10 Edinburgh restaurants for a special occasion
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There’s no shortage of great restaurants in Edinburgh, but sometimes a special occasion means the need for somewhere exceptional.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner à deux or a private room for a group celebration, here’s our pick of ten restaurants perfect for pushing the boat out.

Restaurant Mark Greenaway

Chilled garden – a lovely summery dish at Restaurant Mark Greenaway, Edinburgh @chefmarkgreenaway

A photo posted by Louise Rhind-Tutt (@louiserhindtutt) on

Boasting three AA rosettes for Culinary Excellence, Restaurant Mark Greenaway takes diners on a thrilling culinary journey. A Market Menu offers a great value set lunch from £20, while an eight course tasting menu (£65.50, or paired with wines for £100) showcases Mark’s passion and theatrical flair.

Think plump hand-dived Isle of Mull scallops in a kelp broth with pork crackling, soy caramel and sea vegetables, or a savoury broth with oxtail, bone marrow crumb and black onion gel infused at the table. Plush private dining space The Balvenie Room can accommodate parties of six to 16 guests.

69 North Castle St, EH2 3LJ – markgreenaway.com

Restaurant Martin Wishart

All the dishes from today’s spectacular tasting menu at Michelin starred Restaurant Martin Wishart, Leith. Stunning.

A photo posted by Louise Rhind-Tutt (@louiserhindtutt) on

It’s easy to see why the elegant Restaurant Martin Wishart has retained its Michelin star since 2001. Three tasting menus (from £75) showcase the finest Scottish ingredients, including fish and seafood options, while a lunchtime set menu is superb value at £28.50.

Dishes display classic techniques with a playful touch – delicate langoustine with creamy burrata and an intense, summery clear tomato consommé, or snail ravioli dressed in new season garlic velouté and studded with plump juicy mussels.

54 Shore, EH6 6RA – restaurantmartinwishart.co.uk

Castle Terrace

Tartare of wild salmon from Alloa served sushi style with wasabi ice cream at @castle_terrace_restaurant by @dominicjackct

A photo posted by Louise Rhind-Tutt (@louiserhindtutt) on

This award-winning restaurant nestled beneath Edinburgh Castle has recently undergone a complete refurbishment including a new chefs table – perfect for a glimpse of the kitchen action. Start with playful amuse-bouches – liquid ‘Caesar salad’ encased in a vivid green sphere, or panna cotta of Arbroath Smokie and mango cleverly disguised as a quail’s egg.

Other dishes are just as accomplished – think tartare of Shetland salmon served sushi-style with wasabi ice cream, or light-as-a-feather caramel soufflé with chocolate ganache and popcorn ice cream. Prices range from £29.50 for a three course lunch to £75 for a full tasting menu. A private dining space can accommodate 16 guests.

33-35 Castle Terrace, EH1 2EL – castleterracerestaurant.com

Pompadour by Galvin

With views of Edinburgh Castle and fin de siècle charm, Pompadour by Galvin occupies a stunning dining room in the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian. Dishes are as refined as you’d expect from a restaurant with three AA rosettes – think smoked eel, Alsace bacon, bone marrow and watercress followed by fillets of turbot with marinière of Scottish shellfish, haricot blanc and sea herbs.

Two courses from the chef’s seasonal menu will set you back £29, while a seven course menu gourmand is £70 (£125 with matched wines). A private dining room can accommodate 20 guests, or 30 for a private canapé reception.

Princes St, EH1 2AB – thepompadourbygalvin.com

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The Kitchin


Tom Kitchin is Scotland’s youngest Michelin starred chef proprietor having achieved a star aged only 29, and has become a well-known face on television. Dishes at The Kitchin display modern British cuisine influenced by French cooking techniques, and showcase seasonal Scottish produce – confit wild salmon from the River Tweed with Perthshire mousseron mushrooms perhaps, or braised shin of Orkney beef served with summer vegetables. A three course set lunch is £29.50, while a full tasting experience lasts two hours and costs £80. A private dining room can accommodate up to 20 guests, and Tom can design your party menu accordingly.

78 Commercial St, EH6 6LX – thekitchin.com

Norn

A few of the inventive seasonal dishes at recent Leith opening @nornrestaurant tonight

A photo posted by Louise Rhind-Tutt (@louiserhindtutt) on

Norn, named after an ancient Scottish language, recently took over the site of The Plumed Horse. The interior is stripped back and intimate, perfect for dinner à deux, while the constantly evolving four or seven course menus (£40 – £65) are informed by the availability of seasonal Scottish produce and ingredients foraged by the chefs. Even the bread – sourdough made with Orcadian beremeal and served with cultured butter made on the premises – is a winner. A set lunch offers an affordable option of three courses for £20.

50-54 Henderson St, EH6 6DE – nornrestaurant.com

Dining with a difference at Edinburgh’s new Norn restaurant

Timberyard

Raw beef, quail yolk, daikon, buckwheat and shallot @timberyard10, Edinburgh

A photo posted by Louise Rhind-Tutt (@louiserhindtutt) on

Timberyard, in a hip vast former warehouse space, offers a four, six or eight course menu (£55 – £85) focusing on ingredients supplied by small, local, artisan growers, breeders, producers and foragers. Dishes are seasonal and elegant – think stunningly fresh raw beef with delicate quail yolk, lightly peppery daikon, buckwheat and shallot in a dressing of burnt oak oil, or a hens egg slowly cooked at 60 degrees for 40 minutes oozing golden yolk over new season asparagus and earthy truffle. Push the boat out and go for the matched wines – suggested pairings are both knowledgeable and fun.

10 Lady Lawson St, EH3 9DS – timberyard.co

21212

Paul Kitching’s 21212, set over four floors in a listed Georgian townhouse, was awarded a Michelin Star in 2010. Menus change weekly, with a two course lunch starting at £24, or dinner from £65 – you can expect a modern take on classic French cooking with dishes such as shellfish ragout, beef fillet with mushroom au lait, or a contemporary lemon tart.

Private dining rooms can accommodate between six and ten guests, and there are even bedrooms if you fancy turning a dinner into a night away.

3 Royal Terrace, EH7 5AB – 21212restaurant.co.uk

The Witchery by the Castle

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With its lavish, Gothic style rooms and central location at the top of the Royal Mile, The Witchery is perfect for a special occasion. You can expect sustainable Scottish produce – Oban native oysters, Buckie crab, Cairngorm venison – as well as almost 800 wines and numerous Champagnes.

Dishes on the a la carte menu are classic and indulgent – rich lobster bisque, fillet of Borders beef Rossini with Madeira jus, and Perthshire raspberry mille feuille. A two-course lunch is great value for £19.95, and you can dine al fresco on the terrace in summer. The Witchery can accommodate groups of up to 50 guests for private dining.

Castlehill, The Royal Mile, EH1 2NF – thewitchery.com

Tower Restaurant

Superb desserts @toweredinburgh – this is the Belgian chocolate terrine with Maldon salt and honeycomb

A photo posted by Louise Rhind-Tutt (@louiserhindtutt) on

Perched above the National Museum of Scotland, Tower Restaurant boasts spectacular views of the Castle, Royal Mile and Old Town – perfect for a romantic meal for two. The a la carte menus cover all-day dining from brunch through to afternoon tea and dinner, and showcase seasonal Scottish produce – natural Ballimore oysters from Loch Fyne, Dingwall haggis and Aberdeen Angus Scotch beef.

A standout dessert of peanut butter parfait with chocolate sauce and salted caramel popcorn brittle finishes things off perfectly. Set lunch or early dinner is £18.95 for two courses, or check out the impressive circular private dining venues for larger groups.

National Museum Of Scotland, Chambers St, EH1 1JF – tower-restaurant.com

Which is your favourite Edinburgh restaurant for a special occasion? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter

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