2017 has been my best year of eating yet with so many new restaurants and bars opening in Edinburgh. So, how do you pick just ten? With some difficulty is the answer!
The criteria is simple, we have to have visited the restaurant THIS year.
When considering our top choices of course the food is always the main consideration. I always ask myself, would I go back again, and would I recommend it to others? Beyond that, I’m looking for great service, unique ideas, and passion.
So here goes, our top 10 for 2017…
Despite much deliberation I just couldn’t separate these two and get it down to just ten. So in joint tenth place is… Seasons – chosen because of its unique take on fine dining. There’s no menu, just a list of ingredients. It’s a real food experience rather than just a dinner.
And Bistro Deluxe by Paul Tamburrini. It made the cut because of the consistently high standard across all the dishes, and the Orkney Sea Scallop with Brown Butter (pictured above) was a really memorable dish.
In at number nine is Burger. I wanted the top ten to feature a nice spread in terms of style of food and budget. Burger made the cut because I was really impressed with their new menu, in particular the Firecracker Chicken Burger (pictured above) and the Brisket Fries.
Wedgwood made the list because it’s great value. Their affordable lunch menu makes fine dining something most people could enjoy. Also, I had my favourite meat free dish there – Spelt and Wild Garlic Risotto.
Small but perfectly formed, Dough was my favourite pizza experience of 2017. We stopped for a quick lunch and were impressed by the quality and value.
People always complain when I include the odd chain in these lists. Well I don’t care, I judge the food and experience on merit, and in my opinion Dishoom deserves to be here. Authentic unique dishes were why it made into the sixth spot, along with the Bacon Naan (pictured above) and their speakeasy bar, The Permit Room.
5. El Cartel
Half way through, and it’s El Cartel that got our 5th place. El Cartel is the place to go for authentic Mexican food in Edinburgh. We love the tacos, the chicken wings, and the corn.
4. Chop House
At number four it’s our choice for best steak in Edinburgh. Chop House was chosen, not only for the quality of its steak, but all its ingredients – the prawns were some of the largest I’ve had, and the Bloody Mary Ketchup is worth returning for alone. It’s the number one choice for taking friends and family to.
So it’s onto the top three, and in third place is our only michelin star restaurant in the top ten. Martin Wishart’s impressed on everything from service to food. Highlights of our dish was Orkney Scallop with Cepe Veloute and Chestnut and the dessert of Longley Farm Sweet Buttermilk Mousse (pictured above).
For our runner up it’s down to Port Edgar Marina in South Queensferry. Down The Hatch is my most visited restaurant of 2017, and I’ve taken all my family and friends there at one point or another. Narrowly squeezed from the top spot as the service can be a little haphazard, but that’s all part of the charm. At Down The Hatch, it’s ALL about the daily specials – follow their Instagram and make a beeline as soon as you see something you fancy!
1. The Honours
The Honours takes the humble bistro to new heights. It all started with the best bar snacks I’ve had, and we never looked back. Every dish was spot on, and the signature dish of Hand Rolled Tagliatelle with Roasted Orkney Scallop and Truffle Purée was one of my top dishes of 2017. They sealed the deal with the best children’s menu I’ve ever seen.
So that’s our top ten of 2017! Here’s to 2018…