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Otro - Italy, the garden of Europe
New Review
Otro Restaurant
22 Coates Crescent,
0131 556 0004
Opening hours Mon-Fri lunch 12noon-3pm; dinner 5pm-10pm Sat: lunch 12noon-4pm; dinner 5pm-10pm & Sun:12 noon-pm.

Italian Cook Book, The Silver Spoon, tells us that Italy was once known as the Garden of Europe. Italians love their vegetables. Open the book at Artichokes, and you will find 18 recipes alone while the whole vegetable section runs to 190 pages. Moreover, ingredients for dishes are minimal, and instructions for cooking usually have just a few sentences. 

Any Italian restaurant claiming authenticity should have a focus on seasonal vegetables and based on a recent lunchtime visit, Otro in the West End certainly ticks this box.

Kate and I always have plenty of news to share, and salty sourdough, fresh butter and herby, olive oil dip kept us occupied while we chatted.

It was Kate’s second visit, and for her starter, she chose The Cockburn Haggis, Fried Egg, Pickled Turnip & Truffle Granola. I had piquant dill-pickled herring balanced by earthy, fruity diced beetroot tartare which came together on the fork with a swirl of horseradish cream. The last of the winter root vegetables were being creatively used and the transition to spring heralded.

Beef Cheeks for Kate were declared to be of the same high standard as on her previous visit. She demonstrated their tenderness by gently pulling at the meat with her fork. Dark curly kale was the accompaniment, and parsley mash was served with both her beef and my fillets of plaice.

On my plate curls of white fish sat on a riot of ‘Primavera' vegetables, mostly spears of sprouting broccoli and bright lime-coloured Romesco cauliflower. The cruciferous vegetables were pretty to the eye, bang on season,   cooked to retain colour and flavour but softened with sauce.

We didn't have room for dessert, but it was good to see the Yorkshire rhubarb listed.

Lunch was £15.95 for two courses, service was knowledgeable and friendly. Attention to detail in every aspect of the restaurant was evident. I would certainly recommend and return just like Kate had. (S. Wilson)

Review of other Italian restaurants here

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