Sunday, 29 March 2015

Saturday Celebrations at Jamie's Italian Edinburgh

In my book, Saturday lunchtimes are a time for celebration. Hopefully nestled at the end of a luxurious lie in, you can lazily toast the rest of the weekend with a glass of booze and enjoy a couple of cheeky courses in the resplendent knowledge that there's no office to return to, no emails to answer, and no deadlines to meet. I love food and take my lazy weekend lunches quite seriously, so was really delighted to be invited along to Jamie's Italian on George Street to sample an Italian-style spin on this particular weekend tradition.

Now, obviously Jamie's Italian is a chain, but it's important to mention - in particular to out-of-towners not familiar with the restaurant's home within George Street's Assembly Rooms - is that this is not a cookie cutter outfit. Jamie's Italian Edinburgh is housed within a truly a unique venue, with a multi-million pound refit and refurb that has brought together modern murals of Edinburgh and industrial lighting with the lovingly-restored 18th-century splendour - crystal chandeliers, sumptuous scarlet walls and intricately stuccoed ceilings all surrounding a parma ham-adorned marble antipasti bar. It sounds a bit mad, but it looks beautiful and it's an utterly gorgeous place to enjoy a meal.

We kicked things off with a crisp glass of prosecco - super dry and delish - and browsed the menu. It's set out in authentic Italian style, with antipasti and small pasta plates to start, followed by larger meat and fish dishes (large plates of pasta for main courses are available too).

To start with, I opted for a wild mushroom bruschetta scattered with ricotta, lemon and lots of rosemary. Ali, my dining companion, went for crab spaghettini with capers, chilli, fennel, parsley, anchovies & lemon. Filled with fresh, light flavours, both were really tasty and a great start to the meal.
However, the main courses were the true standout of the meal. Although there were some cracking options on the main menu, we both chose from the specials board. I went for slow-roasted lamb, which was melt-in-the-mouth tender, and sitting atop an indulgent, cheese, sage-infused polenta. Rich, warm and filling - perfect for a not-terribly spring-like March afternoon.
Ali's seafood special was a perfectly-cooked fillet of sea bass with mussels, clams and a garlicky salsa verde. It was perfectly complimented by roasted golden beetroot and a butternut squash puree. Much simpler and fresher than my stew, it was no less delicious.

The main courses were very generously apportioned so we decided to pass on dessert, but on a return trip I'd be keen to try out the chocolate, pear and honeycomb pavlova or the sour cherry, amaretti and almond tart.

A big thanks to the team at Jamie's Italian Edinburgh for having us along - a perfect celebration for Saturday, and indeed for any other day of the week too.


2 comments:

  1. The sour cherry, amaretti and almond tart is to die for! I could go in there for that alone.

    Claire

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  2. This looks so delicious. I am such a sucker for sage in nearly anything. One of my favorite Italian restaurants lately was a chain, as well, but had a great menu and certainly felt special. I was sad to leave my favorites behind, so I'll have to try this place once I get settled in Edinburgh.

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