Bites: Edinburgh

Caroline Stacey finds more historic buildings turned restaurants in Edinburgh
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Indy Lifestyle Online

The Dome

This portico-fronted, glass-domed restaurant in the New Town was once Edinburgh's Physician's Hall. The Grill Room is replete with pillars, friezes, stucco and panelling. Palms and white-clothed tables make this more than a brasserie, but the menu doesn't pander to grandeur; starters from £3.50 to £7.50 might include Caesar salad or bang bang chicken, mains, such as rack of lamb, ginger spiced chicken with wok-fried greens or haggis, turnips and mash are £8.50 to £18.50. Art deco Frazers Bar, in the same building, is cosier.

14 George Street (0131 624 8624). Grill Room daily 12-late, Frazers Bar Mon-Wed 10am-3pm, Thur-Sat 10am-late.

The Grain Store

Arched windows, an old station clock, wooden floors and internal buttresses combine to make this one of the most atmospheric venues and The Grain Store is quietly appreciated for its quality and consistency. There's a set-price dinner for £15.50; à la carte, starting with braised partridge, chicory, Armagnac and raisins, then steamed turbot, scallop ravioli and braised leeks comes to around £30 including dessert or cheese. Neighbours include Iain Mellis's cheese shop, and Clarissa Dickson Wright's Cook's Bookshop.

30 Victoria Street (0131 225 7635). Daily lunch and dinner.

Rogue

David Ramsden opened his hip new restaurant in the former Scottish Widows building in the summer. The building's not remarkable, but the interior is, with white concrete floors, plate glass, curved walls, and gilded pillars. Cooking is as confident as the design, with fabulous sea bream fillets with bulgar wheat, raisins and harissa, and lemon jelly with drunk fruits from a menu simply divided into fish, grills, salads, desserts and savouries. £20-£30 for three courses without wine.

67 Morrison Street (0131 228 2700). Mon-Sat lunch and dinner, Sun lunch.

The Witchery by the Castle

The Witchery is a venue of two parts, the sum of which is one of the most captivating restaurants in the city. Ask any tourist or visiting celeb who takes their eating-out seriously. In a 16th-century merchant's house, the panelled, tapestry-hung dining room with a painted wooden ceiling, and the elegant Secret Garden conservatory have different but potent atmospheres, the same menu and are equally sought-after destinations. The food's ambitious: cumin-smoked lamb (£8.95) or red pepper and chorizo soup (£4.95 for starters); sautéed king scallops with cauliflower cream and grilled duck liver, or the more classic Aberdeen Angus with fondant potato and bearnaise sauce as a main course (each £18.95). Enjoy a cheaper pre- or post-theatre two-course menu for £9.95.

Castle Hill, Royal Mile (0131 225 5613). Daily lunch and dinner.

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