Bites: The black stuff

A pick of top black spots up and down the country
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Black Bo's, 57-61 Blackfriars Street, Edinburgh (0131-557 6136). Mon-Thur, Sun dinner, Fri, Sat lunch and dinner. One of Edinburgh's best veggie restaurants; starters such as toasted almond, butterbean and lemon pâté with oatcakes or pistachio, tofu and nori roulade with cassis and chillis, at £4.95 each, and, to follow, peppers stuffed with coconut and lime soufflé with pineapple chutney, at £8.95, illustrate colourful platefuls.

Black Bo's, 57-61 Blackfriars Street, Edinburgh (0131-557 6136). Mon-Thur, Sun dinner, Fri, Sat lunch and dinner. One of Edinburgh's best veggie restaurants; starters such as toasted almond, butterbean and lemon pâté with oatcakes or pistachio, tofu and nori roulade with cassis and chillis, at £4.95 each, and, to follow, peppers stuffed with coconut and lime soufflé with pineapple chutney, at £8.95, illustrate colourful platefuls.

The Black Chapati, 12 Circus Parade, New England Road, Brighton (01273 699011). Mon-Sat dinner. Unassuming and long-serving beacon of the best of what's now called modern British cooking, although it's more south-east Asian than European. Formerly dog-eared décor has been spruced up, and the menu remains intelligently and skilfully up to the minute. Hot and sour soup with sea bass and rice noodles followed by rack of lamb with couscous, spiced pumpkin broth and harissa costs around £20 without drinks. The pace isn't fast; it's offbeat cooking to savour.

The Black Bull, 6 St James Square, Boroughbridge, North Yorks (01423 322413). Food Mon lunch and dinner, Tue-Sat noon-9.30pm, Sun noon-9pm. Bread rolls are baked, ice-cream churned and sausages stuffed at this ancient inn where everything is made on the premises. Bar meals range from £2.25 to £6.95. The restaurant has daily fish specials, several Thai dishes and the likes of garlic beef fillet and venison steak. Two courses cost £15 or so. Beers and wine are good, with plenty of wines by the glass. Strong on details.

The Black Horse Inn, Grimsthorpe, Lincolnshire (01778 591247). Daily lunch and dinner. Exceptionally ambitious food makes this old stone coaching inn a high spot in a flat county. Eat for £10-£15 in the bar, or spend up to twice as much in the restaurant where seafood and game are well-represented and elaborately cooked: watercress risotto with poached oysters or roast mallard with white bean, bacon and spinach tartlet, for example. Good for wines by the glass, and locally-brewed beers.

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