Plate with a view: VinCaffee, Edinburgh
Saturday 22 January 2005
Edinburgh's hottest new eatery, offspring of the legendary Italian deli Valvona & Crolla, is more
osteria than trattoria.
Edinburgh's hottest new eatery, offspring of the legendary Italian deli Valvona & Crolla, is more osteria than trattoria. Classically simple Italian dishes meet a serious wine list in a setting of casual urbanity, overflowing with everyone from business suits to ladies who lunch and the Saturday pushchair brigade. Like its wines, the restaurant's basic ingredients - whether cheeses, olive oil, cured meats or fruity sun-ripened tomatoes - are the result of 70 years of carefully nurtured relationships with small producers. It shows. Clients cross Edinburgh for the flavoursome olive oil which dressed both our thin, home-made focaccia served with creamy mozzarella and my thyme-scented salad of roast vegetables. While my companion opted for a velvety Barbaresco to accompany his ricotta-stuffed ravioli, I asked for and got friendly advice, ending up with a peppery Pinot Nero, the perfect complement to the home-made pork and fennel sausage on my pizza. To go with big guns like the Brunellos, Scottish ingredients appear in some recipes including stufato of venison and chargrilled Aberdeen Angus steak served with shavings of parmesan.
Having lost ground to Glasgow as Scotland's shopping capital, Edinburgh is fighting back. VinCaffee overlooks the city's classiest new shopping street, where new branches of Armani, Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein et al cluster around the flagship, Harvey Nichols. If you're on your own, look between the restaurant windows where a series of Italian films reel past.
VinCaffee offers no set menus: salads and antipasti range from £3.50-£11; pasta and pizzas £9; mains £12-£17. Wines by the glass start at £4.25 for a dry sparkling red and rise to a whopping £27 for a Barbaresco 1999, Angelo Gaja. Bottles start at £10, rising to £225.
Vincaffe, 11 Multrees Walk, Edinburgh EH1 3DQ. 0131-557 0088. Open 8am-11pm Mons-Weds; 8am-midnight Thurs-Sat; 11am-6pm Sun
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