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Cannonball Restaurant
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Cannonball Restaurant
356 Castle Hill,
0131 225 1550
Wed-Sat Lunch 12 noon-2:30pm; Dinner 5:30pm - 10pm; Sun - Brunch, Roast and High Tea 10am - 8pm

Landmark dining

You should have just eaten it alive, said Mr Bite referring to my plate of venison, it barely touched the sides. Already you see I am eyeing up his lobster mac 'n' cheese, surely a contender for a national Scottish dish?

We are in Cannonball Restaurant, the renovated sixteenth century building next to Castle Esplanade and the new venture from Victor and Carina Contini in partnership with the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The fourth storey restaurant is in a beautiful building with stunning views and is invigorated by contemporary stylish décor. 

I praise the fact that the Continis have stuck to what they do best i.e. presenting unpretentious delicious food which celebrates their Italian roots and Scottish produce. It would have been so easy to go down the tacky tartan tourist route but Victor and Carina have shown impeccable judgement by resisting; credit too for the reasonable pricing,  again given the location.

I started my meal with potted chicken liver parfait with 10 yr old Tobermory soaked figs, rosemary butter and charred focaccia (£7). The parfait was silky, creamy and rich with flavour. I thought it superb but Mr Bite also fought the corner for his Eyemouth crab open lasagne with an Isle of Mull Cheddar and cream sauce (£9).  He is extremely pernickety about his pasta being cooked perfectly al dente and this one got the big thumbs up. Phew!

If you like wine Cannonball has a good Italian list and I paired my parfait with a voluptuous little number, Garganega 2013 Torre del Falasco, Veneto, IGT (13%) (125ml, £4.75) whist a red Corvina 2012 with its juicy cherry flavours was excellent with my main course of chargrilled venison, blackcurrants and Scottish chanterelles (£20).  The latter, a simple Autumn dish of fine ingredients and yes, eaten with gusto. Mr Bite enjoyed Orkney lobster thermidor macaroni cheese (£20) which was notable for the rich flavour squeezed into the bisquey béchamel sauce. 

For dessert we chose affogatos (£8) which were presented on a slate in three components, Madagascan vanilla ice cream,  outstanding coffee (bespoke roasted for the Continis)   and spirit of choice, Grappa Nonino for me, Tobermory 10 year old for Mr Bite. 

There are many details I have failed to mention about Cannonball restaurant; the beautiful marble bar, the sash windows, passing baskets of shellfish, exquisite homemade bread, olives from Sicily, the porridge and gelato bar downstairs (let me at it!) and the predominance of provenance throughout the menu - sigh. You will just have to visit. (S. Wilson)

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