Archive for July, 2007

Sweet Melindas

Sweet Melindas is a small restaurant in Marchmont – the student area of Edinburgh which is a short walk from the City Centre. The focus is mostly fish – reportedly bought from Eddie’s Fish Market next door which has a wide choice of fish and is always busy with Chinese people – a good sign of quality. There was one vegetarian and one meat option on the short menu.

My meal was excellent – crab with samphire and parmesan followed by sea bass and smoked salmon. The scallop soup and cod were also reported as very good.  Not cheap (but fish never is nowadays) About £70 for two which included a medium price bottle of French wine (Sauvignon Blanc, good). Good atmosphere – the restaurant was full on a Wednesday evening and the service was fine. Recommended.

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Not about eating in Edinburgh but we’ve had a 2 week holiday near Lucca in Tuscany where we had some memorable eating experiences.

The closest village to the house we rented was Ponte a Moriano which is remarkable for a place of its size for having 3 good restaurants. The highlight was the Tuscan tasting menu at La Mora where we had 9 separate courses (Red pepper pudding, rabbit pate, crostini, stuffed zuccini flowers, barley soup, cheese/spinach ravioli in a marjoram sauce, pigeon, roast loin of pork and strawberry semi=freddo).

We also really liked Antica Locanda di Siesto (more or less next door) where we had an amazing steak (Tagliatta con Ruccolla) and outstanding pasta with truffles. Erasmos’s on the main road in Ponte a Moriano is cheaper and simpler – the highlight there was the veal in lemon sauce. In the same area (up very steep and bendy hill road) is A Pallazzo – superb trio of pasta (Ravioli with ricota and spinach, Maccheronni with mushrooms and Tortelli with ragu).

In Lucca, excellent Pizzas at Gli Orti di Via Elisa and an unusual barley risotto at Trattoria Buralli. We also ate at Ristorante all’Olivo which has been praised – it was OK but my fish was overcooked and the whole meal was overpriced. It was the only place that I felt we didn’t have good value.

In Florence, we were very lucky to find a reasonably priced, non-touristy restaurant near the centre. We can recommend Trattoria Antellisi in Via Faenza. Simple lunch of crostini and vegetable risotto but nicely cooked.

Restaurant suggestions at Philip’s restaurant guide to Lucca and Tuscan House favourites.

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