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Cold Town House
New Review
Cold Town House
4 The Grassmarket,
City of Edinburgh,
Eh1 2JU

Who doesn’t love pizza? My dining partner KT apparently. 

Despite her foody credentials, she is brimming with such revelations. Okay, a shellfish allergy I get (not her fault) but pizza and cake? As a former winner of Best Reader's Recipe for the Observer Food Awards for a whisky cake, I am a little taken aback. 

We are in the restaurant of Cold Town House on the former site of the Robertson Memorial Church which has been transformed to create brewery, bar, restaurant and rooftop terrace. Floor to ceiling glass walls display tanks that house the beer brewed on site and rotating windows open up for a fully immersive experience.

Above us is the roof terrace. Drinks are served from a vintage Citroen van and guests can snuggle inside ‘ski gondolas’ complete with fluffy blankets and castle views. Below us the ground floor is a bar where a line up of taps shine, entertainment is planned and – get this – espresso martinis are sold on tap. 

KT's ‘pizza confession’ comes as we are seated following a Sunday morning walk.  She explains is very ‘willing’ to eat pizza, it’s just not a ‘fave’. We decide to share a Portobello (wild mushrooms, spinach, garlic, gorgonzola, EVOO) and a Calton Hill (fresh Tuscan fennel sausage with tomato sugo, mozzarella, EVOO).

It’s a bit of coup for Cold Town then that we both enjoy our pizzas so much. Neapolitan-style and stone-baked we cut and eat slices eagerly. They are large and thin due hand-stretching the dough so once our immediate hunger is sated there are still leftover bits to graze on.

An open pizza oven (commissioned and transported from Naples) guarantees that the bases are crispy and blistered with ‘leopard spots', but a quick fire also means toppings retain flavour and texture. Knobbly bits of fennel sausage are lean and aromatic, the mushrooms still have ‘bite', and the cheeses are gooey without being volcanically hot. 

I usually leave the crusty edges, but a roasted garlic mayo and a spectacularly, good homemade pesto ensure our plates are cleared. The dough is fermented for 24 hours using Cold Town Beer.

Our ‘somewhat girly’ beer flight includes raspberry, gingerbread and chocolate stout; the latter KT declared would be great in a cake, *confused emoji* as KT now reveals "although she likes brownies” creamy cakes are not really her ‘thing’. 

We decide to share a Butter Beer Sundae (vanilla ice cream, butterscotch beer sauce, pale ale blondie, salted caramel, shortbread) and the presentation and balance are all wrong.  A dimpled pint glass of squirty cream has us searching desperately for the ice cream. Based on this, puddings need a rethink. 

Cold Townhouse has presented locals with an excellent reason to visit or revisit The Grassmarket, because everyone, even KT, loves excellent pizza.

Read reviews of more Pizza restaurants here 


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