In the past couple of years, however, V&C has opened up a large dining- room in an old stable at the back of the shop, serving breakfast and lunch. The food is, of course, Italian - although a mixed grill of paesano sausage, smoked pancetta, egg and polenta has a vaguely Scottish flavour. The main menu offers a fixed choice of salads, sandwiches, and frittate, home-made breads and cakes, but there is also a daily-changing choice of pastas, fish and meat: penne all'amatriciana is pounds 6, fritto misto, pounds 9. Lunch might end with a hunk of pecorino, baked peaches, or pannacotta laced with espresso.
Once a month, it opens in the evening as Valvona & Crolla Ristorante offering `speciality regional Italian dishes' - rotolo di spinaci, perhaps, followed by poussin stuffed with potatoes and artichokes. These occasions tend to book up a month or so in advance. V&C has another attraction in one of the best Italian wine lists in Britain - and with only a pounds 3 corkage surcharge on the wine shop price, there are great bargains to be had.
Valvona & Crolla, 19 Elm Row, Edinburgh (0131-556 6066). Mon-Sat 8am- 5pm. During the Edinburgh Festival the cafe is open all week until 10pm.Reuse content