Calistoga is a Californian restaurant in central Edinburgh which has had good reviews and I’d fancied trying it for a while. We decided at the last minute to go out to eat on a Saturday evening and started phoning around to find somewhere that wasn’t booked. Calistoga had tables free so we decided to go for it.
It’s in a pretty grim location – in a lane at the back of Rose St, opposite some bins but the interior is fine, if a little dated. The menu looked interesting but, unfortunately, the food was rather disappointing.
I started with clam and corn chowder, which was competently executed but nothing really to write home about. I followed this with a seafood platter – langoustine, prawns and two different kinds of deep fried fish. The langoustine was fine but, sadly, the fish was a bit overcooked and the chips as an accompaniment were a bit soggy. I couldn’t help but compare it with the seafood platter which I had in the Eagle Barge at Laggan Locks – the same price but so much fresher tasting and more interesting.
My wife Anne had pork loin which was really quite tough – it looked well-enough cooked so I suspect it wasn’t the best quality meat. I wasn’t convinced by the glutinous rice accompaniment either.
My pudding was rum and raisin parfait with a caramel sauce – which was excellent but Anne’s pannacotta had a bit too much gelatine and so was rather bouncy.
The wine (Californian sauvignon blanc and Californian Muscat as a dessert wine) was very good as was the service. But, I don’t think that we’ll be back. We were about £38 each including wine and for that we could certainly have eaten better elsewhere.