatment upstairs.

Quite a few envious eyes settled on our sharing platter of carefully chosen cheeses & charcuterie, displayed fetchingly on an oak barrel top, with sides of confit onion & sultanas, clear red espelette pepper jelly and a fruit jelly with quince, as well as Breton sardines & the essential crunchy cornichons, all accompanied by a generous selection of local (across the road!) breads & oatcakes.

We started with the cheeses; a soft fresh St Marcellin goat crème with truffle honey was a marriage made in heaven with a glass of delicious biodynamic Anjou Blanc (£7.75)  gently ambered, full & rich to match the honey.  A farmhouse Ewes white from top fromage dealer Hervé Mons in the Auvergne was toothsomely crystalline & flavourful, along with salty strong Roquefort.  a totally gorgeous Camembert and a Beaufort.  Something to please every palate.

The variety on our large wooden sharing board was stunning: it's only when so many similar types of saucisson are put in front of you that you begin to appreciate how very different they all are, not just in different types of meat, but in taste, texture & origin. We were very surprised to find ourselves tussling over who got to finish a slice of black pudding (!) and grateful all was name-checked by owner Fred, though I lack the memory to repeat that favour; however, selections change weekly anyway according to the seasonal market.  Helpfully they were all thinly sliced and had miraculously melted away, accompanied by a glass of organic 2010 Haut-Peyrous Graves from Marc Darroze (£6.70), by the end of our meal.  Special mention to the tender-smoked duck breast and unusual duck chorizo.

The care taken here at the final stage of showcasing the infinite pains taken by often small producers in creating such sublime morsels (and glasses!) of goodness for us to savour, is a pleasure to witness.(The Go-Between)

Mixed board prices £25 plus for two.


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