8 of the best restaurants in Edinburgh

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It might not be every month, or even every year, but there are occasions that call for something a little bit special on the dining front.

So, with bank balance considerations on the back burner, we asked The Scotsman’s Gaby Soutar to select the best restaurants in Edinburgh for fine dining.

The Pompadour

The Pompadour

The Caledonian, 
Princes Street, Edinburgh 
(0131-222 8888, www.thecaledonianedinburgh.com)

How much? Dinner for two, 
excluding drinks, £116

Gaby says: “The food has the Galvin brothers’ signature French vibe, and prices demonstrate where they’re pitching themselves. Eating here costs slightly less than a meal at Martin Wishart’s and about the same as a nice new pair 
of shoes… the resurrected wonders of the Pomp deserves a lot more pomp.”

Read the full review…

Timberyard

Timberyard

10 Lady Lawson Street, Edinburgh (0131 221 1222, www.timberyard.co.uk)

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £68.50

Gaby says: “Timberyard is a bit of a game changer in the capital. Not only is it relatively inexpensive, it has magical atmosphere in spades, and serves locally sourced food that’s honest and vibrant. In the future, that will include their own produce, which will be grown in another of the courtyards that surround this refurbished 19th-century warehouse. Excuse my excitement, but I think I’ve had a spiritual experience.”

Read the full review…

Gardener’s Cottage

Gardener's Cottage

Royal Terrace Gardens, Edinburgh (0131-558 1221, www.thegardenerscottage.co

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £50

Gaby says: “Gardener’s Cottage – the new restaurant in the William Playfair-designed 19th-century house which had been unoccupied for years – looks twinkly in this cod rural pocket off London Road. Its pair of refurbished dining rooms are lit by silver candlesticks, perched on communal tables which are made from wood reclaimed from ocean liner SS Olympia. There are clay vases full of fragile-looking white anemones, with silver cutlery laid out and Duke Ellington trumpeting from a record player… That was the best meal I’ve had this year, and it’s almost autumn.”

Read the full review…

Forth Floor Restaurant

Forth Floor Restaurant

Harvey Nichols, 30-34 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh (0131-524 8350, www.harveynichols.com)

How much? Lunch for two, excluding drinks, £86

Gaby says: “The food here is ideal for Harvey Nichols’s clientele. This is the kind of grub you remember and talk about, it’s pricey, yet stylishly presented. If I were to make any criticism, it’d be a fashion analogy. Don’t wear all your accessories at once. Still, this place is well worth dressing up for.”

Stockbridge Restaurant

Stockbridge Restaurant

54 St Stephen Street Edinburgh 0131 226 6766

How much? Dinner for two, excl. drinks: £55.90

Gaby says: “This place is almost perfect and its chef understands how to create elegant, crowd-pleasing dishes that show as much restraint as they do skill. There’s never any excessive seasoning or showing-off, so ingredients are allowed to shine. Sometimes he even lets a humble potato be the star of the show.”

Read the full review…

Cafe St Honore

Cafe St Honore

34 North West Thistle Street Lane, Edinburgh (0131-226 2211, www.cafesthonore.com)

How much? Lunch for two, excluding drinks, £64.50

Gaby says: “It was a beezer lunch, with a laudable focus on provenance (I don’t have quite enough space to include the co-ordinates of where every ingredient was harvested, but you’ll find them on the menu). That means that the only real negative to the experience is that it’s expensive to eat here.”

Read the full review…

Mark Greenaway

Mark Greenaway

69 North Castle Street (0131 226 1155, markgreenaway.com)

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £64

Gaby says: “The skate wing sous vide was a super soft piece of fish rolled up into a tube, alongside crispy pipes of squid, a scoop of glossy olive-oil-spiked mash, square “beetroot crisps” (which resembled empty After Eight packets) and a single, lavender-legged baby octopus. The whole shebang was topped with a blood-red beetroot pure, and came with a jug of smokey brown butter. Magical, earthy, elemental – this was like a Tolkien book in foodie form.”

Read the full review…

Castle Terrace Restaurant

Castle Terrace Restaurant

33/35 Castle Terrace,  Edinburgh (0131-229 1222, www.castlerestaurant.com)

How much? Lunch for two, excluding drinks £39

Gaby says: “For just over twenty quid each, we sampled some magical dishes. In fact, I almost forgot to mention our gratis amuse bouche of salmon mousse topped with cucumber jelly, or pre-dinner nibbles that included fennel and date cookies. With a few tweaks, this could be some of the finest grub in Edinburgh.”

Read the full review…

Where do you go for that extra-special dining experience?

Share your tips with the WOW247 community in the comments below, on Twitter with #wow247 or on our Facebook page

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Nick is an Edinburgh-based writer and editor, covering music, culture and the latest over-hyped TV shows

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